Chinese Politics Part 1 – China and Political Science

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

This course offers a comprehensive understanding of China's political landscape, emphasizing the interplay between politics and economics. Through a conceptual framework, it evaluates the influence of state and party officials on economic development, examining both positive and negative outcomes.

Participants gain insight into the origins, backgrounds, and decision-making processes of Chinese leaders, as well as the strategies employed by citizens to influence political decisions. The course also assesses China's future trajectory, contemplating the impact of rapid economic development and the emergence of a vibrant middle class on the country's political system.

Comprising seven modules, the course covers topics such as the Chinese political system, elite politics, policy process, societal engagement, domestic and international political economy, and potential scenarios for China's future – from democratization to "flexible authoritarianism."

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Chinese Politics Part 1 – China and Political Science
Course Modules

This course comprises seven modules that cover the Chinese political system, elite politics, policy process, societal engagement, domestic and international political economy, and potential future scenarios for China.

Orientation and Module 1: Models of the Chinese Political System and the Structure of the Chinese Party/State

This module provides an overview of the Chinese political system, examining models and structures, party organizations, government, legislature, military, and the judiciary. Participants will explore the key components of the system and its categorization, preparing them for in-depth analysis in subsequent modules.

Module 2: Elite Politics in China

Delving into elite politics, this module explores how leadership values, conflict structures, and political stability impact economics and business. Participants will examine the selection and succession of leaders, the influence of retired and new leaders, and the international experience of top Chinese leaders.

Module 3: Policy Process in China

Module 3 delves into the policy process in Chinese politics, analyzing the selection, decision-making, and implementation of policies. Participants will explore the impact of social interests, policy failures and successes, as well as engage in peer-reviewed written assignments to deepen their understanding.

Module 4: Understanding Societal Engagement in Politics in China

This module focuses on societal engagement in politics, examining political culture, modes of participation, group politics, collective action, and protest. Participants will explore the various social groups involved in politics and assess the political culture in rural China.

Module 5: China’s Domestic and International Political Economy

Exploring China's domestic and international political economy, this module covers the impact of reforms on rural income, the role of the public sector, central-local financial relations, and China as a "trading state." Participants will engage in peer-reviewed written assignments to assess their comprehension.

Module 6: China’s Future: Democratization or “Flexible Authoritarianism”

Contemplating China's future, this module presents potential scenarios for democratization or "flexible authoritarianism." Participants will analyze the forces for and against political development, the constraints on society and ideology, and the potential sources of political instability.

Final Exam and Course Evaluation

The final module encompasses the course's final exam and evaluation, allowing participants to demonstrate their grasp of the course material and providing feedback on their learning experience.

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