East Asian Languages and Cultures | Contemporary Chinese Politics
E390 | 26941 | Kennedy, Scott


This course carries Culture Studies credit
This course carries COLL S&H distribution credit
This course meets with POLS-Y333 on same topic
This course open to undergraduates only

There is a fierce debate amongst observers of China’s domestic
political scene: Is the Chinese state’s ability to effectively
govern growing or declining? Either trend has critical implications
for the rest of the world. A strong Chinese state, for better or
worse, will have greater influence over its neighbors and in
international institutions. A weak Chinese state will not be able to
sustain economic growth, protect the environment, or manage disputes
among conflicting interests, with clear negative spillover effects
for the world. This broad question will be considered through a
discussion of four topics: 1) Trends in elite politics; 2) The
evolving nature of the policymaking process; 3) Political activism
of average Chinese; and 4) The relative likelihood of continued
Communist Party rule, democratization, or collapse in the near
future. To better understand China, we will regularly make
comparisons with politics elsewhere. We use secondary readings by
outside observers, primary documents by political insiders, media
reports, and film documentaries. The requirements include 60-90
pages of reading per week, 3 short papers, a final exam, and
consistent attendance and participation in class. No previous study
of Chinese history or politics or knowledge of the Chinese language
is required