• Offered by Department of International Relations
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject International Relations
  • Areas of interest International Relations

Islam is a major element in Southeast Asian affairs, though academically neglected.  Muslims are the largest religious community in Southeast Asia, comprising about 45% of the region’s population, and Islam is critical to understanding political, security and cultural developments.  This course will survey the diverse Muslim societies in the region and examine the complex historical, and cultural ties between them.  It will consider the role of ‘external’ forces in shaping Muslim life in Southeast Asia as well as considering in what ways regional Islam may be distinctive from other parts of the Muslim world. 


We will give particular attention to a number of issues: (1) the political consequences of Islamization in Indonesia and Malaysia, particularly on democracy and state-religion relations; (2) the role of Islam in various insurgencies, such as those in Aceh, southern Thailand, and the southern Philippines; (3) the dynamics of extremism and terrorism; and (4) Islam’s influence on regional diplomacy.  In discussing these issues, we will critically assess the literature on the politics of Southeast Asian Islam and the cultural and theoretical assumptions which underlie it.

Learning Outcomes

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

Students will gain knowledge of key events, organisations and trends in Southeast Asian Islam, and contending interpretations of them.  They will particularly develop skills in critical reading of both primary and secondary source texts.

Indicative Assessment

Seminar Participation – 10%

Reading Comments (4 in total; 500-700 words each) – 20%

Main Essay of 3000 words – 40%

Examination – 30%

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Students will be expected to do two to four hours preparation for the weekly seminars.  In addition to reading a number of contrasting scholarly texts, English-language primary source materials written by Southeast Asian Muslims will often be included in the reading lists.

Prescribed Texts

Greg Fealy and Virginia Hooker (eds), Voices of Islam in Southeast Asia: A Contemporary Sourcebook, ISEAS, Singapore, 2006.

Gordon Means, Political Islam in Southeast Asia, Reinner, Boulder, 2008.

Assumed Knowledge

This course assumes no prior knowledge of Islam or Southeast Asian politics, nor does is require any vernacular language skills.  All texts are in English and the assessment is based primarily on demonstrated knowledge of and ability to critically engage with the weekly readings.


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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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
9552 23 Jul 2018 30 Jul 2018 31 Aug 2018 26 Oct 2018 In Person N/A

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