POLIS 2131 - South Asia: Conflict, Politics and Economic Change

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2015

This course examines one of the most populous, diverse and politically and economically dynamic regions in the world. Focussing primarily on India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, the course analyses the key domestic challenges and developments facing these countries and the ways in which these domestic issues affect their regional and international strategic calculations. Among the topics to be looked at are: democracy and authoritarianism; caste, class, region and politics; religious nationalism; terrorism; nuclear weapons; insurgencies and separatist movements; and poverty and economic growth. These issues will be explored at both the conceptual and policy levels to give students a solid theoretical and empirical grounding in the study of South Asia. Among the key questions to be explored are: why has democracy flourished in India but not Pakistan; what explains the rise of religious nationalism in South Asia and what impact has it had on foreign policy; what accounts for the rise of Maoism in India and Nepal; what has driven India's economic growth and have the benefits of this growth been evenly spread; how is India negotiating its rise to power; why has the Kashmir conflict been so intractable; have nuclear weapons increased or decreased South Asia's strategic stability and what are the causes and consequences of Sri Lanka's civil conflict?

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code POLIS 2131
    Course South Asia: Conflict, Politics and Economic Change
    Coordinating Unit Politics and International Relations
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites At least 12 units of level 1 Arts courses
    Incompatible POLI 2131
    Assessment 1000 word take home test (20%), tutorial attendance and participation (20%), online test (15%), 2500 word essay (45%)
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Priya Chacko

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    1.    Have a good understanding of the historical and contemporary events and issues facing the countries of South Asia, defined as comprising of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal.

    2.    Have an awareness of the scholarly debates, concepts and approaches related to the study of various aspects of South Asian politics.

    3.    Have high-quality skills in researching and writing academic essays on the politics of South Asia (These skills will include: pursuing and managing independent research, locating information, critically engaging with the literature, assessing conflicting or different arguments, synthesising information in a clear and logical way).

    4.     Be able to give clear and cogent oral presentations, participate in seminar discussions and problem-solving activities.

    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1,2
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 3.4
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 3,4
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 4
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 3,4
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1,2,3,4
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 3,4
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 1,2,3,4
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Online lectures supported by tutorials developing material covered in lectures.


    No information currently available.

    Learning Activities Summary

    No information currently available.

  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    1.    Tutorial activities
    20% of total course mark
    Learning outcome: 1,2,4  

    2.    Take home test
    20% of total course mark
    Summative Due date: TBA
    Learning outcome: 1,2

    3.   Multiple choice test - online
    15% of total course mark
    Due date: TBA
    Learning outcome: 1,2

    4.    Final essay
    45% of total mark
    Due date: TBA
    Learning outcome: 1,2,3
    Assessment Detail

    No information currently available.


    No information currently available.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.