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LPS-GV201 Inside the Dragon: Politics and Policy in 21st Century China

Dr Zhang Jian, Lecturer, School of Government, Peking University

Course outline

This course seeks to introduce advanced undergraduate and master level students to the main issues in the study of Chinese politics, with a special focus on the policy making process in contemporary China.

In the first three lectures, the instructors will cover in a very brief manner the political development of China from late Qing to the Hu Jintao period, trying to help the students understand the main themes of the Chinese politics and background of the current political problems.

In lectures 4-5, the focus is the challenges faced now by the Chinese leadership, ranging from state capacity decline to the increasing social instabilities. Whether and how these problems can be handled will arguably define the political future of the Chinese nation.

In the next four lectures, we will analyze the institutional characteristics of the Chinese party-state, cover the main models to understand the Chinese policy making process, and we will use some examples to illustrate the power and shortcomings of the models.

In the final lecture, the current debate about the Chinese political future will be reviewed. Hopefully, after taking the whole course, the students can have their own informed and well grounded arguments on this topic.

Full course outline|

About the Instructor

 Zhang Jian

Dr Zhang Jian joined the faculty of the School of Government, Peking University in 2007, after receiving his PhD in political science from Columbia University in the City of New York, USA. His research interests include ethnic minority issues in China, identity politics, political participation and state/nation building in the developing world. He teaches Chinese politics, American politics and ethnic studies at Peking University.