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Regular version of the site
Master 2020/2021

Post-Totalitarian China and Political Economy of Transition

Area of studies: Asian and African Studies
When: 2 year, 1 module
Mode of studies: offline
Open to: students of one campus
Instructors: Mikhail Karpov
Master’s programme: Socioeconomic and Political Development of Modern Asia
Language: English
ECTS credits: 3

Course Syllabus

Abstract

The course has its focus on the market reforms and socio-political restructuring in the People’s Republic of China against the background of the history and outcomes of market reforms introduced in East-European former socialist countries and the USSR in the second part of the XX century. It is impossible to understand adequately the “Chinese reform miracle” outside the context of socialist systems’ internal evolutions in other countries. The course elaborates on the common systemic features of Marxist-Leninist “state socialist system” as well as on the “Chinese characteristics” of its version in the PRC. Students will get the knowledge of World historiography of these subjects, the concepts of “reforms” in socialist systems, their scope, dynamics, structure, potential and outcomes. Special attention is devoted to substantial structural differences between “totalitarianism” and “authoritarianism” and the concept of “post-totalitarian society” as a genetic offspring of “classical totalitarianism” thus being different from “authoritarianism”. Course elaborates on political economy of socio-economic and political change in “state socialist systems” with special focus on the constellation of pro-reform and counter-reform systemic players and the differences of this constellation from that one in classical “authoritarian” models. Another special focus of the course – political economy of financial sector reforms in the “reforming” socialist countries (especially – today’s China) and systemic reasons for prolonged macroeconomic instability going hand in hand with the attempts to bring more market coordination into the state socialist economy.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • The learning objective of the course is to provide students with essential knowledge of political economy of the socialist systems and their forced transitions to more market-oriented systems with examples from former Soviet Union, East-Central Europe and – the focus of the course – People’s Republic of China
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Identifies what is “totalitarianism” and “authoritarianism”.
  • Identifies what Leninist one-party state is.
  • Students must know state socialist systems (countries) which introduced market reforms under communist party rule.
  • Seizes the basic facts about history, structure and dynamics of market reforms in the People’s Republic of China.
  • Explains the difference between the concept of “reform” and “revolution”.
  • Explains basic facts about history, structure and dynamics of state-socialist market reforms in the former USSR and its satellites.
  • Seizes the structure of constellation of socio-political players and forces engaged in the processes of state-socialist market reforms.
  • Explains the main schools of former Western Soviet studies (“Sovietology”) and current trend in World China studies with regard to market transition in PRC.
  • Explainsthe concept of “post-totalitarian” society and its differences from classical “authoritarian” models.
  • Explains the role and place of financial sector reforms in state socialist systems and its defining role in overall systemic transition to market and democracy.
  • Seizes main characteristic features of political economy of state socialism.
  • Explains the reasons, logic, structure and dynamics of market reforms in state socialist systems and classical “authoritarian” systems.
  • Explains key characteristics of “post-totalitarian” society and its differences from classical “authoritarian” models.
  • Gets skills of independent analytical and research work with the English language literature on Soviet and China Studies.
  • Is skilled in making English language presentations on the issues of political economy of market transition in China and reforms in other state socialist countries.
  • Gets skills in analyzing and forecasting the current state of affairs and possible tendencies of future development Chinese market oriented reforms.
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Totalitarian and Authoritarian Systems. The Concept of Leninist One-party State.
  • Soviet Studies and China Studies on Establishment, Evolution and Reform in State Socialist Systems. The Concept of “Post-Totalitarian Society”.
  • Attempts of Market Transitions in the Countries of the “Soviet Block”
  • Historical Dynamics of Market Reforms in the People’s Republic of China
  • Market Reforms in Totalitarian and Authoritarian Systems: What is Common, What is Different?
  • The Role of Financial Reforms in Market Transitions of Totalitarian and Authoritarian Systems.
  • Constellation of Systemic Actors in Totalitarian and Authoritarian Market Reforms Models. Reasons for Chronic Macro Economic Problems in Reformed State Socialism.
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Attendance and Class Participation
  • non-blocking Presentation
  • non-blocking Group Discussion and readings
  • non-blocking Exam
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (1 module)
    0.2 * Attendance and Class Participation + 0.6 * Exam + 0.1 * Group Discussion and readings + 0.1 * Presentation
Bibliography

Bibliography

Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Baizhu Chen. (2019). Financial Market Reform In China : Progress, Problems, And Prospects. [N.p.]: Routledge. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=2258023
  • Financial theory and corporate policy, Copeland T. E., Weston J. F., 2005
  • Stalin, J. (2017). Leninism : Volume Two. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1511182
  • Stalin, J., Paul, E., & Paul, C. (2017). Leninism : Volume One. London: Routledge. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1511240

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Coady, D., & Wang, L. (2000). Incentives, allocation and labour-market reforms during transition: the case of urban China, 1986-1990. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.E1978B7
  • Levant, A. (2009). Introduction: Rethinking Leninism. Socialist Studies, 5(2), 36–40. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=poh&AN=46816603
  • Stock, T. (2018). From Soviet Origins to Chuch’e: Marxism-Leninism in the History of North Korean Ideology, 1945-1989. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.8AAA512D