• Offered by Department of Political and Social Change
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Asian Studies
  • Areas of interest Political Sciences
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Prof Paul Hutchcroft
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2021
    See Future Offerings

This course provides students with the conceptual and analytical tools they need to develop a deeper understanding of politics in contemporary Asia. Through the framework of comparative politics, it will take on several major themes including democratization, identity politics, corruption, and development. In ordinary language, comparisons are often implicit, and arguments are based on weak evidence or poor logic. In this course, students will master not just facts and figures, but a sophisticated approach to analysis that can be used in the study of politics not just of countries in Asia but around the world. The twin thrusts of this course will be learning how to evaluate key concepts in political science (e.g. democracy), and learning how to draw valid causal inferences from comparative political analysis. Students will thus develop the skills to critically evaluate causal claims made in academic, policy, and journalistic writing. The course will be structured by first introducing students to key theoretical and comparative works on selected themes and then applying the approaches comparatively across and within countries in Asia. At the end of the course, students will have a  greater understanding of political events in Asia and have better understood why it matters for us to think about the region comparatively. 

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Demonstrate a broad understanding of domestic politics in contemporary Asia.

2. Debate the major issues around concept formation and measurement in comparative politics.

3. Apply these concepts in analysing political phenomena within and between states in Asia.

4. Analyse the foundations and implications of the comparative method in political science research.

5. Critically evaluate the elements of causal inference as it applies to contemporary politics.

6. Express themselves clearly in verbal and written formats.

Indicative Assessment

Class activities (10%) [LO 1,2,6]
Response Papers (30%) [LO 2,4,5]
Critical Essay (40%) [LO3,4,5,6]
Final Exam (20%) [LO 2,4,5]

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3 contact hours and 6 hours private study per week.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have successfully completed 24 units of university courses.

Prescribed Texts

All reading materials will be made available online prior to commencement of the course.




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

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you 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). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found 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
2021 $3900
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2021 $5580
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
6944 26 Jul 2021 02 Aug 2021 14 Sep 2021 29 Oct 2021 In Person View

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