• Class Number 9278
  • Term Code 2960
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • AsPr Marcus Mietzner
    • AsPr Marcus Mietzner
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 22/07/2019
  • Class End Date 25/10/2019
  • Census Date 31/08/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 29/07/2019
SELT Survey Results


This course surveys the main issues of Southeast Asian security, giving due attention to traditional concerns with interstate conflict as well as non-traditional themes like the economy and the quality of democratic governance. It also provides a grounding in the Cold War-era conflicts that shaped the region as we know it today. The central focus, however, is on contemporary internal armed conflict rooted in processes of state formation and state decay. Key internal conflicts affecting the human security of millions of Southeast Asians, as well as near neighbours like Australia, will be analysed in their unique historical and cultural context, and related to cross-cutting questions with broad inter-disciplinary significance negotiating views from above and below, from inside and outside.

Learning Outcomes

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

At the end of the course, students will have gained a thorough understanding of security issues in Southeast Asia. They will have obtained in-depth and up-to-date knowledge of internal conflicts prevalent in the region, and will have studied the conflict preventation mechanisms in place to address them.

In addition, students will have deepened their analytical and presentational skills, preparing them for future professional work in government, think tanks, intelligence, academia or development agencies.

While it will be sufficient to read the allocated articles each week, it would be useful for you to read Donald E. Weatherbee, International Relations in Southeast Asia: The Struggle for Autonomy (Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield, 2014). We will read chapters from the book, but reading it in full will benefit you.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

+ written comment sheets on presentation and all writings (except take-home exam)

+ verbal feedback in class and consultation hours

+ for the take-home exam: marks announced on Wattle.

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 COURSE INTRODUCTION 22 July The introduction will provide an overview over the course structure, the assignments and other basic information.
2 SECURITY IN SOUTHEAST ASIA: CONCEPTS AND ACTORS 29 July After shortly discussing the parameters of security studies, the first lecture will introduce Southeast Asia as a political and security entity. It will give an overview of the main regional actors in the region, and present snapshots of the subjects to be analysed in this semester. Required reading: Donald E. Weatherbee, “Chapter 1: Introduction - The What and the Why of Southeast Asia”, in Donald E. Weatherbee, International Relations in Southeast Asia: The Struggle for Autonomy, (Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield, 2014), pp. 19-38. Recommended reading: Alan Collins, “Introduction: What is Security Studies?”, in Alan Collins (editor), Contemporary Security Studies (Oxford University Press, 2006), pp.2-3.
3 DECOLONISATION AND THE COLD WAR IN SOUTHEAST ASIA 5 August This week we look at the process of state formation in Southeast Asia after the Second World War. The end of the war triggered a process of decolonisation in the region, which led to the emergence of nation states as the main players in Southeast Asian security. As with most international developments at that time, the evolution of Southeast Asia’s regional security system was heavily influenced by the Cold War, with both the United States and the Soviet Union trying to pull the region to their sides. Required reading: Robert J. McMahon, “The United States and Southeast Asia in an Era of Decolonization, 1945-1965,” in Marc Frey, Ronald W. Pruessen and Tan Tai Yong (editors), The Transformation of Southeast Asia: International Perspectives on Decolonization (Armonk, N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe, 2003), pp.213-225. Recommended reading: Donald E. Weatherbee, “Chapter 3: “The Cold War in Southeast Asia”, in Donald E. Weatherbee, International Relations in Southeast Asia: The Struggle for Autonomy, (Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield, 2014), pp. 67-88.
4 ASEAN’s CONFLICT MANAGEMENT IN SOUTHEAST ASIA 12 August Today we discuss the emergence of ASEAN as a key player in Southeast Asian security. While often detracted as marginal and ineffective, ASEAN has developed into an important forum to discuss security matters that affect all Southeast Asian states. In order to understand the way ASEAN functions today, we analyse the circumstances of its creation as well as its involvement in contemporary security problems in the region. Required reading: Donald E. Weatherbee, “Chapter 4: ASEAN and Regionalism in Southeast Asia”, in Donald E. Weatherbee, International Relations in Southeast Asia: The Struggle for Autonomy, Second Edition (Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield, 2014), pp. 89-116. Recommended reading: David Martin Jones and Nicole Jenne, “Weak States' Regionalism: ASEAN and the Limits of Security Cooperation in Pacific Asia.” International Relations of the Asia-Pacific, Volume 16, Issue 2, May 2016, pp. 209–240,
5 INTERNATIONAL ACTORS IN SOUTHEAST ASIA 19 August This lecture introduces the main international actors in Southeast Asian security. Discussing the strategic interests in and diverse approaches to Southeast Asia, we will look at the role of the United States, China, Japan, India and Australia, as well as multinational organisations like the UN or the World Bank. The analysis will point to important economic and political reasons behind the engagement of each country or organization in the Southeast Asian region. Required reading: Donald E. Weatherbee, “Chapter 2: “The International Actors in Southeast Asia: Extra-Regional State Actors”, in Donald E. Weatherbee, International Relations in Southeast Asia: The Struggle for Autonomy (Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield, 2014),” pp. 39-66. Recommended reading: Ja Ian Chong, “Deconstructing Order in Southeast Asia in the Age of Trump”, Contemporary Southeast Asia, Volume 39, Number 1, April 2017, pp. 29-35
7 TERRORISM IN SOUTHEAST ASIA 16 September Since the Indonesian Christmas Bombings in 2000, jihadist terrorism has become a serious and regular threat in Southeast Asia. After initially reluctant to act, governments in the region understood after the Bali attack in 2002 – which was one of the largest terrorist incidents in modern history – that they needed to increase their counter-terrorism capacities. Subsequently, Southeast Asian human rights organizations have claimed that the offensive against terrorism has undermined democracy in their home states, with a wide variety of rebel groups now receiving the terrorism label as well. Has the “war against terror” made the region more secure or/and less democratic? Required reading: Donald E. Weatherbee, “Chapter 6: Transnational Violence and Crime in Southeast Asia”, in Donald E. Weatherbee, International Relations in Southeast Asia: The Struggle for Autonomy (Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield, 2014), pp.169-192. Recommended reading: Daniel Finnbogason and Isak Svensson, “The Missing Jihad: Why Have There Been No Jihadist Civil Wars in Southeast Asia?”, The Pacific Review, Volume 31, 2018, Issue 1, pp. 96-115.
8 ONGOING INSURGENCIES IN SOUTHEAST ASIA: SOUTHERN THAILAND AND THE PHILIPPINES 23 September Today we discuss two of the most complex ongoing insurgencies in Southeast Asia: the violence in Southern Thailand and the Mindanao conflict in the Southern Philippines. For decades, militants groups in the Muslim area of Mindanao have fought for independence (or, alternatively, more autonomy) from the mostly Catholic Philippines. Similarly, Islamist activists and cells have launched a violent campaign for independence from the predominantly Buddhist kingdom of Thailand. We look at the various attempts to resolve these conflicts, and try to understand why these efforts have so far been unsuccessful in the case of Southern Thailand, and peace arrangements remain highly volatile in Mindanao. Required reading: Nicole Jenne and Jun Yan Chang, “Hegemonic Distortions: The Securitisation of the Insurgency in Thailand's Deep South,” TRaNS: Trans-Regional and -National Studies of Southeast Asia, January 2019, pp. 1-24. Recommended reading: Malcolm Cook, “Three Challenges Facing the Bangsamoro Organic Law”, ISEAS Perspective No. 82, December 2018.
9 ACEH: A SUCCESSFULLY CONTAINED SEPARATIST CONFLICT? 30 September This lecture will focus on the separatist conflict in Aceh, which seems to have been peacefully resolved through the Helsinki accord signed in August 2005. Up until that time, the rebel group GAM (Gerakan Aceh Merdeka, Free Aceh Movement) had fought a 30-year war for secession from Indonesia. The lecture will discuss the reasons for the emergence of GAM, as well as the reasons for the success of Helsinki. Required reading: Michael Morfit, “The Road to Helsinki: The Aceh Agreement and Indonesia's Democratic Development”, International Negotiation - A Journal of Theory and Practice 12, Spring 2007. Recommended reading: Gunnar Stange and Roman Patock, “From Rebels to Rulers and Legislators: The Political Transformation of the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) in Indonesia”, Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs 29 (1), 2010: 95-120.
10 NO LECTURE AND TUTORIALS (Labour Day) 7 October
11 ETHNIC CONFLICT IN NATION STATES: MALAYSIA AND MYANMAR 14 October This lecture contrasts two very different approaches to managing ethnic diversity in Southeast Asia. On the one hand, we will discuss Malaysia, which has traditionally tried to contain ethnic tensions by integrating all groups into a multi-ethnic government alliance – whether in the long-ruling Barisan Nasional or, since 2018, in the Pakatan Harapan. Myanmar, on the other hand, has used a wide range of strategies (few of them successful), ranging from military force, cease fire agreements, peace negotiations and informal arrangements with local drug and war lords. Required reading: David Brenner, “Inside the Karen Insurgency: Explaining Conflict and Conciliation in Myanmar’s Changing Borderlands,” Asian Security, Volume 14, 2018, Issue 2, pp. 83-99. Recommended reading: Noriyuki Segawa, “Double-layered Ethnic Politics in Malaysia: National Integration, Ethnic Unity and Social Stability,” Commonwealth & Comparative Politics, Volume 55, Issue 1, 2017, pp. 63-81.
12 SECURITY, DEMOCRACY, AND CIVIL SOCIETY IN SOUTHEAST ASIA 21 October So far, the course has focused on conventional security threats, domestic conflicts and the strategic interests of global powers in Southeast Asia. But the state of democracy in the region is as important for the stability of Southeast Asian security as the volatility of inter-state, ethnic, social and religious tensions. This lecture analyses the interrelationship between the effectiveness of democratic institutions, the strength of civil society and the level of security in Southeast Asian states. Required reading: Alan Collins, “Chapter 3: Political Security and Regime Legitimacy,” in Alan Collins, Security and Southeast Asia: Domestic, Regional and Global Issues (Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 2003), pp.63-91. Recommended reading: Thomas Pepinsky, “Southeast Asia: Voting Against Disorder”, Journal of Democracy, Volume 28, Number 2, April 2017, pp. 120-131

Tutorial Registration

The registration for tutorials is through Wattle.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Tutorial Participation (10%) 10 % 30/07/2019 22/10/2019 1,2,3
Short Paper (15%) 15 % 19/08/2019 27/08/2019 2,3
Tutorial Presentation (15%) 15 % 30/07/2019 22/10/2019 1,3
Research Essay (30%) 30 % 08/10/2019 22/10/2019 1,2,3
Take-home Exam (30%) 30 % 07/11/2019 15/11/2019 1,2,3

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using 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. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 30/07/2019
Return of Assessment: 22/10/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Tutorial Participation (10%)

You will be assessed on your tutorial participation. The assessment is primarily based on the quality of your contributions in class - (and therefore, not simply on the frequency of your contributions and/or attendance.) After each tutorial, you will receive a mark. Absence is marked as zero, unless docomentation on justifiable absence is provided. At the end of the semester, the average of your six best marks achieved throughout the semester will be your total mark for tutorial participation. In order to prepare for the tuorials, it is essential that you have read the required reading and attended/listened to the lecture of that week. The better you are prepared through reflecting on these materials (and, optionally, additional material you researched yourself), the more effectively you will be able to engage in class, and the better your mark will be.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 19/08/2019
Return of Assessment: 27/08/2019
Learning Outcomes: 2,3

Short Paper (15%)

After the lecture on 29 July, a question will be explained and subsequently released in writing on Wattle. This question has to be answered by all students in a 1000-word paper that must be submitted through Wattle on 19 August at 23.55 at the latest.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 30/07/2019
Return of Assessment: 22/10/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,3

Tutorial Presentation (15%)

Each student will be asked to give a 25-minute, joint tutorial presentation with a fellow student on the theme of the lecture in that particular week. There will be one presentation each week, and topics, dates and presenters will be allocated in the first tutorial of the semester. You, as a pair of presenters, are advised to choose a presentation date early in the semester in order to avoid work overload at the end of the term. For the tutorial presentation, you should jointly choose a topic or issue (within the larger framework of that week’s subject) that you find particularly interesting or provocative; the aim of the tutorial presentation is not to repeat the facts or narrative provided in the lecture; instead, it is to present a innovative angle to a particular problem related to the subject discussed in that week, and to stimulate an interesting discussion within the group. The lecture slides will be emailed to presenters one week before their presentation. Please look at these slides closely and make sure you do not simply repeat the content of the lecture. You should not spend more than 15 minutes on the presentation, with the time equally divided between the two presenters. For the remaining 10 minutes of your time, you should lead the discussion among your fellow students. To achieve this, you should have one or two leading questions prepared. Your assessment (which can differ between the two presenters based on individual performance) will consider the amount of preparation you have put into the presentation; the originality of the material; the way the presentation is structured; the level of accuracy; and the style of delivery.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 08/10/2019
Return of Assessment: 22/10/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Research Essay (30%)

A research paper of up to 2000 words is due no later than 8 October at 23.55, and should be submitted through Wattle. Students are free to choose any topic that is related to the overall subject of this course - that is, Southeast Asian Security. However, the theme chosen for the research paper must be different from the subject of the tutorial presentation and the short paper. For more detailed guidelines on the research paper, please refer to the manual posted on the Wattle site of this course (and refer to the lecture on 26 August).

Assessment Task 5

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 07/11/2019
Return of Assessment: 15/11/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Take-home Exam (30%)

A take home exam will be posted on Wattle in the last week of the semester, and must be returned through Wattle no later than 7 November at 23.55.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with.

The Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Late submission permitted. Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

Assignments (with the exception of the take-home exams) will be returned as hard copies with written commentary in text and a separate comment sheet. The time in which the assignment will be returned varies and is based on the length of the assignment. Please refer to the items in the assessment summary for detailed return times.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

Re-submission of assignments after the deadline is only permitted after consultation with the course convener and (concurrently) if the previously submitted version suffered from a technical problem. Before the deadline, students are free to replace their previous submissions at any time.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

AsPr Marcus Mietzner

Research Interests

Indonesian politics; democracy and elections; the political role of the armed forces; Islamism

AsPr Marcus Mietzner

AsPr Marcus Mietzner

Research Interests

AsPr Marcus Mietzner

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions