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Globalization, Economy and Politics in Asia

The course focuses primarily on India, China and Southeast Asia and is covers the changes in the international economy that began in the late 1980s and links these to national political discussions.

The Indian part starts with the liberalization of the Indian economy in 1991 and then follows the economic development until today. In parallel, the political processor that partially preceded economic liberalization but which then appeared along side it. The Chinese example starts with the movement for increased cultural and political freedom that gained momentum in the 1980s and which ended in the military massacre of the demonstrator at Tiananmen Square in Beijing in 1989. The successful authoritarian reaction and the subsequent strong economic growth have been used as arguments for questioning previously established links between advanced capitalism, modernization and democratization.

Southeast Asia, too, has undergone an explosive economic development and over less than a generation, a majority of the countries of the have rised from poverty. By 2050, Indonesia is predicted to be the fourth largest economy and Myanmar is now the fastest growing economy in the world. As in China, the rapid economic development has also led to problems and challenges, for example a dramatic increase in inequalities, growing environmental problems and social insecurity. With the exception of Indonesia, the region is dominated by a variety of more or less authoritarian political regimes, while simultaneously there is an, at least partial, pluralistic development at the social level. Seen from a theoretical perspectives, which have developed primarily from empirical studies of the West, much of today's development appears to be difficult to understand and contradictory. The course intends to address a new and important area of research on the development and conditions of authoritarian regimes, which partly challenges previous conceptions. How can we understand states, political participation, representation and civil society in more or less authoritarian contexts? What forces challenge or defend authoritarian policy?

  • Course structure

    Teaching format

    The teaching consists of lectures and seminars.


    The course is examined by an oral examination and a take-home exam.

  • Schedule

    The schedule will be available no later than one month before the start of the course. We do not recommend print-outs as changes can occur. At the start of the course, your department will advise where you can find your schedule during the course.
  • Course literature

    Note that the course literature can be changed up to two months before the start of the course.
  • Contact