Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2011-2012 (archived)


Department: Government and International Affairs


Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2011/12 Module Cap None.
Tied to M1K607
Tied to M9L007


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To review understandings of key political concepts, including sovereignty, integration, nation and nationalism, legitimacy, identity, security and human rights, in the light of Southeast Asian experiences of colonialism, democracy and authoritarian regimes.
  • To gain insights into Southeast Asia's complex political dynamics through case studies of individual countries and regional organisations (principally ASEAN), and to undertake case comparisons across the region using key concepts..


  • 1. Nationalism theory and the concept of ‘nation’
  • 2. Postcolonial theory and Southeast Asia
  • 3. State sovereignty and legitimacy in Southeast Asia
  • 4. Integrating Southeast Asian regionalism and nationalism
  • 5. Evaluating Southeast Asian democracies
  • 6. The theory and practice of citizenship in Southeast Asia
  • 7. Defining human rights and human security in Southeast Asia
  • 8. Case Study I: Vietnam
  • 9. Case Study II: Malaysia and Singapore

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module students should have:-
  • Familiarity with the countries of Southeast Asia and their political regimes
  • A critical understanding of the interplay between regional and national levels (or networks) of governance and their impact on the rights and duties of citizens
  • A grasp of post-colonial theory and its implications for nation-building in post-colonial countries
  • Understanding of how regional organisations differ in their approach to international politics for historical, political and economic reasons .
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module students should be able to demonstrate:-
  • The ability to apply nationalism theory to selected Southeast Asian cases
  • The analytical skills to compare political and regional models across Southeast Asia
  • The ability to analyse key political concepts from a comparative perspective and paying heed to the Southeast Asian context
  • The critical ability to compare and contrast different citizenship regimes across Southeast Asia .
Key Skills:
  • Independent learning within a defined framework at an advanced level
  • Demonstrate the ability to use a wide variety of sources, including interdisciplinary sources.
  • Demonstrate independent thought in evaluating existing past and current scholarship in the subject area
  • The ability to complete written work within specified deadlines
  • Advanced essay writing skills

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Teaching and learning are through a series of 1 hour, highly interactive lectures and an associated series of 1 hour tutorials. The lectures will provide a framework for the seminars, identifying key conceptual distinctions and controversies. The seminars will allow students to apply these concepts to a range of Southeast Asian cases and evaluate these controversies in the light of the region’s diverse political regimes.
  • This approach requires students to deploy research skills in preparation for seminars, to be able to analyse complex conceptual and theoretical issues using interdisciplinary sources, and to evaluate these from a comparative perspective.
  • Summative assessment is by two essays of 2,000 words, the first submitted during the module and the second submitted at the beginning of the term following the module. These essays will require students to research, prepare and write highly analytical assessments that display a knowledge of theoretical issues and an ability to relate these to specific Southeast Asian cases

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 9 Weekly 1 hour 9
Tutorials 9 Weekly 1 hour 9
Preparation and Reading 132
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Essays Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 1 2,000 words 50%
Essay 2 2,000 words 50%

Formative Assessment:

Either two essay plans of 750 words each or 1 essay plan of 1,500 words according to correspondence with the mode of summative assessment.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University