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Regular version of the site
Bachelor 2021/2022

Chinese Politics Part 1 – China and Political Science

Type: Elective course (Asian and African Studies)
Area of studies: Asian and African Studies
When: 4 year, 1 module
Mode of studies: distance learning
Open to: students of all HSE University campuses
Instructors: Elena Soboleva
Language: English
ECTS credits: 3

Course Syllabus

Abstract

This course is tailored for students majoring in Asian studies, who specialize in political and economic development of East Asia. The aim of this course is to familiarize students with political development of the PRC after 1978. In particular the course focuses on such topics, as the impact of politics on the trajectory of economic development in the PRC, role and structure of political elites, policy-making process, public participation in political life and political regime transformations in China. 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. The prerequisites for the this course include courses “Introduction to Political science” and “History of East and Southeast Asia,“ English language of B2 level. The course is a useful background for “Chinese Politics Part 2 – China and the World”. The course is conducted in a blended format. Students study the lecture materials online themselves at home and discuss selected issues during the seminars in the classroom.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • To give students an overview of the major changes and transformations in Chinese politics since 1978.
  • To give students an overview of the major political institutions and policy-making process in the PRC.
  • To acquaint students with 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

  • Able to work with information related to politics and governance in the PRC: find, evaluate, systematize and use information necessary for solving scientific and professional problems from various sources.
  • Describes major political institutions in China, their functions and formation principles.
  • Prepares scientific and analytical reports, reviews, presentations, information briefs and explanatory notes on the issues of political development in the PRC.
  • Uses the conceptual apparatus of political science, critically analyses the information related to Chinese politics.
  • Understands and analyses significant political problems and processes occurring in the PRC.
  • Communicates in English on topics related to politics and governance in the PRC.
  • Applies political economy perspective to the analysis of Chinese politics since 1978.
  • Describes the main patterns and trends in political regime dynamics in the PRC.
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Online component
    The discipline is taught in a blended format. For modules 1-6 students have to self-study online course “Chinese Politics Part 1 – China and Political Science” in English language on the Coursera Platform [coursera.org] https://www.coursera.org/learn/chinesepolitics1. The course developer is the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
  • Module 1: Models of the Chinese Political System and the Structure of the Chinese Party/State
    1.1: Categorizing the System through Models 1.2: Bureaucratic Model and Chinese Politics 1.3: The Structure of the Political System 1.4: Key Party Structures 1.5: Government and the Party 1.6: China’s Legislature 1.7: The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and China’s Military 1.8: CCP Controls the Judiciary Uses models to categorize Chinese political system and its transformations Describes structure of political system in China, key state (government, legislature, judiciary) and CCP institutions and their functions. Seminar 1: the Structure of the Chinese Party/State. Preliminary topics for discussion: 1) What does the Constitution of the PRC (1982) say about organization of state institutions? What was changed with 2018 amendments? 2) Please, describe major state institutions in China, their functions and obligations. 3) What is the role of the National People’s Congress in Chinese politics? How has it evolved? 4) What role does the CCP play in Chinese politics? 5) What else (besides amendments to the Constitution) has changed in the structure of Chinese Party/State under Xi Jinping?
  • Module 2: Elite Politics in China
    2.1: Elite Politics affects Economics and Business 2.2: Leadership Values, Structures of Conflict and Political Stability 2.3: Key Strategies for Elite Success and Elite Mobility in China 2.4: Selection of Leaders: What do we know? 2.5: Retired Leaders and the Succession Process 2.6: New Leaders Bring Policy Changes 2.7: Characteristics of Chinese Middle-level Leadership 2.8: Generations among Chinese Elites 2.9: International Experience of Top Chinese Leaders Analyses political processes in China through the prism of elite politics Knows major facts about Chinese political elites: characteristics and types, selection, key strategies for success.
  • Module 3: Policy Process in China
    3.1: Policy Process in Chinese Politics 3.2: The Politics of Policy Making in China 3.3: Selecting Policy Alternatives 3.4: Making the Decision 3.5: Social Interests and Policy Making 3.6: Policy Implementation through Campaigns 3.7: Local Response, Unintended Consequences and Policy Adjustment 3.8: Policy Failures and Successes 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. Seminar 2. Policy Process in China. Preliminary topics for discussion: 1) How is policy-making process organized in China? 2) What role do campaigns play in policy process? 3) What role does society play in policy-making process? 4) What role do localities and local leaders play in policy-making process? 5) How has environmental and public health policies in China evolved and why?
  • Module 4: Understanding Societal Engagement in Politics in China
    4.1: Political Culture in China 4.2: Political Culture as Empirically Measurable Variable 4.3: Political Culture in Rural China 4.4: Political Participation 4.5: Details on the Modes of Participation 4.6: Group Activity and Group Politics 4.7: Collective Action and Protest 4.8: Key Social Groups who Participate in Politics 4.9: The Modes of Participation Is familiar with the concepts of political culture and political participations Knows ways to measure political culture Applies the concepts of political culture and political participations to the analysis of Chinese politics Gives examples of collective actions and protests in China. Seminar 3: Political participation in China.Preliminary topics for discussion: 1) What are the major reasons for protests in China? 2) What social groups are most active protestors? 3) What are their major modes of action (illegal and legal)? 4) How do Chinese authorities deal with protests? 5) Why have Chinese authorities tolerated some kinds of protests?
  • Module 5: China’s Domestic and International Political Economy
    5.1: Six Components of China's Political Economy 5.2: China’s Political Economy on the Eve of Reform 5.3: Impact of Reforms on China’s Political Economy 5.4: The Impact of Reform on Rural Income 5.5: China’s Township and Village Enterprises (TVEs), 1984-1994 5.6: Role of the Public Sector in China's Political Economy 5.7: Central-Local Financial Relations 5.9: Dilemmas of a “Trading State” 5.10: Chinese Firms “Going Out” Applies political economy perspective to the analysis of Chinese politics since 1978 Is familiar with typical features of China’s political economy before and after reforms (1978), local-central financial relations. Defines dilemmas of a “trading state”.
  • Module 6: China’s Future: Democratization or “Flexible Authoritarianism”
    6.1: China’s Future 6.2: Scenario 1: Political Development and Democratic Transition 6.3: Scenario 1: Further Forces for Political Development and Democratic Transition 6.4: Lessons from Scenarios of Democratic Transition 6.5: Scenario 2: Continued Market Leninism 6.6: Constraints on Society and Ideology 6.7: Xi Jinping’s Intense Attack on Corruption 6.8: Jiang Zemin’s “Three Representatives” and the Role of the Middle Class 6.9: Scenario 3: Collapse of the CCP 6.10: Sources of Political Instability 6.11: Inequality, Corruption and CCP Rule Applies democratization theory to the analysis of Chinese political regime transformation. Evaluates prospects of regime transformation in the future. Seminar 4: China’s Future Political Development. Preliminary topics for discussion: 1) Explain why some people might think that China is a relatively unstable society, while others may argue that it is relatively stable. 2) Discuss the relationship between the middle class in China and the CCP. 3) Discuss the likelihood that China will introduce major political reforms and move towards a democratic political system.
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Exam
    The exam is a written test with different types of questions: multiple choice, questions with open answer, etc.
  • non-blocking Tests on required literature
    Lecturer evaluates students' comprehension of assigned readings by conducting a short test with multiple choice questions and questions with open answer. The component is calculated as an average grade achieved for all tests.
  • non-blocking Online component
    Students have to self-study an online course at the Coursera platform: Chinese Politics Part 1 – China and Political Science https://www.coursera.org/learn/chinesepolitics1. In order to get grade for the online course, students have to take four Quizes, fulfill two peer-reviewed assignment and take a final test (all on Coursera platform).
  • non-blocking In-class participation
    Lecturer evaluates students’ progress, including comprehension of online lectures and assigned readings, as well as contribution to discussions. The component is calculated as an average grade achieved on all seminars.
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (1 module)
    0.4 * Exam + 0.2 * In-class participation + 0.2 * Online component + 0.2 * Tests on required literature
Bibliography

Bibliography

Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Guo, S., & Stradiotto, G. A. (2018). Prospects for Democratic Transition in China. Journal of Chinese Political Science, 23(1), 47–61. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11366-017-9465-z
  • William A. Joseph. (2014). Politics in China : An Introduction, Second Edition: Vol. Second edition. Oxford University Press.

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Chen, J., & Lu, C. (2011). Democratization and the Middle Class in China: The Middle Class’s Attitudes toward Democracy. Political Research Quarterly, 64(3), 705–719. https://doi.org/10.1177/1065912909359162
  • 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