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PLT4930 - Southeast Asian Politics

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Susan Blackburn


Clayton First semester 2007 (Day)


This unit assesses strategies for development adopted in Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam. After reviewing the social and economic problems facing those countries at independence, students will look briefly at development options available and then examine the development policies of successive governments, identifying the groups which benefit and lose as a result of these policies. Finally, some issues affecting the politics of development in all three countries will be discussed comparatively, including environmental controversies, democratization, globalisation, and women and development.


As a result of studying this subject, it is anticipated that students will be able to:

  1. understand and explain the different strategies for development adopted by governments in Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia in recent years;
  2. appreciate the importance of implementation of development policies as affecting political outcomes;
  3. analyse the political forces supporting and opposing those policies;
  4. evaluate the intended and unintended effects of those policies on different social, regional, ethnic and gender groups in the three countries;
  5. develop empathy for the situation and viewpoints of people in the three countries studied, in other words to develop intercultural understanding;
  6. improve their ability to locate and critically analyse relevant material, to synthesise information and present logical, coherent and well-documented essays and oral arguments in class;
  7. develop their own questions for research and locate relevant research data to address those questions.


Essay (2000 words): 25%
Oral presentation: (1000 words) 10%
Essay (4000 words): 45%
Examination (2 hours): 20%

Contact hours

3 hours a week


A major in Politics or permission