DV432      Half Unit
China in Developmental Perspective

This information is for the 2015/16 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Jude Howell CON. 8.11


This course is available on the 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 and MSc in Social Policy and Development: Non-Governmental Organisations. 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 LT.

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

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

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;

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;

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;

Gordon White, Robin Murray and Christine White (eds) 1983, Revolutionary Socialist Development in the Third World, Wheatsheaf, Brighton;

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.

Student performance results

(2011/12 - 2012/13 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 10.5
Merit 55.3
Pass 34.2
Fail 0

Key facts

Department: International Development

Total students 2014/15: 55

Average class size 2014/15: 14

Controlled access 2014/15: Yes

Lecture capture used 2014/15: Yes (MT)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course survey results

(2011/12 - 2012/13 combined)

1 = "best" score, 5 = "worst" score

The scores below are average responses.

Response rate: 82.6%



Reading list (Q2.1)


Materials (Q2.3)


Course satisfied (Q2.4)


Lectures (Q2.5)


Integration (Q2.6)


Contact (Q2.7)


Feedback (Q2.8)


Recommend (Q2.9)