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Freestanding courses

in Asian Studies

For the fall of 2018 the Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies offers the following courses as freestanding courses. Each course is 7,5 credits and the language of instruction and examination is English.

Admission requirements

Information about the course ACES43: Human Rights in Asia

Direct link to application web site for ACES43: Human Rights in Asia (Mänskliga rättigheter i AsienLU-19951)

Course syllabus for ACES43 (PDF)

Information about the course ACES44: Devlopment Theories and Issues

Direct link to the application web site for ACES44: Development Theories and Issues (Utvecklingsteorier och utvecklingsfrågor i Asien, LU-19961)

Course syllabus for ACES44 (PDF)

Information about the course ACES50: Digital Asia: Cultural, Social and Political Transformations

Direct link to the application web site for ACES50: Digital Asia: Cultural, Social and Political Transformations (Digitala Asien: Kulturella, sociala och politiska transformationer, LU-19981)

Course syllabus for ACES50 (PDF)

Information about the course ACES52: Social Justice and Equality in Asia

Direct link to the application web site for ACES52: Social Justice and Equality in Asia (Social rättvisa, jämlikhet och jämställdhet i Asien, LU-19971)

Course syllabus ACES52 (PDF)

Information about the course ACES53: Asia in Global and Regional Politics

Direct link to the application web site for ACES53: Asia in Global and Regional Politics (Global och regional politik i Asien, LU-19991)

Course syllabus ACES53 (PDF)


Admission requirements

  • A Bachelor's degree in social sciences, humanities, economics or law and at least 30 credits in Asian studies or equivalent.
  • Proficiency in English


Application period

Application opens: March 15, 2018
Application deadline: April 16, 2018
Notification of results:  July 12, 2018.


How to apply

Applications should be made online at - the national Swedish site for university applications.: application web site (new window)

If you find it difficult to apply via the Swedish web site, please contact the programme administrator nina [dot] brand [at] ace [dot] lu [dot] se (Nina Brand) for assistance.

ACES43: Human Rights in Asia (7,5 credits)

The aim of the course is to enable students to critically analyse the problems and prospects for human rights implementation in Asia. The course focuses on the cultural, social, economic and political factors that obstruct or support the realisation of human rights in different Asian societies. Differences and similarities with respect to human rights problems and policies in the region are analysed and discussed. Asian countries’ participation in the international human rights regime is analysed, including the ratification of different human rights instruments.

The course studies the relationship between international human rights law and national law. It also introduces students to local and regional debates and work on human rights, with special attention to the often widely different approaches to and priorities in human rights work among governments and NGOs. The course addresses a wide range of human rights issues, including the rights of different groups of people such as children, women, and minorities. The course builds upon standard works in international human rights law but aims to integrate international legal theory with social and political theories and area studies. An interdisciplinary approach to the study of human rights is advocated and used throughout the course. This is reflected both in the teaching, choice of topics, and in the selection of literature.

ACES43 Course syllabus in English (PDF - new window)

ACES43 Course plan in Swedish (PDF - new window)


ACES44: Development theories and issues in Asia (7,5 credits)

The course offers an interdisciplinary in-depth study of the major issues surrounding development today. The aim is to provide students with tools for theoretically analyzing and discussing contemporary development issues by examining various theories of development – from modernization, and neo-Marxist theories, to neo-liberal, post-modern, post-development, as well as alternative forms of development and the challenges for the future.

The course looks critically at development theories and their impact on the most urgent areas of development as well as highlight controversies and points of convergence that exist between different theoretical traditions. It also covers the practices and agents of development and the role of NGOs, presenting detailed case studies for the students to discuss and learn from. The course starts with a discussion of the “knowledge” and “needs” of the class, and as it covers a wide range of topics it is possible for students to concentrate on specific issues of interest. 

ACES44 Course syllabus in English (PDF - new window) 

ACES44 Course plan in Swedish (PDF - new window)


ACES50: Digital Asia: Cultural, Social and Political Transformations (7,5 credits)

The ubiquitous use of ICTs in daily life has led to a growing interest among scholars to address this phenomenon and study its impact on cultural, social and political practices and processes. We can identify a digital turn in the social sciences. The course makes use of insights and theories from different disciplines, such as media and communication studies, cultural studies, sociology, anthropology, political science and area studies in the study of Asian digital societies. Students are introduced to different theories, concepts, approaches, and methodologies with a particular focus on works addressing the Asian experiences. The course addresses different types of ICTs, including the Internet, social media, mobile phones and apps, in the context of both global processes and the cultural, social, political and economic context and development of different Asian societies. The course focuses on different themes and fields while paying attention to factors such as gender, ethnicity, socio-economic status, and age:

  • Identity formation and socialization processes (for example through blogging, gaming, and mobile phone and social media use).
  • Social networking and community building (for example among civil society, youth, interest communities)
  • Social and political activism (for example in traditional politics, new social movements, citizen journalism).
  • Digital methodologies and ethnographic practices

The course introduces students to theoretical and interdisciplinary studies, studies of the digital society in the West and Asia, and comparisons between and within different Asian societies. It encourages students to apply theoretical and methodological insights from the course in their own case studies/theses on different Asian countries and particular ICTs.

ACES50 Course syllabus in English (PDF - new window)

ACES50 Course plan in Swedish (PDF - new window)


ACES52: Social Justice and Social Equality in Asia (7,5 credits)


The aim of this course is to enable students to address questions and frame inquiries of social (in)justice and social (in)equalities in Asian contexts in ways that are relevant to current theoretical discussions. A tendency in recent theory is the attempt to move beyond normative (western) definitions, and instead conceive of justice and equality in more substantial terms, as embedded in social relations and linked to issues of globalization, democracy, legitimacy, membership, identity, and so forth. The course first offers an overview of the recent, multidisciplinary discussion on social justice and social equality, followed by a more in-depth study where students read and discuss a selection of original theoretical works from different disciplines, including political science, sociology, anthropology, development studies, and gender studies. Subsequently, in what constitutes the main part of the course work, the students read a variety of published research in Asian Studies where the same theoretical approaches have been applied and/or challenged, or may be applicable. At the same time, in their course assignment, group work and seminar discussions, the students actively train their ability to critically evaluate the applicability of the same theoretical approaches to various sets of empirical cases, as well as their capacity to frame theoretically relevant inquiries. 

ACES52 Course syllabus in English (PDF - new window)

ACES52 Course plan in Swedish (PDF - new window)


ACES53: Asia in Global and Regional Politics (7,5 credits)

This is a specialisation course in Asian Studies focusing on the international relations of the region. It starts with the main theories of international relations and then continues with a short historical overview focusing mainly on the post-war period. Subsequently, the course deals with the following most important regional questions: great power rivalry, identity and historical memory, territorial disputes and nontraditional security issues, such as public diplomacy, "soft power" and environmental and food safety. The course is based on the student's active participation, and the students develop their ability to critically evaluate and analyse theories and use empirical examples from the region.

ACES53 Course syllabus in English (PDF - new window)

ACES53 Course plan in Swedish (PDF - new window)

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If you have any questions, please contact

Nina Brand
International Liaison Officer

Phone: +46 46 222 3861
E-mail: nina [dot] brand [at] ace [dot] lu [dot] se


Associate Prof. Monica Lindberg Falk
Director of Studies

Phone: +46 46 222 3744
E-mail: monica [dot] lindberg_falk [at] ace [dot] lu [dot] se

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