POLS 371 Professors D. King and D. Unger

Spring 2004 Office hours:

M,W 3:30-4:45 Unger: Tu 2:15-3:15, W 5-6

DuSable 252 dunger@niu.edu, 753-7042

King: M 11:00-12, Th. 3:00-4:00

dking@niu.edu, 753-7054

Southeast Asian Politics

This course provides a survey of governmental and political institutions and processes in Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Burma, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. It will focus on recent domestic and international transformations, the political economy of development, human rights and the prospects for democratization, and United States' relations with countries of the region.

Required texts:

John Funston, ed., Government and Politics in Southeast Asia (2001) DS526.7 .G68 2001

Asian Survey, 42:1, 2003 or Asian Survey, 43:1, 2004

[Funston is available for purchase at Village Commons Bookstore; both Funston and AS are on hard cover reserve at FML; We will use AS 43:1 until AS 44:1 becomes available, then we will likely use both.]

Course requirements:

1. Two map and data quizzes, (2 X 5% = 10%))

2. Mid-term examination on March 3 (20%)

3. Current events/issues journal (see pp. below)(25%)

4. Final, comprehensive examination May 3 (30%)

5. Attendance, interest/participation, improvement (15%)

Optional: class presentation (extra 5% credit)

Recommended: CSEAS Brown Bag lectures every Friday, noon, CL 110 (rear seminar room).

Course procedures

A. Makeup exams will only be given in extraordinary circumstances. If such circumstances arise, please contact one of us as soon as possible and before the scheduled exam. To keep the process fair for everyone in the course, students may be asked to support requests for makeup exams with documentation. A missed examination without prior notification and a documented excuse will result in a zero and a grade of "F" as opposed to an incomplete.

B. Students with disabilities. We recognize that some students require special testing environments because of documented physical and learning disabilities. If such arrangements are necessary, you must inform one of us early in the semester; please do not wait until exam time.

C. Late assignments will be penalized by a deduction of one-half letter grade per 24 hour period or fraction thereof. Since students will have had several weeks to complete their work, this standard will be waived only in extreme circumstances.

D. Submitting assignments. Assignments should be handed-in to one of us personally, submitted to the course assistant, or given to a Department secretary in ZU 315 to be time-stamped. Assignments placed under an office door or sent with a friend tend to disappear at times. If a student selects one of these modes of delivery, he or she does so at their own risk.

E. Extra credit assignments will not be given on an individual basis to raise final course grades. Like make-up exams, such projects raise serious questions of equity. However, we are giving everyone the opportunity for 5% extra credit by giving a class presentation.

F. Handouts, including study guides, are a privilege for students who attend class on a regular basis. No student is entitled to supplemental materials simply because they are registered for the course.

G. Incomplete requests. Such petitions will be granted only in extraordinary circumstances. The instructor reserves the right to ask for documentation to verify the problem preventing completion of the course by the normal deadlines. If the student does not present documentation from a university office or official, the matter will be left to our discretion.

H. Email. Please allow 24 hours during the week and 36 hours during the weekend for receipt and response.

I. Rigorous adherence to the statement on "Academic Integrity." The Undergraduate Catalog p. 48 states: "students are guilty of plagiarism, intentional or not, if they copy material from books, magazines, or other sources without identifying and acknowledging those sources or if they paraphrase ideas from such sources without acknowledging them. Students guilty of, or assisting others in either cheating or plagiarism on an assignment, quiz, or examination may receive a grade of F for the course involved and may be suspended or dismissed from the university."

J. Class participation. We are committed to the principle of active learning. This means that learning cannot take place without 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. While it is difficult to specify precisely what this means in all cases, at the very least it entails coming to class on time and remaining in ones seat for the duration of the class period. Respect for the learning community and the learning process would normally also include requesting permission to speak and exclude persistent lateness, leaving the class room during class time, falling asleep in class, studying for another class, and reading a newspaper. Comments that are not relevant to the ongoing discussion, off the point, disruptive to discussion, insensitive to others, or attempt to dominate the discussion will not be rewarded.

We request that you try to sit in approximately the same place (facilitates our learning to associate names with real live people and quickly monitoring attendance).

Course outline and schedule

January 12, Introduction to the course

January 14, Regional historical settings


Damien Kingsbury, South-East Asia, A Political Profile (Oxford University Press, 2001) pp.3-48) [electronic reserve, hereafter ER]

January 21, Imperialism and nationalism

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

January 26, Trip report by Prof. King, "Democracy in Indonesia"

January 28, Political economy and economic development Readings:

1. Alasdair Bowie and Danny Unger, The Politics of Open Economies (Cambridge University Press, 1997) pp.

2. Eric Teo Chu Cheow, "Towards an East Asian Model of Regional Cooperation," Internationale Politik und Gesellschaft, 4, 2002, pp.143-58

February 2, Singapore

Reading: Quah, "Singapore: Meritocratic City-State," pp. 291-327 in Funston

February 4, Singapore, cont.

Reading: William Case, "Singapore in 2002: Economic Lassitude and Threats to Security," Asian Survey, 43:1, 2003, pp.167-73

February 9, Malaysia

Practice exam

Reading: Funston, "Developmental State Challenged," Funston, pp. 160-202

February 11, Malaysia, cont.


1. N. Ganesan, "Malaysia in 2002: Political Consolidation amid Change?" Asian Survey, 43:1, 2003, pp.147-55

2. Edmund Terence Gomez and Jomo K.S., Malaysia's Political Economy: Politics, Patronage, and Profits (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999) pp.24-53, 166-76

February 16, Burma

Reading: Funston, pp. 203-251

February 18, Burma, cont.


1. Christina Fink, Living Silence (Bangkok: White Lotus, 2001), 13-49

2. Allen L. Clark, "Burma in 2002: A Year of Transition," Asian Survey, 43:1, 2003, pp.127-34

Submit journal (entries to date)

February 23, Indonesia

Readings: Funston, pp. 74-119 Video, "Riding the Tiger: The New Order"

February 25, Indonesia

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

February 28th Southeast Asia Student Conference. Keynote speaker: Prof. Jeffrey Winters (topic Indonesia-?)

March 1, Indonesia


Michael S. Malley, "Indonesia in 2002: The Rising Cost of Inaction," Asian Survey, 43:1, 2003, pp.135-46

March 3, Mid-term examination

March 15, Philippines

Readings: Funston, pp. 252-290

March 17, Philippines


1. Bowie and Unger, The Politics of Open Economies, pp.

2 Paul D. Hutchroft, Booty Capitalism: The Politics of Banking in the Philippines (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1998) pp.13-23, 45-64

3. Carl H. Lande, "The Return of 'People Power' in the Philippines," Journal of Democracy, April 2002, pp.88-102

March 22, the Philippines


1. Michael J. Montesano, "The Philippines in 2002: Playing Politics, Facing Deficits, and Embracing Uncle Sam," Asian Survey, 43:1, 2003, pp.156-66

2. [Asian Survey 44]

March 24, the Philippines

Readings: Case study (handout)

March 29, Cambodia


Funston, pp. 36-73

March 31, Cambodia


1. Pierre P. Lizee, "Human Security in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia," Contemporary Southeast Asia, 24:3, 2002, pp.509-27

2.Kheang Un and Judy Ledgerwood, "Cambodia in 2002: Decentralisation and Its Effects on Party Politics," Asian Survey, 43:1, 2003, pp.113-19

April 5, Thailand


Funston, pp. 328-371

Danny Unger, Building Social Capital in Thailand, Fibers, Finance and Infrastructure (Cambridge University Press, 1998) pp.59-82

April 7, Thailand


Alex M. Mutebi, "Thailand in 2002: Political Consolidation and Economic Uncertainties," Asian Survey, 43:1, 2003, pp.101-112

Kobkua Suwannathat-Pian, "The Monarchy and Constitutional Change Since 1972" in McCargo, Reforming Thai Politics, pp.57-72

April 12, Thailand


Johannes Dragsboek Schmidt, "Democratization and Social Welfare in Thailand," McCargo, Reforming Thai Politics, pp.91-106

Michael Connors, "Framing the 'People's Constitution,'" in Duncan McCargo, ed., Reforming Thai Politics (Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, 2002) pp.37-56

Naruemon Thabchumpon, "NGOs and Grassroots Participation in the Political Reform Process," in McCargo, Reforming Thai Politics, pp.183-99

April 19, Laos


1. Funston, pp. 120-159

2. Carlyle A. Thayer, "Laos in 2002: Regime Maintenance through Political Stability," Asian Survey, 43:1, 2003, pp.120-26

April 21, Vietnam

Funston, pp. 372-410

April 26, Vietnam


1. Quan Xuan Dinh, "The Political Economy of Vietnam's Transformation Process," Contemporary Southeast Asia, August 2000

2 Martin Gainsborough, "Corruption and the Politics of Economic Decentralisation in Vietnam," Journal of Contemporary Asia, 33:1, 2001, pp.69-84

3. David Koh, "The Politics of a Divided Party and Parkinson's State in Vietnam," Contemporary Southeast Asia, 23:3, 2001, pp.533-51

4. Martin Gainsborough, "Beneath the Veneer of Reform: The Politics of Economic Liberalisation in Vietnam," Communist and Post-Communist Studies, 35:3, 2002, pp.353-68

5.. Regina Abrami, "Vietnam in 2002: On the Road to Recovery," Asian Survey, 43:1, 2003, pp.91-100

April 28, Vietnam


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

Submit journal (final)

May 3, Final exam, 4-5:50 p.m.

Journal Requirement

The major writing assignment for this course is keeping a journal based on your regular reading of reputable international newspapers (e.g. NYT, CSM, LATimes, The Nation (Bangkok), Jakarta Post, South China Morning Post) and news magazines (e.g. ASIAWEEK, the FAR EASTERN ECONOMIC REVIEW, etc.) which are available in the Library or the internet. You are requested to copy or print off articles about your countries and accumulate entries neatly in a loose leaf binder and to submit it for assessment on two occasions during the semester, end of sixth (Feb. 18) and fifteenth (April 28) weeks. Detailed directions are as follows:

a. Choose two SEA countries or a SEA regional topic/issue that interests you. You may choose any two SEA countries, but choice of a regional topic/issue must be approved by one of the instructors by February 4.

b. Scan the news sources every week for articles that shed light on politics and governance in your selected two countries or that pertain to your (regional) topic.

c. After locating a relevant article, write an entry in your journal which includes the following components:

1. title, date, page and name of source or URL and date accessed.

2. author (if indicated)

3. place from which report was made (if applicable)

4. 100-150 word summary of the article (excluding articles and prepositions)

5. each entry should be typewritten/word processed and double spaced

(Optional: inclusion of a copy of the source article)

d. For an average grade (say C+), you should average at least one journal entry per week. The articles you select should be fairly current (published in the last six months) and fairly evenly distributed over that six months. (For example, avoid selecting all your articles in February and April, the months for journal submission.)

e. Your final submission should include an approximately 800-1000 word (4-5 page, double spaced) interpretative essay in which you summarize what you have learned about the two governments and/or politics surrounding the topic from keeping your journal, e.g. what are the principles or generic issues underlying the events/problems described in your entries? How are politics and economics related or intertwined? What have

you learned about the underlying cultures? What are the public policy options/alternatives facing government leaders? Which option/alternative do you recommend? If you have

followed events in two countries, do the events reflect political differences? -similarities? What have you learned about media perception of SEA events and politics? This interpretive essay is very important and will count approximately one-third of your journal grade.

f. Hand in your journal for assessment on each of two dates during the semester: February 18 and April 28. A progressive penalty will be levied on late submissions. For your protection, make and keep a photocopy (or save computer files) of your journal entries prior to each submission.

g. Your journal will be evaluated on both writing (organization, clarity of logic, grammer, spelling, legibility/neatness) and content (accuracy, grasp of essentials). Note that in this

exercise, your personal opinions and reactions are unwelcome, except in the final, interpretative essay (see e above).

h. Miscellaneous: Articles from the opinion and editorial sections may be utilized. However, avoid the extremely brief articles such as those found in the "Letters," "Intelligence,""Regional Briefing" and "Business Briefing" of the FEER, and in the "Virtual Reality," "Almanac" and "The Asian Language" of ASIAWEEK.

i. Useful internet sites (incomplete list):