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Courses during the third semester

The third semester is divided into four periods. During the first three periods you choose one 7,5 credit elective course per period and during the fourth period you study a course on Data Collection and Analysis.

During this semester you study three elective courses (7.5 credits each) either at the Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies or another institution at Lund University, or at another approved university in Sweden or abroad. The elective courses should be line with the your thesis topic and be approved by the program coordinator. The elective courses will enable you to tailor the programme to suit your particular interests and will deepen your understanding of various aspects of Asian societies and prepare you for your thesis work.

The Centre offers a range of elective courses (see list below for courses currently offered). Please note that courses may be cancelled and new courses may also be added. This is meant as a guide and represent some of the courses that have regularly been given at the Centre.

Elective courses

CÖSM32: Asia's Role in the Global Economy (7,5 credits)
CÖSM33: Human Rights in Asia (7,5 credits)
CÖSM34: Development theories and issues in Asia (7,5 credits)
CÖSM35: Digital Asia: Cultural, Social and Political Transformations (7,5 credits)
CÖSM36: Social Justice and Social Equality in Asia (7,5 credits)
CÖSM37: Asia in Global and Regional Politics (7,5 credits)

Mandatory course

CÖSM30: Data Collection and Analysis


Elective courses


CÖSM32: Asia’s Role in the Global Economy


The course examines and analyzes Asia's role in the global economy. The course initially introduces theoretical reasoning regarding economic geography and development and applies them to case studies in Asia. The course then focuses on theories and concepts that explain national and global economic conditions with an emphasis on global supply chains. The course analyzes the global organization of production systematically with a focus on five different areas: financial market, trade, industrial relations, multinational companies, and innovation.

The aim of the course is to provide an understanding of the factors, processes and consequences that globally organized production brings to individuals and nations in Asia. The course discusses economic theories from an interdisciplinary perspective to promote a critical understanding.

CÖSM32 Course syllabus in English (PDF - new window)

CÖSM32 Course plan in Swedish (PDF - new window)

CÖSM33: Human Rights in Asia (7,5 credits)

The aim of the course is to enable the students to critically analyze the problems and prospects that exist for human rights work in Asia. The focus is on the cultural, social, economic and political factors that prevent or promote the application of human rights protection in different societies in Asia. Differences and similarities with regard to problems and policies regarding human rights in the region are analyzed and discussed. The participation of various Asian countries in the international system for the protection of human rights and in various rights instruments is analyzed.

The course examines the relationship between international legislation to protect human rights and national legislation. It also provides an introduction to local and regional debates as well as the work on human rights, with a particular focus on the major differences between different states and NGOs regarding the work and priorities regarding human rights. The course is based on central texts in the international legislation on human rights, but aims to integrate international law theory with social and political science theory and area studies. The course advocates and applies an interdisciplinary approach to the study of human rights, which is reflected in the teaching, choice of subjects and course literature.

CÖSM33 Course syllabus in English (PDF - new window)

CÖSM33 Course plan in Swedish (PDF - new window)

CÖSM34: Development Theories and Issues in Asia (7,5 credits)

The course offers an interdisciplinary study of central theories on how socio-economic development has occurred in today's Asia. The purpose is to give the students tools for theoretically analyzing, discussing, and debating contemporary development issues by critically examining how development is conceptualized - from modernization theories to neomarxist theories, from neoliberalism to post / alternative development - and this with a special focus on historical heritage. and future challenges.

In the course, a critical approach is taken to development theories and their impact on the most urgent areas for development, while illuminating contradictions and convergence points between different theoretical traditions. The course also deals with the development practice and actors as well as the role that NGOs play through detailed case studies that the students discuss and learn from. The course starts with a discussion of the group's "knowledge" and "needs" and makes it possible for the students to focus on a specific question among the many areas the course addresses.

CÖSM34 Course syllabus in English (PDF - new window) 

CÖSM34 Course plan in Swedish (PDF - new window)

CÖSM35: Digital Asia: Cultural, Social and Political Transformations (7,5 credits)

The course studies and analyzes the development and use of different types of ICT (such as the Internet, social media, mobile phones and apps) in the light of the various social, economic, and political systems in Asia. Local development is also analyzed based on regional and global trends and processes. The course highlights the various concepts, theories and methods used to study digital development. This means that the course is based on different fields of science, eg. media and communication science, cultural science, anthropology, political science and area studies with a focus on Asian studies, while applying an interdisciplinary perspective. The course focuses on various themes that take into account factors such as gender, ethnicity, socio-economic status and age. The student is encouraged to apply theoretical and methodological insights from the course literature to their own case studies that illustrate the use of different types of ICT among individuals and groups in different countries. The themes that the course addresses are:

  •     processes of identity creation and socialization through e.g. blogging, gambling, and the use of social media
  •     how ICT affects the emergence of new social networks and groups, eg interest groups, civil society, and citizen journalists
  •     social and political activities, eg how ICT is used by political leaders and in political parties, within new popular movements and during protests
  •     new methods and ethnographic approaches as a result of the development of ICT

CÖSM35 Course syllabus in English (PDF - new window)

CÖSM35 Course plan in Swedish (PDF - new window)


CÖSM36: Social Justice and Social Equality in Asia (7,5 credits)

The aim of the course is to enable the students to ask questions and to design studies on social (in) justice and social (in) equality in Asia that are linked to contemporary theoretical discussions. Contemporary theory has tended to go beyond normative (western) definitions to instead formulate justice and equality as a substantive result of social relations and in relation to globalization, democracy, legitimacy, membership, identity, and so on. The course initially gives a review of contemporary interdisciplinary discussions on social justice and social equality and then proceeds with more in-depth studies where the students read and discuss a selection of leading theoretical works from different fields of science, eg political science, sociology, anthropology, development studies and gender science.

Then the main part of the course follows, where the students study different examples of research in Asian studies in which the theoretical perspectives have been applied and / or questioned or where they may be applicable. In course assignments, group work and seminar discussions, the students practice their ability to critically evaluate how applicable a particular theory is to different empirical examples and their ability to design theoretically relevant studies.

CÖSM36 Course syllabus in English (PDF - new window)

CÖSM36 Course plan in Swedish (PDF - new window)


CÖSM37: Asia in Global and Regional Politics (7,5 credits)

The course studies the international relations in Asia. The course initially reviews the basic theories in international relations and then continues with a brief historical overview with emphasis on the post-war period. The course then focuses on the following main regional issues: power rivalry, identity and historical memory, territorial disputes and non-traditional security issues, such as public diplomacy, soft power, and environmental and food safety. The course is based on the student's active participation and in the course the student develops his / her ability to critically evaluate and analyze theories and use empirical examples from the region.

CÖSM37 Course syllabus in English (PDF - new window)

CÖSM37 Course plan in Swedish (PDF - new window)


4th period

December/January - mandatory course


CÖSM30, Data Collection and Analysis (7,5 credits)

The course deals with the ‘what, how, and why’ questions underpinning successful completion of the master’s thesis—namely
1) what data will needed to answer the research questions?;
2) how will these data be collected and analysed?; and
3) why are these data, research methods, and analytical tools the most appropriate for the study?

Students engage is a series of practical exercises aimed at helping them to organise and plan for their data collection and analysis stages of their research. They are then required to produce a detailed outline of their research plan—including specifics about data, methods, and modes of analysis—which will be peer reviewed and form the basis for group seminar discussions. The aim of the course is to finalise the preliminary research plan, and put it to work.

CÖSM30 Course syllabus in English (to be published shortly)
CÖSM30 Course plan in Swedish (to be published shortly


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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