Studying Southeast Asia in Washington D.C.

Resources for students interested in the study of Southeast Asian politics, economics, history, language, and culture

  • September 18, 2020
  • 9:33 am

This resource provides a snapshot overview of the programs, academic courses, and language classes that are relevant for the study of Southeast Asia and available from universities in the Washington, DC area. It will be updated each semester.

Prospective students may wonder, why study Southeast Asia in Washington, DC?

  1. Washington is home to world-class colleges and universities that offer undergraduate and graduate-level courses in Southeast Asia.
  2. Washington is the center for U.S. policy making on political, economic, trade and security issues concerning Southeast Asia.
  3. Washington hosts major think tanks, media headquarters, non-government organizations. strategic consultancies, and trade associations focused on Southeast Asia affairs.
  4. Global corporations doing business in Southeast Asia maintain corporate offices to be close to centers of power in Washington.
  5. Washington is a diplomatic center for Southeast Asia affairs where foreign embassy officials and visiting foreign leaders meet with U.S. policy makers in the State, Defense and Commerce Departments and the U.S. Congress, and with scholars at Washington academic and research institutions.

It’s all here – in Washington, DC!


American UniversitySchool of International Service
Georgetown UniversitySchool of Foreign Service
George Washington UniversityElliott School of International Affairs
Johns Hopkins UniversitySchool of Advanced International Studies
Johns Hopkins UniversityKrieger School of Arts & Sciences

Fall 2020 Courses

American University School of International ServiceModern South and Southeast AsiaExamines how we frame, discuss and understand South and Southeast Asia, including the critical events, philosophies and institutions that have set the two regions apart from other regions of Asia.
American University School of International ServiceEnvironmental Politics in AsiaSeminar focused on environmental politics. Covers global, regional and local challenges.
American University School of International ServiceGovernance, Development and Security in AsiaFocuses on comparative study of East Asian developmental states and export-led growth models of other Asian states.
American University School of International ServiceThe Religious Heritage of AsiaSurveys basic features of major Asian religions.
Georgetown University School of Foreign ServiceLaw of the Sea & Politics/Security in East AsiaAims to give students an insight into the politics and security of the region’s seas, and their relation to international law
Georgetown University School of Foreign ServiceAsia’s Nationalisms Will explore various advocates for nationalism in Asia, as well as evolution and reframing of nationalism across Asia
Georgetown University School of Foreign ServiceChinese Military PowerExplores the origins, transformation and role of the PLA. Focus on contemporary development of the PLA under Deng Xiaoping following border war with Vietnam.
Georgetown University School of Foreign ServiceIllicit Economies in AsiaIntroduces students to dynamics and history of how countries deal with clandestine flows of goods, people and services across borders. Includes topics such as narcotics, illegal finance and disease in South, Southeast and East Asia.
Georgetown University School of Foreign ServiceImperialism/Colonialism in AsiaIntroduction to recent studies in imperialism and colonialism in South Asia, with focus on the Japanese Empire.
Georgetown University School of Foreign ServiceTransnational Migration & Citizenship in East AsiaExplores challenges that increasing transnational migration, combined with advances in transportation and communication technologies, has posed on to the concept of citizenship
Georgetown University School of Foreign ServiceResearch Seminar: Will China Dominate Asia?Will examine responses to China in the region in order to understand the political, military and economic dynamics in Asia
George Washington University Elliot School of International AffairsEquitable Development in Southeast AsiaA multidisciplinary course exploring how development has unfolded in the region, and how states and communities have responded
Details of courses accessible at:
George Washington University Elliot School of International AffairsIndo-Pacific Security ChallengesA study of the dynamics that have transformed the Indo-Pacific region into one of the most populous and important regions of the world 
Details of courses accessible at:
Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International StudiesDemystifying Indonesia: The Political Economy of an Important Southeast Asia StateExamines dynamics of power, business, politics and economic growth in Indonesia. 
Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International StudiesIntroduction to Economic Growth and Development of Southeast AsiaDesigned to familiarize students with Southeast Asia’s rise post-World War II, and its integration with the global economy
Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International StudiesAsian Maritime Interests and StrategiesOverview of maritime interests of various countries, assesses each country’s approach to conflict resolution
Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International StudiesChinese Foreign Policy Analyzes the evolution of Chinese foreign policy
Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International StudiesChina’s National Security PerspectivesExamines Chinese perspectives on national security issues such as the North Korean nuclear program, cross-strait relations, energy security and sea-lane protection and cybersecurity.
Johns Hopkins University Krieger School of Arts and SciencesEconomic Growth: Asia, Africa and BeyondOffers introduction to theories for successful economic development versus stagnation. Specific Asian case studies include China, India and the ‘East Asian Tigers’

Language Study

LanguageSchool + LinkLanguage Levels
IndonesianJohns Hopkins University – School of Advanced International StudiesNovice Low, Novice High, Intermediate Low, Intermediate Mid I, Optional Post-Proficiency Courses
Embassy of IndonesiaBeginner, Intermediate
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