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PS348 - Chinese Politics: 1949 to Present

Winter 2002
MW 9-10:50
101 Gilbert Addition

Professor Hua-yu Li     Office Hours
Gilkey 300A     Mondays 3-4
737-6235     Wednesdays 3-4
Email:     or by appointment

The course examines China's post-1949 political and economic development. Special attention is given to the reform era from the late 1970s to the present. The course also addresses the impact of the reforms on society and on the country"s relationship with the world.


   1. Examinations: There will be a midterm and a take-home final examination. The midterm will be an in-class examination and will be on Monday, February 11. The midterm contains several short essay questions, from which you will select two, and some identifications. The take-home final will have several larger essay questions, two of which you will answer. Questions will be distributed to you on Monday, March 4. Each essay answer should be about three to four pages. Answers to essay questions must be supported by drawing upon both readings and lectures. The due day for the take-home final is Monday, March 18, at 5p.m.
   2. Class Presentation: Each student is required to make one class presentation on one of the assigned readings. The presentation should be about 5-10 minutes and should summarize the major arguments of the reading.
   3. Book Review: Each student is required to write a book review on Nanchu"s Red Sorrow. The review should be analytical in nature. The review should be four to five pages in length and is due on Monday, February 25.

Required Books: The following books are available for purchase at the OSU Book Store.

    * Peter Hessler, River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2001.
    * Nanchu, Red Sorrow, A Memoir. New York: Arcade Publishing, 2001.
    * June Teufel Dreyer, China"s Political System, Modernization and Tradition (Third Edition). Boston: Logman, 2000.
    * Tyrene White, China Briefing 2000, The Continuing Transformation.
    * Armonk, New York: M.E. Sharpe, 2000.

Final Grade:
Class Participation     = 10%
Midterm     = 20%
Class presentation     = 10%
Book Review     = 20%
Final     = 40%
Total     100%

Students with documented disabilities who may need accommodations, who have any emergency medical information the instructor should know, or who need special arrangements in the event of evacuation, should make an appointment with the instructor as early as possible, no later than the first week of the term. In order to arrange alternative testing the student should make the request at least one week in advance of the test. Students seeking accommodations should be registered with the office of Services for Students with Disabilities.

This syllabus is subject to change.
Week 1--Jan. 7-9 Course Introduction
The Communist Road to Power

    * Dreyer, Chapters 1-4.

Week 2--Jan. 14-16 Economic Development and Chinese Politics Under Mao

    * Dreyer, pp. 81-97 & pp. 135-44.
    * (1/16 (W) in-class video viewing: "The Mao years: 1949-76")
    * (Jan. 21 is a holiday)

Week 3--Jan. 23 Mao and the Cultural Revolution

    * Dreyer, pp. 98-106.
    * Nanchu, Red Sorrow, the entire book.

Week 4--Jan. 28-30 The Politics of Economic Reform

    * Dreyer, pp. 145-162.
    * Barry Naughton, "The Chinese Economy: Fifty Years into the Transformation", in China Briefing 2000, pp. 49-70.
    * Jonathan Unger, "Power, Patronage, and Protest in Rural China", in China Briefing 2000, pp. 71-94.
    * (January 30 (W), in-class video viewing, "In Search of China.")

Week 5--Feb. 4-6 Dissent and Limited Political Reform: The Democracy Movement in 1989

    * Dreyer, pp. 114-34; pp. 270-72.
    * Cheng Li, "Promises and Pitfalls of Reform: New Thinking in Post-Deng China," in China Briefing 2000, pp. 123-157.
    * Monday, Feb. 11, Midterm Examination

Week 6--Feb. 13 Reforming the Chinese Legal System

    * Dreyer, Chapter 8.

Week 7--Feb. 18-20 The Chinese Military and the Ethnic Minorities

    * Dreyer, Chapters 9 & 13.

Week 8--Feb. 25-27 Quality of Life and Gender Issues

    * Dreyer, Chapter 11.
    * Tyrene White, "The Shape of Society: The Changing Demography of Development," in China Briefing 2000, pp. 95-121.
    * Susan Brownell, "Gender and Nationalism in China at the Turn of the Millennium" in China Briefing 2000, pp. 195-232.

Week 9--Mar. 4-6 Education and Chinese Society

    * Dreyer, Chapter 10.
    * Yunxiang Yan, "The Politics of Consumerism in Chinese Society" in China Briefing 2000, pp. 159-194.
    * Hessler, River Town, the entire book.

Week 10--Mar. 11-13 China and the World & Concluding Assessments

    * Nancy Bernkopf Tucker, "Dangerous Liaisons: China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the United States at the Turn of the Century," in China Briefing 2000, pp. 233-66.
    * Bruce Cumings, "The More Things Change, The More They Remain the Same: The World, the United States, and the People's Republic of China, 1949-1999," in China Briefing 2000, pp. 267-300.
    * Dreyer, Chapter 15.
    * Monday, March 18, take-home final due.