This course provides a concise introduction to the political, economic, and social factors that determine present-day China’s government and gives a basic overview of the major political, economic, and social issues relevant to the study of contemporary China. The main purpose of this course is to provide students with a broad, yet subtle understanding of the preconditions, prospects, and risks associated with China’s political and social development.
This course introduces various social science disciplines as well as the major theories on how politics, economic development, and social processes work in China. After nearly four decades of rapid economic growth, China is now a major power whose actions can significantly affect other countries. The course covers core issues in contemporary China studies, such as the relation between the Chinese Communist Party and the state, the rapid changes that the economy has undergone, the crucial challenges that people today face as they go about their everyday lives. The central questions throughout the module will be how China has changed over the past decades, how political, economic, and social issues are related to one another, and how we might make sense of recent developments in the PRC under Xi Jinping’s rule.
Part 1 discusses, in short, the historical process of the building of a new China’s political and socio-economic system, which is very important for further understanding of present-day party-state architecture.
Part 2 examines policy-making and policy implementation and includes analyses of élite politics, central-local relations, government reform, and bureaucratic behavior.
Part 3 explores the political economy, including issues such as an economic system of China, Government involvement in the Chinese economy, economic globalization and government policy, public finance, budget, and public debt, price system and expenditure priority, etc.
Part 4 brings together the legal system of PRC, the role of the military in the political process
Part 5 focuses on the system of education, the cadre system, and public administration
as well as demography, health and social problems such as unemployment, the rural-urban income gap, the inadequate provision of social welfare, the exploitation of migrant workers, and new public-health challenges.
Part 6 discusses arts, media, social media and social control, national and religious policy, political consequences of social change in China