Summer 2024 - IS 314 D100

National, Regional, and International Politics in Southeast Asia (4)

Class Number: 4835

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    May 6 – Aug 2, 2024: Fri, 2:30–5:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units.



Provides an overview of national and political issues in Southeast Asia. Surveying politics in individual countries and regional political institutions, focus is given to particular themes such as democratization and civil society, communism and other forms of authoritarianism, the role of the military, decentralization, religion and politics, the impact of China on the region, and security concerns.


Southeast Asia is one of the world's most diverse regions, not just in terms of demographic composition (language, religion, ethnicity, etc) but also in terms of socio-economic/political arrangements and experiences. Indeed, the region contains some of the richest (Singapore) and the poorest (Laos) countries in the world, as well as a plethora of regime types: flawed democracy (Indonesia and the Philippines), semi-democracy (Thailand), one-party rule (Vietnam), military dictatorship (Myanmar), absolute monarchy (Brunei) and electoral authoritarianism (Singapore). Adding to this complexity is the region's dynamism, with rapid socio-economic change, regime oscillation, and policy experimentation being the norm. The region has also been at the forefront of many challenges faced by the world as a whole: terrorism, migration crises, troubles with regionalism, and the growing confrontation between the US and China. While the region is therefore fascinating to study in its own right, this course will take the added step of exploring how Southeast Asia can serve as a "laboratory" to help us answer some of the biggest questions posed in international studies regarding democracy, development, social and cultural change, human rights, and regional and international cooperation and conflict. Most weeks in the course will thus serve two purposes: (1) exploring the politics of an individual country or regional body and (2) exploring how this case study and others in the region provide insights into more general themes in international studies.


  • Indo-Pacific Strategy Report 25%
  • Learning from Southeast Asia Paper 25%
  • Simulation 10%
  • Final Exam 30%
  • Participation 10%



Dayley, Robert. Southeast Asia in the New International Era. Routledge, 2024.

Vatikiotis, Michael. Blood and Silk: Power and Conflict in Modern Southeast Asia. Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2018.


Croissant, Aurel. Comparative Politics of Southeast Asia: An Introduction to Governments and Political Regimes. Springer. 2022

Registrar Notes:


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