Spring 2015

Social Policy in China

Listed in: Asian Languages and Civilizations, as ASLC-403  |  Political Science, as POSC-403

Moodle site: Course


Kerry E. Ratigan (Section 01)


(Offered as POSC 403 [CP, IL, SC] and ASLC 403 [C].)  After three decades of unprecedented economic growth, China is facing a new phase of development in which social policy issues such as healthcare, social security, and environmental degradation are taking center stage in the national dialogue. This course will provide students with the substantive knowledge and analytical tools to critically examine these issues, evaluate current policies, and propose feasible alternatives within the Chinese context. The semester begins with an overview of state-society relations in contemporary China, including the processes of policy design and implementation. The Chinese government emphasizes an experimentalist approach to policymaking, resulting in an important role for research, think tanks, and policy evaluation tools in the development of policy. Then, the course will examine the major social policy areas in China: health, education, poverty alleviation, social security, and environmental policy. Throughout the semester, students will also learn the tools of policy analysis, which they will employ in an independent research project on a policy problem in China. This course will enable students to think about social policy design and implementation in the context of the challenges inherent to a non-democratic, developing country with pervasive corruption and weak legal institutions. Thus, this course would be of interest to students seeking to study Chinese politics at an advanced level or those who plan to pursue a career in social policy and development more broadly.

Limited to 20 students.  Spring semester.  Professor Ratigan.

If Overenrolled: Priority given to seniors, then to a balance of sophomores and juniors, randomly determined, followed by first-year students and 5-college students.

Cost: 39.00 ?


Writing attentive, Speaking attentive


2015-16: Offered in Fall 2015
Other years: Offered in Spring 2015