ACEP31: Introduction to Asian Studies (6 credits)
The course provides a critical, comparative, interdisciplinary, and historiographically introduction to the study of Asian societies. It discusses methodological issues related to area studies in general and Asian Studies in particular. The course provides an historical overview of the field of Asian Studies and introduces students to central concepts and approaches in the Social Sciences and Humanities in relation to the study of Asian societies, paying particular attention to shifting contexts and contents related to forms of knowledge. The course offers critical perspectives on Western studies and knowledge formation regarding Asia. The course further discusses and analyses new theories and approaches emanating from the study of Asian societies, including post-colonialism and subaltern theories, that both challenge and enrich Western Social Sciences. The course also introduces perspectives from postmodernism and gender studies that provide students with tools to analyse contemporary Asian societies and sensitise them to underlying issues of power and representation.
ACEP34: Political Systems, Governance and Democracy in Asia (9 credits)
The course provides an overview of general theories related to the study of political systems, including theories of governance, civil society, and democracy. The aim is to apply these theories to the Asian context through a comparative analysis. The course is designed to introduce students to different political systems in East, South-East and South Asia and different experiences with and challenges to democracy in the region. The course pays particular attention to the role of civil society and social movements for political change. It also discusses different ways of exercising political leadership, including religious, secular, and military forms of leadership. The course, in addition, aims to analyse the impact of external factors on political institutions and political change in the region. This includes addressing the importance of regional co-operation and international bodies, as well as the impact of globalisation more generally.
ACEP33: The Economic Transformation of Asia (15 credits)
The course deals with economic development in East, South-East and South Asia. It explores and explains the processes of rapid industrialisation and socio-economic modernisation in East and South-East Asia together with the development process in South Asia based on a historically–comparative institutional approach. Fundamental factors and forces behind these changes are analysed against the background of leading theories of economic development and social change. All countries in the region are dealt with in the course, but particular emphasis will be given to First-Tier industrialising countries (Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore), Second-Tier industrialising countries (Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Philippines), Third-Tier industrialisers (China and Vietnam) and South Asia (with a particular focus on India). The course uses institutional theory to analyse the emergence of the so-called East Asian model of economic growth and development and current trends and forces of globalisation in the Asia-Pacific region. Specific focus is laid on comparing China’s and India´s economic reforms and emerging roles in the global economy.