POL S 442 A: Government and Politics of China

Meeting Time: 
MW 2:30pm - 4:20pm
GLD 322
Joint Sections: 
JSIS A 408 A
Susan Whiting
Susan H. Whiting

Syllabus Description:

The full syllabus is here.

Course Description

   China is the second largest economy in the world and a growing global power; at the same time, it faces considerable governance challenges at home and an increasingly wary international community abroad. This course will help you understand the rise of China. It provides an in-depth analysis of the political history, contemporary institutions, and governance issues facing China today. It highlights several major themes from the twentieth century to the present: the role of nationalism, the changing place of markets and private property, and the shifting penetration of the state from the center to the grassroots. The first part of the course addresses China’s modern political history and provides an essential foundation for subsequent topics. It addresses the collapse of imperial China in social and ideological terms, the formation of political parties, revolutionary change, state-building, the planned economy, and the re-introduction of markets. The second part of the course focuses on the political institutions that govern China today, including the 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 part of the course uses the foundations of political history and political institutions to analyze crucial challenges facing China today, including labor and environmental conditions, local aspects of trade and technology, inequality and social welfare, minority rights, contemporary nationalism, and newly assertive local identities.


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)
Writing (W)
Last updated: 
October 2, 2021 - 12:27am