The Autumn 2017 syllabus is here.
This graduate-level course surveys the latest developments in the field of Chinese politics. The syllabus reflects two themes and three trends in the field. Two overarching themes are evident in the study of Chinese politics today: explaining economic growth and authoritarian resilience. In light of China’s unorthodox economic institutions, political scientists seek explanations for China’s three-and-a-half decades of sustained economic growth with reference to political features of the regime. As in comparative politics more broadly, the resilience of authoritarian regimes in the twenty-first century poses another puzzle, particularly in light of late-twentieth-century expectations of the “end of history.” Issues in Chinese politics as diverse as elections, media, civil society, welfare provision, and labor politics are framed today in terms of authoritarian resilience.
Three underlying trends are evident in the field: first, the study of Chinese politics is increasingly engaged with general comparative theory. Second, the field is characterized by improved access to data and methodological diversification. Third, the boundaries among disciplines are increasingly blurred, uniting the work of economists and sociologists, among scholars of other disciplines, with that of political scientists.
The course examines these themes and trends through weekly readings and discussion. Course requirements include participation in seminar, short memos in response to the readings, and a final paper.
Course materials include research monographs available through UW E-Journals and E-books as well as the UW Book Store.