Fall 2022 - POL 349 D100

Selected Topics in International Relations (4)

Conflict and Compromise in Southeast Asia

Class Number: 5895

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 9:30 AM – 12:20 PM
    WMC 3535, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    Six lower division units in Political Science or permission of the department.




This course surveys the main issues of Southeast Asian security, giving due attention to traditional concerns with interstate conflict as well as non-traditional themes like the environment, economy and human security. It also provides fundamental grounding in the Cold War-era conflicts that shaped the region as we know it today. Key internal conflicts affecting the human security of millions of Southeast Asians, will be analyzed in their unique historical and cultural context. It will also examine the contemporary foreign policies and international relations challenges of major countries in Southeast Asia. It will survey key regional issues: evolution of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN); security arrangements; trade conflicts and territorial disputes; role of China, India, Japan and the United States; regional integration; transnational issues and terrorism.

On major component of the course is a simulation exercise. Students will be divided into groups to represent the countries involved in South China Sea Dispute (Spratly Islands). This exercise will bring about a greater understanding of the issues involved and also help students engage in policy writing and conflict resolution.

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of the course, students will be able to carefully understand the role of ASEAN and its relations with extra-regional actors. Second, students via the simulation exercise with understand group dynamics, team-building, and also present critical understanding/resolution creation for the crisis that is presented to them. These are key skills needed in the real world. By the end of the course, students will have the skill set from the simulation exercise and also be able to write on key issues facing the Southeast Asian region.

NOTE:  Students with credit for IS 314 will receive no further credit for this course.


  • Participation and Simulations Exercise 20%
  • Midterm Examination 20%
  • Research Essay (12 to 14 pages) 30%
  • Final Examination (Take-Home) 30%



Weatherbee, Donald. International Relations in Southeast Asia: the struggle for autonomy Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2015

Percival, Bronson. The Dragon Looks South. Praeger Security International, 2007

Bill Hayton, The South China Sea: The Struggle for Power in Asia, Yale University Press, 2014

Other materials will be placed on Reserve.

Department Undergraduate Notes:

The Department of Political Science strictly enforces a policy on plagiarism.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html