This course offers a conceptual framework for understanding China that highlights the intersection of politics and economics. It shows that rather than develop into a full blown market economy, state and party officials at all levels of the political system maintain significant influence in economic development. Such a “political” economy has had both positive and negative outcomes, which we will assess in detail. We also look at the origins, views, backgrounds and relations among leaders, and how those leaders make decisions about public policy and try to get those decisions implemented down through the system. China has few formal institutions through which citizens can participate in politics, but we will study the strategies Chinese people use to try to influence their leaders’ decisions. Finally, we assess China’s future and whether rapid economic development and the emergence of a vibrant middle class will push China towards greater democracy or whether the single party system is likely to survive into the future. The course is a quite useful background for Chinese Politics Part 2 – China and the World.
Course Overview video: https://youtu.be/7FpNL67EbE4
Orientation and Module 1: Models of the Chinese Political System and the Structure of the Chinese Party/State
Before you start with the content for Module 1, please watch the Course Overview, review the Assignments and Grading page, and introduce yourself to other learners who will be studying this course with you.
Module 2: Elite Politics in China
Module 3: Policy Process in China
Module 4: Understanding Societal Engagement in Politics in China
Module 5: China’s Domestic and International Political Economy
Module 6: China’s Future: Democratization or “Flexible Authoritarianism”
Final Exam and Course Evaluation
Now is time to test your understanding on the entire course. Take the final exam and complete the post-course survey. Your valuable feedback will certainly help us improve future iterations of the course.