GV432      Half Unit
Government and Politics in China

This information is for the 2016/17 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Chun Lin CON3.10


This course is available on the MSc in Comparative Politics and MSc in Global Politics. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

This course is capped at 2 groups. The deadline for enrolments will be 12 noon, Monday 3 October 2016. Students will be informed of the outcome by 12 noon, Wednesday, 5 October 2016.

Course content

Historical and international conditions and domestic contradictions of economic, social and political transformations in the People's Republic of China; their rival explanations and interpretations: Often in comparison with other postcommunist transitions, other Asian states and other developing countries, discussions of China will cover its historical and international contexts, geopolitics and political demography, central and local state power, central-local relations, and semi-federalism; bureaucracy as tradition and as invention; political economy and market transition and broader liberalisation and global integration; social structure and organisation, and class, ethnic, and gender relations; ideology, culture and cultural politics, issues concerning democracy and legitimacy; nationalism, “one country, two systems”, and the Taiwan question; and China’s military, foreign relations, and changing global position.


27 hours and 30 minutes of seminars in the MT.

This course is offered in MT, constituting 10 weeks of 2.5 hour seminars and one reading week (week 6 of the MT) for essay and learning support activities.  

Formative coursework

Students are required to give at least one seminar presentation, and to write one 1,500 word essay.

Indicative reading

M Meisner, The Deng Xiaoping Era (1996); B Womack, Contemporary Chinese Politics in Historical Perspective (1999); C Bramall, Chinese Economic Development (2008); D Shambaugh, China's Communist Party (2008); C K Lee, Against the Law (2007); S Heilman & E Perry (eds), Mao's Invisible Hand (2011); M Leonard (ed), China 3.0 (2012);V Goossaert and D Palmer, eds. The Religious Question in Modern China ( 2011)


Essay (100%, 4000 words).

Student performance results

(2012/13 - 2014/15 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 19.2
Merit 68.3
Pass 12.5
Fail 0

Key facts

Department: Government

Total students 2015/16: 28

Average class size 2015/16: 13

Controlled access 2015/16: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Specialist skills