Northern Illinois University

Department of Political Science

Fall 2005, AB 102

T &Th: 3:30-4:45



Professor: Kheang Un

Office: Zulauf 414

Phone: 815-753-1011 ; email: kun1@niu.edu

Office Hours: M, W, F 9-10:30 and by appointment


Southeast Asia is a diverse region consisting of eleven countries.  Although many of these countries share critical cultural, social, economic and political links, the region is a mosaic comprised of many ethnic and linguistic groups, religious and political and economic institutions.


This course introduces you to this diversity.  It will examines in depth six countries—Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Burma, the Philippines, Indonesia—and one issue, terrorism.  In addition to providing historical background, the course will focus on recent political and economic transformations, the prospects for democratization in some countries, and democratic consolidation in others.  It will also examine the relations of those countries with the United States.


Course Policies and Requirements


1.  The Learning Environment. Your instructor is committed to the principle of active learning.  This principle requires students’ active involvement in, commitment to, and responsibility for their own education.  Hence, it is important that students conduct themselves in ways that indicate respect for the learning community and the learning process.  Respect for the learning community should preclude such behavior as persistent tardiness, leaving the room during class time (unless prior advice was given to the instructor or in case of emergency), falling asleep, reading the newspaper, studying for another class, and chatting with others.


2. Readings and Lecture. No textbooks.  All readings will be placed on electronic reserve and desk reserve.


Lectures will parallel and compliments the readings.  As such, students cannot just rely solely on lectures or readings.


3. Class attendance and Participation.  Attendance at all class session is expected, and the instructor will check the attendance regularly.  Class participation and attendance will account for 15 percent of the total course grade.  Informed participation in class discussion will significantly help students in borderline grade situations.


4. Research paper and Presentation.  The paper will deal with one of the countries covered in this course with approval based on a written proposal.  Papers will be graded on the basis of clarity and quality of their arguments, organization, presentation of relevant data, and quality of research.  Be sure to give complete references to your sources, including those sources from the syllabus, for any quotes, paraphrasing, or other information drawn from those readings.  The research paper and presentation are worth 25 percent of the total grade.


Presentation of research paper is worth 5 percent.  The presentation will be brief, about 10 minutes, summarizing the thesis of the paper and its findings.


5. Exams. This course will have two exams.  The midterm exam will be written in class on October 18 and the final exam will be on December 06 from 4:00-5:50.  Each of these exams will be worth 30 percent of the total course grade.  The format of each exam will be a combination of essays and short answers.  No make up exam will be offered, except in cases of emergency, as defined by the instructor, and with advance notification. 


6. Course Grade.  Course Grades will be distributed as follows:

            Final Average                                       Final Grade

            90-100 %                                                        A

            80-89 %                                                          B

            65-79%                                                           C

            50-64                                                               D

            Below 50%                                                      F


7. Academic Integrity.  Students are expected to know and comply with NIU polices on academic integrity (see p. 47 of 2001 Undergraduate Catalog).  Any student found guilty of cheating or plagiarizing will receive an “ F” for the examination and the course.  He or she may also be subject to additional sanctions imposed by the university.


8. Undergraduate Writing Awards. The Department of Political Science will recognize, on an annual basis, outstanding undergraduate papers written in conjunction with 300-400 level political science courses or directed studies. Authors do not have to be political science majors or have a particular class standing. Winners are expected to attend the Department’s spring graduation ceremony where they will receive a certificate and $50.00. Papers, which can be submitted by students or faculty, must be supplied in triplicate to a department secretary by February 28. All copies should have two cover pages – one with the student’s name and one without the student’s name. Only papers written in the previous calendar year can be considered for the award. However, papers completed in the current spring semester are eligible for the following year’s competition even if the student has graduated.


9. Statement Concerning Students with Disabilities. Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, NIU is committed to making reasonable accommodations for persons with documented disabilities. Those students with disabilities that may have some impact on their coursework and for which they may require accommodations should notify the Center for Access-Ability Resources (CAAR) on the fourth floor of the Health Services Building. CAAR will assist students in making appropriate accommodations with course instructors. It is important that CAAR and instructors be informed of any disability-related needs during the first two weeks of the semester.


10. Department of Political Science Web Site.  Undergraduates are strongly encouraged to consult the Department of Political Science web’s site on a regular basis. This up-to-date, central source of information will assist students in contacting faculty and staff, reviewing course requirements and syllabi, exploring graduate study, researching career options, tracking department events, and accessing important details related to undergraduate programs and activities. To reach the site, go to http://polisci.niu.edu



               Schedule of Lectures, Required Readings, and Exams



Course Calendar


Aug. 23

Introduction to the course


Aug. 25

Regional and Historical Setting

Reading: Damien Kingsbury, South-East Asia, A Political Profile (Oxford University Press, 2001) pp.3-48. Electronic Reserve (hereafter ER)



Imperialism and Nationalism


Damien Kingsbury, South-East Asia, A Political Profile (Oxford University Press, 2001) pp. 49-99. [ER]


Sept. 1

Economic Development


Alasdair Bowie and Danny Unger, The Politics of Open Economies (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), pp. 25-43.


Eric Teo Chu Cheow, “Towards an East Asian Model of Regional Cooperation,” International Politk und Gesellschaft, 4, 2002, pp. 143-58. [ER]







Reading: Funston, pp. 372-410. [ER]

Video: “Ho Chi Minh.”





Quan Xuan Dinh, “The Political Economy of Vietnam’s Transformation Process,” Contemporary Southeast Asia, 22, August 2000, pp. 360-398. [ER].


David Kih, “The Politics of a Divided Party and Parkinson’s State in Vietnam,” Contemporary Southeast Asia, 23:3, 2001, pp. 533-51. [ER]




Benedict J. Tria Kerkvliet, “An Approach for Analysing State-Society Relations in Vietnam,” SOJOURN: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia, 16:2, 2001, pp. 238-78. [ER]


Martin Gainsborough, “Beneath the Veneer of Reform: The Politics of Economic Liberalization in Vietnam,” Communist and Post-Communist Studies, 35:3, 2002, pp. 353-68. [ER]




Adam Fforde, “Vietnam in 2004: Popular Authority Seeking Power?” Asian Survey, 45:1, 2005, pp.147-152. [Reserve at Periodical Desk]


Andrew Pierre, “Vietnam’s Contradiction,” Foreign Affairs, 79:6, 2000, pp. 69-86. [ER]



Sorpong Peou, “Cambodia After the Killing Fields,” in John Funston, e.d., Government and Politics of Southeast Asia (Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asia Studies, 2001), pp. 36-73. [ER]

Movie: “Return to the Killing Fields,”




Kenneth Quinn, “Explaining Terror,” in Karl D. Jackson, ed., Cambodia 1975-1978: Rendezvous with Death (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1989), 215-240. [ER]






Caroline Hughes, The Political Economy of Cambodia’s Transition, 1991-2001 (New York: RoutledgeCurzon, 2003), pp. 39-58. [ER]




Melanie Beresford, “Cambodia in 2004: An Artificial Democratization Process,” Asian Survey, 45:1, 2005, pp. 134-139. [Reserve at Periodical Desk]


Kheang Un, “Patronage Politics and Hybrid Democracy: Political Change in Cambodia, 1993-2003,” Asian Perspective, 29:2, 2005, pp. 203-230. [ER]




John Funston, “Thailand: Reform Politics,” in John Funston, e.d., Government and Politics of Southeast Asia (Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asia Studies, 2001), pp.328-371. [ER]



Kobkua Suwannathat-Pian, “The Monarchy and Constitutional Change Since 1972,” in McCargo, ed., Reforming Thai Politics, (Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, 2002), pp. 57-72. [ER]


Michael Connors, “Framing the ‘People’s Constitution,’” in in McCargo, ed., Reforming Thai Politics, (Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, 2002), pp.37-56. [ER]




Aural Croisant, “Unrest in South Thailand: Contours, Causes, and Consequences Since 2001,” Contemporary Southeast Asia, 27:1, 2005: pp. 21-43. [ER]




Amy Kazmin, “Thailand’s Thaksin to the Rescue,” Current History, 104:680, 2005, pp.110113. [ER]


Robert Albriton, “Thailand in 2004: The “Crisis in the South,” Asian Survey, 45:1, 2005, pp. 166-173. [Reserve at Periodical Desk]










D. Kingsbury, Southeast Asia: A Political Profile (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001), pp. 103-136. [ER]

Movie: “Aung San Suu Kyi.”




Christina Fink, Living Silence (Bangkok: White Lotus, 2001), pp. 13-49. [ER]


Maung Aung Myoe, “The National Reconciliation Process in Myanma,” Contemporary Southeast Asia, 24:2, 2002, pp. 371-384. [ER]




Donal Seekins, “Burma and US Sanctions: Punishing an Authoritarian Regime,” Asian Survey, 43:3, 2005, pp. 437-452. [ER]


Kyaw Yin Hlaing, “Myanmar in 2004: Another Year of Uncertainty,” Asian Survey, 45:1, 2005, pp.174-179. [Reserve at Periodical Desk]




Joaquin L. Gonzalez III, “Counting People Power,” in John Funston, e.d., Government and Politics of Southeast Asia (Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asia Studies, 2001), pp.252-290. [ER]



Carl H. Lande, “The Return of ‘People Power’ in the Philippines,” Journal of Democracy, 12:2, 2001, pp. 88-102. [ER]


John Linantud, “The 2004 Philippines Elections: Political Change in an Illiberal Democracy,” Contemporary Southeast Asia, 27:1, 2005, pp.80-101. [ER]



Renato Cruz De Castro, “The Revitalized Philippine-U.S. Security Relations: A Ghost from the Cold War or an Alliance for the 21st Century?” Asian Survey, 43: 6, 2003: 971-988. [ER]

Termario C. Rivera, “The Philippines in 2004: New Mandate, Daunting Problems,” Asian Survey, 45:1, 2005, pp.127-133. [Reserve at Periodical Desk]



D. Kingsbury, Southeast Asia: A Political Profile (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001), pp.352-390. [ER]

Video: “Riding the Tiger: New Order.”




Robert Hefner, “Religion: Evolving Pluralism,” in Donald K. Emmerson, ed., Indonesia Beyond Suharto: Polity, Economy, Society, Transition (M.E. Sharpe, 1999), pp. 205-37. [ER]



Baladas Ghoshal, “Democratic Transition and Political Development in Post-Suharto Indonesia,” Contemporary Southeast Asia, 26:3, 2004, pp. 506-29. [ER]


Edward Aspinall, “Indonesia after the Tsunami,” Current History, 104: 680, 2005: 105-109. [ER]


R. William Liddle and Saiful Mujani, “Indonesia in 2004: The Rise of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono,” Asian Survey, 45:1, 2005, pp.119-126. [Reserve at Periodical Desk]




Zachary Abuza, “Tentacles of Terror: Al Quaeda’s Southeast Asian Network,” Contemporary Southeast Asia, 24:3, 2002, pp. 427-465. [ER]




Scott MacDonald and Jonathan Lemco, “Political Islam in Southeast Asia,” Current History, 100:658, 2002, pp. 388-392. [ER]


Joshua Kurlantzick, “Tilting at Dominos: America and Al Quaeda in Southeast Asia,” Current History, 101: 659, 2002, pp. 421-426. [ER]



Presentation of Term Papers


Dec 06 

Final Exam 4:00-5:50.