The Vietnam War and the Cold War in Southeast Asia
Value: One unit
Dr Chi-Kwan Mark
Weekly meeting of 2 hours
3-hour exam (70%), best two of three coursework essays (20%), oral presentation (10%)
This course examines the origins, development and decline of the Cold War and ‘hot wars’ in Southeast Asia between 1945 and c.1979. After the end of the Second World War, the nationalist struggles for independence in Vietnam, the Philippines, Burma, Indonesia, Malaya and Singapore resulted in the creation of new nation states. The global contest between capitalism and communism caused the United States and China to intervene in Indochina, with devastating consequences. This course explores how the Cold War between the superpowers interacted with nationalism, decolonization and regionalism in Southeast Asia. While the American roles and policies in Vietnam will form the bulk of the content, it will also consider the perspectives and agencies of Southeast Asian states as well as of the great powers such as China, France and the Soviet Union. This course concerns not only warfare and diplomacy, but also addresses such themes as nation-building, economic development, race and modernization.