• Offered by Department of Political and Social Change
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Asian Studies
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Paul Kenny
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in Second Semester 2017
    See Future Offerings

This graduate-level seminar course allows students to deepen their knowledge of politics in Asia while becoming familiar with some of the major theoretical and methodological approaches in comparative political research. The diverse topics covered in the class are unified by a concern with how political power is organized and how it is used. Students will look at issues such as regime change, identity politics, and social conflict. The course will focus on the use of qualitative research methods used in the study of comparative politics and will pay particular attention to the types of research design used by scholars of the region. Cases will be drawn from across the Central, South, Southeast, and Northeast Asian regions, as well as from the Southwest Pacific. Assignments will push students to think critically about reading and conducting research on the politics of Asia

Learning Outcomes

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

On completion, students are expected to be able to:
• Engage with various methods and approaches to comparative analysis
• Critically assess the quality of alternative research designs in comparative politics
• Compare and contrast theoretical models of politics in Asian and non-Asian cases
• Communicate knowledgably on range of political themes in the Asian context.

Indicative Assessment

1. Critical Discussion (10%): Students will be graded on the quality of their participation in seminar discussion. (Learning outcomes 2, 4)
2. Reading response papers (20%): To facilitate discussion in seminars, students are expected to prepare a response paper (c. 300-500 words x 8 papers) on one theme raised by that week’s material in advance of the seminar. (Learning outcomes 2, 3, 4)
3. Critical Review Essay (20%): Students are required to submit a critical review of one of the following books paying particular attention to research design and the use of evidence. (Learning outcomes 1, 2, 4)
• Bourgois, P. I. (2003). In search of respect : selling crack in El Barrio (2nd ed.). Cambridge ; New York: Cambridge University Press.
• Pachirat, T. (2011). Every twelve seconds : industrialized slaughter and the politics of sight. New Haven: Yale University Press.
4. Research Essay (50%): Students will choose a research paper topic of their choice that relates to the theoretical material covered in the course. The paper should be more than a literature review and should reflect some research beyond the core class material. Recommended readings should help you here. This paper must be originally written for this seminar (i.e. you cannot write on the same topic as your Research Methods class if you are taking it). (Learning outcomes 1, 4)

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2-hour weekly seminar (x 13). Extensive reading (100-250 pages per week). Weekly written assignments (8/13 weeks). 2 major written assignments (2,000 words & 5,000 words).

Requisite and Incompatibility

Incompatible with ASIA9077

Preliminary Reading

Boix, Carles, and Susan Carol Stokes (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Politics, Oxford: Oxford University Press (2007).


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
2017 $3420
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $4878
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
8697 24 Jul 2017 31 Jul 2017 31 Aug 2017 27 Oct 2017 In Person N/A

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