East Asian Languages and Cultures | Seminar in East Asian Studies
E600 | 26245 | Kennedy

TOPIC:  Topics in Chinese Politics

This seminar provides an indepth introduction to the scholarly study
of contemporary Chinese politics with the aim of preparing students
to conduct independent research. Some important questions we
consider include: Have China’s political elites institutionalized
the process by which they interact with each other and select new
leaders? What are the respective roles of elites, the bureaucracy,
and non-state actors in the policy-making process? What factors
shape protests and participation by China’s workers, peasants,
ethnic minorities, and other social groups? How has the political
culture of ordinary Chinese changed, if at all, over the past two
decades? How likely is it that China will democratize within the
next decade, or is the Communist Party strengthening its hold on
power? We will regularly draw on comparisons between China and
elsewhere, and we will consider China in light of general theories
and critique these theories in light of China. Requirements include
an average of 150-200 pages per week of reading, a willingness to
engage in discussion and debate, two short “big think” papers, and a
slightly longer research design paper.