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Contemporary South-East Asian Societies

This course will give you insight into contemporary South-East Asia and its dynamic developments. The course addresses the region’s political systems and developments, socio-economic issues and struggles, the role of religion, and different aspects of contemporary culture. Apart from addressing broader regional issues it also analyses the situation in more detail in specific countries, such as for example Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. It is of particular interest to students interested in global affairs and development issues.

The course is divided into four parts where the first part provides a basic understanding of the region’s socio-cultural processes. The historical context and its impact on contemporary South-East Asian societies are discussed. It discusses religion as a field of meanings that informs individual people’s lives and strengthens social and political identities, and influences social and political discourses.

The second part of the course addresses the political and economic context of South-East Asia. Theories from different disciplines and ethnographic material are used to discuss these topics.

The third part of the course addresses the socio-economic development in South-East Asia. The aim is to investigate the gap between rich and poor and address development from a gender perspective.

The fourth part of the course discusses contemporary culture and popular culture in South-East Asia and provides a broader perspective on the contemporary societies.


Course syllabus in English
Kursplan på svenska


Application code:
Direct link to the course on the application web site (this link will be active during the application period)

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Course code: COSM25
Credits: 15 ECTS credits

Cycle: Second Cycle 
Language of instruction: English

Study venue: Lund
Rate of study: Full time (100%)
Teaching hours: Daytime
Period of study: 2020-01-20 - 2020-03-23

Entry requirements: To be eligible to the course, the students must have a Bachelor's degree in social sciences or humanities. Oral and written language proficiency in English equivalent to English 6/B from Swedish upper secondary school is a requirement.


Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies
Lund University
Sölvegatan 18 B, 223 62 Lund

Phone: +46 46 222 38 61
E-mail: info [at] ace [dot] lu [dot] se