PLSC 300C/HONR 209BSpring

Chinese Political and Economic Reform

Few countries have experienced such rapid and profound political, economic and social changes as China
David Groth
Course Introduction
David Groth

David Groth

Ph.D. Stanford University 
  • China's "middle class"
  • Economic, Political, and Social Reforms in China 
  • Social movements and NGOs
  • China's Conceptions of Ethnicity
  • Olympic Games in China
  • U.S-China relations
  • China-Japan relations

Chinese Political and Economic Reform

This course is accredited through Loyola University Chicago
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Course Description

Few countries have experienced such rapid and profound political, economic and social changes as China has during the past several generations and decades, and fascinating debates continue within the government and society about what type of country China should become and how it should get there.

This course examines political, economic and social forces that have promoted China’s drive towards modernization. We will explore the ways in which China has been organized, managed and reformed. Analysis will focus on China’s reforms from 1978 to the present.

We will use a multi-disciplinary approach and macro and micro perspectives to examine interrelated and over-lapping topics such as:

  • The political causes and ideological changes for economic reform in China;
  • The roles of Deng Xiaoping and others leaders in promoting reforms;
  • The impact of reforms on the lives of Chinese citizens;
  • Relations between the government and enterprises;
  • Interactions between the central government and local entities;
  • The development of China’s “middle class” and its impact on politics and the economy;
  • Possibilities for greater political reform in contemporary China.

The course will include lectures and discussions, which will focus on the assigned readings. We will also probably view and discuss some short videos, including materials from the state-owned China Central Television, which is now broadcast around the world and through the Internet from Beijing; Nairobi, Kenya; and Washington, D.C.

Readings include articles and books by political scientists, economists, sociologists, and anthropologists, , as well as journalists, government officials, and business leaders. Students will read the work of both Chinese and non-Chinese authors.

Courses Outcomes

Students will learn about the complexities of political and economic reforms in China and develop skills in analyzing and discussing these reforms in a more sophisticated manner. Students will better understand the potential, as well as the obstacles, for creating and sustaining reforms in China. Students will hone their skills in critical analysis and writing.