• Class Number 3503
  • Term Code 3430
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Liam Gammon
    • Dr Liam Gammon
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 19/02/2024
  • Class End Date 24/05/2024
  • Census Date 05/04/2024
  • Last Date to Enrol 26/02/2024
SELT Survey Results

Asian politics is diverse and rapidly changing.  Many different types of political system can be found in Asia, including communist regimes, constitutional monarchies, democracies and military-based authoritarian governments.  Moreover, seemingly entrenched systems can be overturned, as witnessed in Indonesian’s transition to democracy or Thailand’s return to authoritarianism.  The study of Asian politics not only gives insights into recent phenomena in the world’s most rapidly growing region, but also provides a setting for understanding and relating political theory to real world developments.  This course has two main purposes.  First, it will introduce students to major concepts and theories within political science and secondly will use examples from within Asia to illustrate different political science categories and approaches.  During the course, scholars of the politics of South Asia, Northeast Asia and Southeast Asia, as well as of transnational and strategic relations within Asia, will discuss particular themes within political science and relate these to their region or topic of specialization.  In this way, students will emerge with a broad knowledge of both politics as a discipline and political developments within Asia.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Understand the historical and conceptual foundations of Asian politics, especially North, South and Southeast Asia;
  2. Evaluate the main schools of political thought and analytical trends relating to Asia;
  3. Analyse developments in Asian politics drawing on approaches and concepts studied in the course;
  4. Conduct independent research and demonstrate skills in identifying and critically engaging with appropriate sources; and
  5. Communicate effectively in both verbal and written forms on political issues in Asia.

Research-Led Teaching

This course draws on the combined expertise of academics across the College of Asia and the Pacific. The convenor of the course has studied Southeast Asian politics, most notably Indonesia, for over a decade. All guest lecturers have been selected because their research interests make them specialists in the particular field covered by the lecture topic.

Field Trips

None required

Additional Course Costs


Examination Material or equipment

The examination will be in the form of a take-home exam. Normal access to online and other resources is allowed.

Required Resources

Since some elements of this course may be delivered online, a stable internet connection is recommended. However, students in online tutorials without such a stable connection are given the opportunity to submit written commentaries on the class readings in order to substitute for direct contributions in class.

Required and recommended readings will be available on Wattle so there is no textbook required. The instructor reserves the right to make substitutions in the reading assignments, as appropriate. There may be additional selections to augment the readings for certain sessions.

Whether you are on campus or studying remotely, there are a variety of online platforms you will use to participate in your study program. These could include videos for lectures and other instruction, two-way video conferencing for interactive learning, email and other messaging tools for communication, interactive web apps for formative and collaborative activities, print and/or photo/scan for handwritten work and drawings, and home-based assessment.

ANU outlines recommended student system requirements to ensure you are able to participate fully in your learning. Other information is also available about the various Learning Platforms you may use.

Staff Feedback

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

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

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). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 WEEK 1—LECTURE 21 FEBRUARY: Power, People and Institutions: Introduction to the Comparative Politics of Asia
2 WEEK 2—LECTURE 28 FEBRUARY: Democracy and Authoritarianism: Political Systems in Asia (tutorials begin this week)
3 WEEK 3—LECTURE 6 MARCH: Power Transitions: How and Why Regimes Change
4 WEEK 4—LECTURE 13 MARCH: When Politics Fails: Is War Thinkable in Asia ? Guest Lecture: Hugh White
5 WEEK 5—LECTURE 20 MARCH: Does Culture Matter? Revisiting the Asian Values Debates+ Discussion of Essay-writing tips
6 WEEK 6—LECTURE 27 MARCH: Communism in Asia. Guest Lecture: Fengming Lu (TBC)*No Friday tutorials on 29 March, Good Friday
7 WEEK 7—LECTURE 17 APRIL: Patronage and Clientelism in Asian Politics
8 WEEK 8—LECTURE 24 APRIL: Mobilising Citizens: Political activism and Civil Society in Asia
9 WEEK 9—LECTURE 1 MAY: Women in Asian Politics. Guest Lecture: Sally White
10 WEEK 10—LECTURE 8 MAY: Asia's History as Politics. Guest Lecture: Lauren Richardson
11 WEEK 11—LECTURE 15 MAY: Identity Politics in Asia. Guest Lecture: Edward Aspinall
12 WEEK 12—LECTURE 22 MAY: Reflections and Exam Revision

Tutorial Registration

Tutorial registration is via MyTimetable

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
TUTORIAL PARTICIPATION (10%) 10 % * * 1, 2, 3
SHORT ESSAY (25%) 25 % 18/03/2024 28/03/2024 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
RESEARCH ESSAY (40%) 40 % 06/05/2024 17/05/2024 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
TAKE HOME EXAM (25%) 25 % 11/06/2024 18/06/2024 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

* 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 Integrity 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 Academic Skills 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.


See Assessment 1.


See Assessment 4.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3


You will be assessed on your tutorial participation. Tutorials will provide opportunities for students to discuss the readings together in groups, and work through questions as a class. 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 documentation on justifiable absence is provided. At the end of the semester, the average of your eight best marks achieved throughout the semester will be your total mark for tutorial participation.

In order to prepare for the tutorials, 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: 25 %
Due Date: 18/03/2024
Return of Assessment: 28/03/2024
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5


The first written assessment required for the course is the First Short Paper on the topic: ‘Does democracy have a future in Asia?’ The essay should be 1000 words, not including references. There are many ways in which you might approach this topic, but keep in mind that the question relates to Asia as a geographic focus. If you wish, you could take one or two countries as case studies, though given the word limit, these will need to be fairly brief. We have provided material in some of the early lectures which might assist you in answering this but you should also make use of web searches to find relevant material, whether it be of a scholarly nature or from reputable sections of the media. 

The structure of the essay is very important. You need to properly introduce the topic and indicate the line of argumentation that you will be taking. The middle of the essay is for providing background or contextual information that you feel is relevant and, most importantly, supporting data for your argument(s). The essay should end with a (very brief) conclusion which reflects back on your text and its analytical content. 

The essay should have references acknowledging where you have obtained key pieces of information from. In-text or Harvard-style references are best in a short format such as this, with a short list of references at the end of the essay. But you are generally free to choose any widely accepted citation style. 

Please keep in mind that this writing exercise is worth 25% of the total mark, so you should allocate a proportional amount of time to completing this (in other words, don't overthink it, but also take it seriously enough). The assignment will give us a sense of your writing and allow us to provide you with feedback prior to you preparing your main research essay.

The assignment is due on 18 March at 23.55. Submission is on Wattle through Turnitin.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 06/05/2024
Return of Assessment: 17/05/2024
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5


The key assignment in this course is the research essay. The word limit for this essay is 2000 words. You are free to write on any subject you like that falls within the parameters of politics in the Asia Pacific, but we will post some suggested topics on Wattle during semester. This open task gives you the chance to pursue your own interests and define your future profile as a student and a professional. We will talk more about this task in the tutorials, and are happy to set up individual consultations to discuss specific questions. Please also refer to the Essay Writing Guide placed on this Wattle site.

The Research Paper constitutes 40% of the total mark. It is due on 6 May at 23.55 on Wattle through Turnitin.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 25 %
Due Date: 11/06/2024
Return of Assessment: 18/06/2024
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5


A take home exam will be posted on Wattle in the last week of the semester, and must be returned no later than 11 June at 23.55. The Take Home Exam constitutes 25% of the total mark. The word limit, excluding references, is 1000 words. Submission is on Wattle through Turnitin.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.

The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.

The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.


The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.

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

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • 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.
  • Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.

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. Extensions may be granted 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 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).

Dr Liam Gammon

Research Interests

Dr Liam Gammon

Wednesday By Appointment
Thursday By Appointment
Friday By Appointment
By Appointment
By Appointment
Dr Liam Gammon

Research Interests

Dr Liam Gammon

Wednesday By Appointment
Thursday By Appointment
Friday By Appointment
By Appointment
By Appointment

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