POL S 442 A: Government and Politics of China

Summer Term: 
Meeting Time: 
MTWThF 12:00pm - 2:10pm
* *
Joint Sections: 
JSIS A 408 A
Tan Zhao

Syllabus Description:

Course Description:

POLI S 442 Syllabus (updated)-1.pdf

This is a course on the domestic politics of China since the revolution of 1949 and will help you to understand the rise and resilience of China. It provides an in-depth analysis of the political history, political reforms, contemporary institutions, and governance issues facing China today. It highlights several major themes from the twentieth century to the present, including the role of nationalism, the changing place of markets and private property, the promotion of elections at the grassroots, and the shifting penetration of the state from the center to the local. In the first part of the course we will concentrate on China’s modern political history, including the revolution, the socialist economic and social transformation, the planned economy and the re-introduction of markets. The second part of the course will focus on the political institutions that govern China today. In particular, it addresses organization of the party-state, how the state controls its own agents, how it uses elections, and how it attempts to control civil society and the media. The final partof the course will use the foundations of political history and political institutions to analyze governing challenges facing China today, including labor and environmental conditions, inequality and social welfare and contemporary nationalism.


Learning Objectives:

In Chinese Politics and Comparative Politics: political history; nationalism; political institutions; civil society; media politics; state and society relation; introduction to social science methods



Exam 1 (30%)

Exam 2 (30%)

Short Response Papers (20%)

Participation (20%)


 Course Materials:

Journal articles and E-book chapters available in the UW Library E-Journals collection are marked “full text online.” Additional readings are available through Canvas.


Catalog Description: 
Post-1949 government and politics, with emphasis on problems of political change in modern China. Offered: jointly with JSIS A 408.
Department Requirements: 
Comparative Politics Field
Political Economy Option
GE Requirements: 
Individuals and Societies (I&S)
Last updated: 
April 24, 2020 - 9:05pm