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.

POSC 33 - L/D

Section 01
W 02:00 PM - 04:00 PM SMUD 205

This is preliminary information about books for this course. Please contact your instructor or the Academic Coordinator for the department, before attempting to purchase these books.

ISBN Title Publisher Author(s) Comment Book Store Price
Catastrophe and Contention in Rural China: Mao's Great Leap Forward Famine and the Origins of Right Amherst Books TBD
Death of a Red Heroine Amherst Books TBD
Fall of Imperial China Amherst Books TBD
Gate of Heavenly Peace: The Chinese and Their Revolution 1895-1980 Amherst Books TBD
Legacy of Tiananmen: China in Disarray Amherst Books TBD
Mao's China and After : A History of the People's Republic Amherst Books TBD
Origins of the Chinese Revolution, 1915-1949 Amherst Books TBD

These books are available locally at Amherst Books.


2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2010