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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Susan H. Whiting
POL S 532
Seattle Campus

The Chinese Political System

Examination of key approaches, interpretations, and secondary literature in the study of contemporary Chinese politics. Offered: jointly with JSIS A 532.

Class description

Description: This seminar introduces both classic and cutting-edge research addressing some of the most important issues and debates in contemporary Chinese politics. These debates concern our understanding of the Chinese revolution, the origins of the reform process, the question of institutional adaptability vs. decay, the evolution of property rights, the significance of expanding political participation and protest, and the nature and impact of Chinese nationalism. In engaging these debates, the course will address issues of theory, methodology, and data in the study of Chinese politics. Toward this end, the readings selected for the course draw on a broad range of primary sources and research methodologies. Throughout the quarter, we will critically examine the interplay among theory, data, and method in the study of Chinese politics.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Texts: Saich and van de Ven, New Perspectives on the Chinese Communist Revolution; Kelliher, Peasant Power in China; Huang, The Political Economy of Central-Local Relations; Whiting, Power and Wealth in Rural China; Shi, Political Participation in Beijing; Zheng, Discovering Nationalism in China; among other readings.

Class assignments and grading

Assignments: Short response papers with presentations; final paper

Grading: Final Papers: 40 % Short Papers: 40 % Class/quiz participation: 20 % TOTAL: 100 %


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Additional Information
Last Update by Suman C. Chhabra
Date: 03/06/2006