Introduction to Chinese Politics


This course provides an introduction to the recent political developments, institutional partnerships, state-society relationships, and the global engagement of political actors in contemporary China. It will consider a number of approaches for conceptualizing, modelling, and analyzing the governance and politics of China utilizing a comparative perspective.

Lectures and Readings

1. The Path to Modernization [video] [podcast] [handout]

  • Esherick, J.W. (1995) “Ten Theses on the Chinese Revolution”, Modern China 21(1): 45-76.

  • Schoenhals, M. (1999) “Political Movements, Change and Stability: The Chinese Communist Party in Power”, The China Quarterly 159: 595-605.

  • Eggli, M. and Hasmath, R. (2016) “Thought Reform During the Chinese Cultural Revolution: The Case of Deng Kesheng", Paper Presented at American Sociological Association Annual Meeting (Seattle, USA), August 20-23.

2. The Onset of Reforms [video] [podcast] [handout]

3. Bureaucratic Operations and Configurations [video] [podcast] [handout]

4. Government-Private Enterprise Relationship [video] [podcast] [handout]

  • Hasmath, R. (2020) “The Century of Chinese Corporatism”, American Affairs 4(1): 194-206. [audio paper: video and podcast]

  • Dickson, B. (2007) “Integrating Wealth and Power in China: The Communist Party’s Embrace of the Private Sector”, The China Quarterly 192: 827-854.

  • Duckett, J. (2001) “Bureaucrats in Business, Chinese-Style: The Lessons of Market Reform and State Entrepreneurialism in the People's Republic of China”, World Development 29(1): 23-37.

5. Government-NGO Relationship [video] [podcast] [handout]

6. Popular Legitimacy and Accountability [video] [podcast] [handout]

7. Ideological Development and Performance [video] [podcast] [handout]

8. Marginalized Groups [video] [podcast] [handout]

9. Civil Society and Evolving Modes of Citizen Participation [video] [podcast] [handout]

10. Internationalization and its Effects [video] [podcast] [handout]

11. Foreign Relations [video] [podcast] [handout]