- Code ASIA2065
- Unit Value 6 units
- 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
- Prof Edward Aspinall
- Mode of delivery In Person
Second Semester 2023
See Future Offerings
How do we compare political dynamics as they vary from one country to another? Why are some countries highly developed while others struggle to lift their most disadvantaged citizens out of poverty? Why are some democratic, others authoritarian, and still others prone to frequent shifts back and forth from one regime type to another? Why are some countries effectively centralized yet others decentralized with sub-national enclaves lorded over by heavily armed local bosses? Why are political parties strong and coherent in some settings but weak and incoherent elsewhere? Within what political contexts do we observe the rise of populist charismatic leaders and why? What is the impact of regional fissures, as expressed either in voting patterns or (at the other extreme) secessionist movements? What motivates efforts to reform democratic structures, and where have reforms been most effective in achieving their goals? What explains the major differences in pandemic response from one country to another?
These are the types of questions that will be explored in ASIA2065 as it focuses on the politics of a selected number of Asian countries. The course will begin with examination of country-specific historical foundations: processes of state formation and the evolution of state-society relations as well as basic landscapes of identity politics. The remaining weeks of the course will be devoted to comparison across countries with a focus on specific themes. These themes could include political economy; democracy and authoritarianism; territorial politics (central-local relations, political dynamics at the sub-national level, and regional fissures); and democratic design and political reform.
By the end of the course, students will have the opportunity to gain rich and historically grounded insights into the politics of the countries examined in this course. Just as importantly, they will be able to acquire a valuable conceptual ‘toolkit’ that can be applied to comparing polities elsewhere, both within Asia as well as beyond. Finally, they can become familiar with basic techniques of comparative politics and learn how to evaluate claims about the underlying causes of major political and political economic phenomena.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Demonstrate a broad understanding of domestic politics in contemporary Asia.
- Debate the major issues around concept formation and measurement in comparative politics.
- Apply these concepts in analysing political phenomena within and between states in Asia.
- Analyse the foundations and implications of the comparative method in political science research.
- Critically evaluate the elements of causal inference as it applies to contemporary politics.
- Express themselves clearly in verbal and written formats.
- Critical Comments x 2 (20) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6]
- Midterm Essay (25) [LO 1,2,3,6]
- Tutorial Participation (10) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6]
- Final Essay (45) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6]
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This course comprises some 130 hours of activity over 12 weeks, including some 24 hours of lectures or an equivalent activity and some 12 hours of tutorials or equivalent activity. The course comprises a maximum of 6k words of assessment or the equivalent. Please note this is a general guide, averaged over the semester and the final hours ultimately depend on the individual's ability in reading and writing.
Requisite and Incompatibility
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.
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- 6 units
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