Political Science | Comparative Politics: Issues in Chinese Politics
Y657 | 26428 | Kennedy


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.