• Offered by School of Culture History and Language
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Asian Studies
  • Areas of interest Non Language Asian Studies, History, International Relations

This course will trace the emergence of the international order in Southeast Asia. It will examine the different types of polity that have been established in the region, and how they defined relations with their neighbours and with the more distant civilizations of China, India and the Muslim world. The course will examine the series of transformations in Southeast Asia's 'international' system which European colonial powers brought about, and will consider Southeast Asia's influence on the emergence of the global international relations system. Particular attention will be given to the dynamic of decolonization – to the transformation of political identities and the assumptions about state identity and international relations which shaped the present configuration of the region. The course will conclude with a consideration of the making of the post-colonial state system in Southeast Asia, including the creation of the ASEAN regional architecture and attempts to build a regional security community.

In assuming a historical perspective, the course will suggest ways in which the heritage of ideas about community – and relations between communities – continues to shadow 'international relations' in the region today.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

This course will develop students' understanding of Southeast Asian nations' relations with their neighbours, broaden their understanding of the historical situation underlying the present day system and the contribution of decolonisation to current-day international relations. An understanding of the historical and cultural processes operating in the region is vital to the analysis of current developments, and therefore a valuable component in the training of specialists in security studies and international relations. The course will encourage the development of students' critical thinking, analytical skills and essay writing skills. 

Other Information

Course topics will include: People without states, states without borders; patterns of cultural transfer; the political/religious system of the 'empire' of Srivijaya; the 'tribute' system; Islamic models of international order; the European struggle for hegemony, and the place of Southeast Asia in international law; hegemony, 'native states' and the construction of modern colonialism; creating colonial states and the creation of ethnicity in the modern system; the Japanese alternative; claiming independence and the making of nation states; Cold-War alliances, the emergence of ASEAN and the modern international order of Southeast Asia.

Indicative Assessment

Assessment for undergrad students is: a 3000 word research project due on date to be decided in consultations at first class (40%); course attendance and participation (15%); reflection papers (15%); and a final exam (30%).

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


The course will be taught in four intensive modules and will include a special research component. 


Fri 22 Feb 5-7

Fri 1 Mar 5-8
Sat 2 Mar 10-1, 2-5

Fri 15 Mar 5-8
Sat 16 Mar 10-1, 2-5

Fri 19 Apr 5-8
Sat 20 Apr10-1, 2-5

Fri 26 Apr 5-8
Sat 27 Apr 10-1, 2-5


Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have successfully completed 84 Units of courses.




Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $2604
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $3576
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
9639 24 Jul 2017 31 Jul 2017 31 Aug 2017 27 Oct 2017 In Person N/A

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