Fall 2010

Politics and Change in China

Listed in: Political Science, as POSC-33


Ralph A. Thaxton (Section 01)


This course is an introduction to political change in contemporary China. We will focus mainly on the post-1949 period to the current era. We also will delve into late Qing and Republican era history to consider temporal influences on the present, paying special attention to the formative events of Maoist state building and the way that memories of these episodes in urban and rural China hinder the process of reform today. The course will provide a broad sweep of Chinese political history and examine how key individuals, both at the local and national level, have participated in and experienced Chinese politics.  Special attention will be given to the nature of power and the extent of state legitimacy in authoritarian China, modalities of rule, popular understandings of power, authority, and justice, and the rise of popular resistance, protest, and contention in the Mao and post-Mao eras.  From time to time, we will compare the nature of politics and regimes in China with other places, including Iran, Spain, Cambodia, India, and South Africa.

Limited to 25 students. Fall semester.  Croxton Lecturer Thaxton.


2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2010