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Regular version of the site

Contemporary Chinese Politics

2021/2022
Academic Year
ENG
Instruction in English
4
ECTS credits
Course type:
Elective course
When:
4 year, 3 module

Instructor

Course Syllabus

Abstract

This course is tailored for students majoring in “Political Science and World Politics”, whose regional focus is BRICS states and who want to learn more about contemporary Chinese politics. The aim of this course is to familiarize students with political development of the PRC after 1978. First, the course focuses on domestic politics in China: major political institutions and their evolution, the impact of politics on the trajectory of economic development, role and structure of political elites, policy-making process, public participation in political life and political regime transformations. Students also discuss selected policy areas, e.g. ethnic, social and economic policies. Then the course looks into foreign policy of the PRC, discusses China’s changing role in Asia and the world, in particular its Belt and Road Initiative, relations with other East Asian countries, participation in major international organizations. The course not only provides factual knowledge about politics in China, but also offers conceptual perspectives to study it, such as political culture, political elites, political economy, political regime and democratization, etc.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • To give students an overview of the major changes and transformations in Chinese politics since 1978
  • To acquaint students with the major political institutions and policy-making process in the PRC, the basic trends of political elites’ and public’s participation in Chinese politics
  • To develop students' skills in application of theoretical models to the analysis of political processes in the PRC
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Analyses political processes in China through the prism of elite politics.
  • Applies political economy perspective to the analysis of Chinese economics since 1978.
  • Applies the concepts of political culture and political participations to the analysis of Chinese politics.
  • Assesses PRC’s diaspora policy and its efforts in attracting high quality talent to return from abroad.
  • Defines the role of trade and foreign investments in China’s foreign policy.
  • Describes China’s role in multilateral institutions and global governance.
  • Describes structure of political system in China, key state (government, legislature, judiciary) and CCP institutions and their functions.
  • Evaluates the risks to China of its dependence on oil imports.
  • Explains different approaches of the PRC to different territorial disputes.
  • Explains resilience of authoritarian regime in the PRC.
  • Explains the changing role of ideology in Chinese politics.
  • Explains the impact of various domestic forces and actors on China’s foreign policy.
  • Gives examples of collective actions and protests in China.
  • Is familiar with analytical approaches to Chinese politics.
  • Is familiar with the role of provincial, municipal and local governments in Chinese politics.
  • Knows key events in China’s political development 1949-1978.
  • Knows major facts about Chinese political elites: characteristics and types, selection, key strategies for success.
  • Knows the background and contents of “One country, two systems”.
  • Traces evolution of China’s foreign policy interests (1978-2020).
  • Knows the typical features of policy process in China, role of society and local governments in this process, applies this knowledge to the analysis of particular policies development.
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Part1. Introduction
  • Part 2. Political institutions
  • Part 3. Civil Society and Political Participation
  • Part 4. Policy-Making and Selected Policies
  • Part 5. China and the World
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Book review
    For this assignment, students need to read a book from the list provided by the instructor and write a short book review (1000-1500 words). The students should sign up for books to review during week 2 of the course. The review is due by the week 8 of the course (5.03.2021). If students cannot find the book in the library, they should contact the instructor. Students should include three following points in the book review: 1. Summarize the major themes of the book and the author’s chief argument, evaluate their importance and novelty in comparison to other existing literature 2. Describe and evaluate the author’s methodology, analysis and the evidence provided to support his or her argument 3. Conclude by saying how significant author’s contribution to studies of Chinese politics and who will benefit from reading this book. Please, respect academic norms and avoid plagiarism (more about it can be found here: https://www.hse.ru/en/studyspravka/plagiat). Book reviews submitted after deadline are graded with “0”, unless documental proof is provided that a student was not able to submit the assignment on time due to illness
  • non-blocking In-class participation
    Lecturer evaluates students’ progress, including comprehension of lecture materials and required readings, as well as contribution to discussions. The preliminary discussion topics for each seminar can be found in the syllabus, but the instructor may also ask any other questions related to the lectures material and required readings. For each seminar, there are 1-2 required readings and the greater part of discussion will be around these texts. The list of required readings is distributed in the beginning of the course. The final grade is calculated as an average grade achieved during all seminars. If a student is not able to attend the seminar due to illness or any other legitimate reason (relevant document should be provided within a week after this student is back to class), he/she is not graded for that seminar. In all other cases students are graded with 0 for the seminar they have missed.
  • non-blocking Group presentation
    Depending on the number of students, presentations will be conducted in groups by 2-4 students. The time limit for presentation is 20 minutes and should not be exceeded. Students are expected to read literature recommended in the syllabus, as well as to search for extra sources, especially in order to get most recent information on the topic of their presentation. If a student is not able to be present at the seminar due to illness or any other legitimate reason (relevant document should be provided within a week this student is back to class), he/she should approach lecturers to be assigned with alternative task. The presentation cannot be moved to another seminar, other students in his/her group should present without the missing student.
  • non-blocking Exam
    The exam is a written test with 20 questions of different type: multiple choice, questions with open answer, etc. The test covers the materials from lectures and mandatory readings of all the course content. The test duration is 1 hour. Еhe final exam will be held online in Zoom and Microsoft.Forms. The student must have access to the Microsoft.Forms using his (her) own student email, and have a camera and a microphone. The students should log in to Zoom 5 minutes before the start of the exam, switch on the camera. Then the students receive a link to the test they must complete within 1 hour. The students should keep their cameras on during the entire examination. The short-term disconnection is 3 minutes, the long-term disconnection is 4 minutes and more. In case of long-term the student may not continue the examination.
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • 2021/2022 3rd module
    0.25 * Book review + 0.3 * Exam + 0.2 * Group presentation + 0.25 * In-class participation
Bibliography

Bibliography

Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Patey, L. (2017). Learning in Africa: China’s Overseas Oil Investments in Sudan and South Sudan. Journal of Contemporary China, 26(107), 756–768. https://doi.org/10.1080/10670564.2017.1305489
  • Shambaugh, D. L. (2013). China Goes Global : The Partial Power. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=nlebk&AN=563818
  • Shih, V. C., & Keller, F. B. (2016). Moving beyond Factions: Using Social Network Analysis to Uncover Patronage Networks among Chinese Elites. Journal of East Asian Studies, 16(1), 17–41. https://doi.org/10.1017/jea.2015.3
  • William A. Joseph. (2014). Politics in China : An Introduction, Second Edition: Vol. Second edition. Oxford University Press.

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Chung, J. H. (2016). China’s Local Governance in Perspective: Instruments of Central Government Control. China Journal, 75(1), 38–60. https://doi.org/10.1086/683210
  • Fravel, M. T. (2005). Regime Insecurity and International Cooperation: Explaining China’s Compromises in Territorial Disputes. International Security, 30(2), 46–83. https://doi.org/10.1162/016228805775124534
  • Friedman, E. (2014). Alienated Politics: Labour Insurgency and the Paternalistic State in China. Development & Change, 45(5), 1001–1018. https://doi.org/10.1111/dech.12114
  • Heilmann, S. (2008). From Local Experiments to National Policy: The Origins of China’s Distinctive Policy Process. China Journal, 59, 1–30. https://doi.org/10.1086/tcj.59.20066378
  • Liu, H., & van Dongen, E. (2016). China’s Diaspora Policies as a New Mode of Transnational Governance. Journal of Contemporary China, 25(102), 805–821. https://doi.org/10.1080/10670564.2016.1184894
  • Weiss, J. C. (2013). Authoritarian Signaling, Mass Audiences, and Nationalist Protest in China. International Organization, 1, 1.
  • Yee, A. (2011). Maritime territorial disputes in East Asia : a comparative analysis of the South China Sea and the East China Sea / Andy Yee.
  • Yongshun Cai. (2008). Social Conflicts and Modes of Action in China. China Journal, 59, 89–109. https://doi.org/10.1086/tcj.59.20066381
  • YUEN, S. (2015). Hong Kong After the Umbrella Movement: An uncertain future for “One Country Two Systems.” China Perspectives, 1, 49–53.
  • Zhao, S. (2008). China’s Global Search for Energy Security: cooperation and competition in Asia-Pacific. Journal of Contemporary China, 17(55), 207–227. https://doi.org/10.1080/10670560701809460