The unit examines the phenomenon of colonialism and neo-colonialism since the 19th century in a range of regions, but including that of Southeast Asia. The unit introduces theoretical frameworks linked to the analysis of colonialism, neo-colonialism and the shift from the former to the latter. It asks students to apply these frameworks in the consideration of specific case studies. Through doing so, students gain an understanding of the purposes of colonial and neo-colonial exploitation, the forms of the power relationships involved in such exploitation, the varied responses employed in opposition to such exploitation, and some of the contemporary challenges that we face as a result of such acts of exploitation. The unit helps students to refine and employ skills associated with empirical and normative analysis.

Unit details

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Students enrolled in course code ABAB and LBLA must complete at least 72 credit points (equivalent to 6 units) in Year 1 before undertaking any Level 2 units.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Map and critique the main theoretical debates about colonialism and neo-colonialism;  
  2. Survey the history of colonialism and neo-colonialism;  
  3. Investigate the ecological ramifications of colonialism and neo-colonialism; and  
  4. Reflect critically on the readings and discussions and contribute, to the debate on relations between the Global North and South.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Assignment Plan/bibliographic exercise 20%
Essay Major essay 45%
Review In class test 35%

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