DV432      Half Unit
China in Developmental Perspective

This information is for the 2016/17 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Jude Howell CON. 8.11


This course is available on the CEMS Exchange, IMEX Exchange, MPA in International Development, MSc in African Development, MSc in China in Comparative Perspective, MSc in Development Management, MSc in Development Studies, MSc in International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies, MSc in Social Policy and Development: Non-Governmental Organisations and MiM Exchange. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

This course looks at China from a comparative developmental perspective, locating the discussion of China within the interdisciplinary field of development studies. It examines China's developmental trajectory since 1949, explaining the fundamental shift in developmental path from late 1978 onwards. It considers China's role in the so-called Third World, as a model of innovation, as a voice for developing country concerns and as an important aid donor. It reflects on China's recent achievements in reducing poverty and places these in comparative context. The course considers the governance challenges posed by rapid economic reform, the attempts to reform the Party-state and to manage social tensions. It examines the social dimensions of rapid economic reform and the implications for social policies. It looks at the emergence of NGOs and other forms of civil society organising and considers changing state-society relations. Finally it considers China's role as aid donor and its emergence as a global economic and political power. The course will enable students to obtain an understanding of key developmental issues and discussions about China and to link these discussions to broader debates and theories in development studies.


20 hours of lectures and 13 hours and 30 minutes of seminars in the MT.

In addition, one introductory seminar session in MT and one essay preparation session in MT.

There will be a ninety minute revision session in late LT or early ST.

Formative coursework

Students have the opportunity to receive feedback on a formative essay of 1,500 words. Students will also receive feedback on their seminar performance. Students are welcome to come to course convenor’s office hours to discuss any issues.

Indicative reading

Harneit-Sievers, A., Marks, S., and Naidu, S., 2010, Chinese and African perspectives on China in Africa, Pambazuka Press;

Jude Howell, 2003, Governance in China. Rowman and Littlefield Inc., Lanham;

Ching Kwan Lee, 1998, Gender and the South China Miracle. Two Worlds of Factory Women, University of California Press, Berkeley;

Heilmann, Sebastian and Elizabeth Perry, 2011, Mao’s Invisible Hand: The Political Foundations of Adaptive Governance in China, Harvard University Press Hung, Ho-fung (ed) (2009) China and the Transformation of Global Capitalism. Baltimore, John Hopkins University Press;

Hung, Ho-fung (ed) (2009) China and the Transformation of Global Capitalism. Baltimore, John Hopkins University Press;

Ka Ho Mo and Ray Forrest (eds), 2008, Changing Governance and Public Policy in East Asia, Routledge, New York;

Lardy, Nicolas, 2014, Markets Over Mao. The Rise of Private Business in China,Washington, Peter Institute for International Economics; 

Martin Ravallion and Chen Shaohua, 2004, Inequality and Growth in Modern China, World Bank Development Research Group Poverty Team, Washington D.C.;

Theda Skocpol 1994 Social Revolutions in the Modern World, Cambridge University Press;

Yao Shujie, 2005, Economic Growth, Income Distribution and Poverty Reduction in Contemporary China, RoutledgeCurzon, London and New York;

Gordon White, Jude Howell and Shang Xiaoyuan, 1996, In Search of Civil Society. Market Reform and Social Change in Contemporary China. Oxford University Press, Oxford;

M.H. Whyte (ed), 2009, One Country, Two Societies. Rural/Urban Inequality in China.


Exam (70%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.
Essay (30%, 2500 words) in the ST.

Key facts

Department: International Development

Total students 2015/16: 23

Average class size 2015/16: 9

Controlled access 2015/16: Yes

Lecture capture used 2015/16: Yes (LT)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information