Fall 2022

Contemporary China

Listed in: Asian Languages and Civilizations, as ASLC-208  |  Political Science, as POSC-208


Kerry E. Ratigan (Section 01)


(Offered as POSC 208, ASLC 208, and EDST 208) This course provides an introduction to the major institutions, actors, and ideas that shape contemporary Chinese politics. Through an examination of texts from the social sciences as well as historical narratives and film, we will analyze the development of the current party-state, the relationship between the state and society, policy challenges, and prospects for further reform. First, we examine the political history of the People’s Republic, including the Maoist period and the transition to market reforms. Next, we will interrogate the relations between various social groups and the state, through an analysis of contentious politics in China including the ways in which the party-state seeks to maintain social and political stability. Finally, we will examine the major policy challenges in contemporary China including growing inequality, environmental degradation, waning economic growth, and foreign policy conflicts.

Limited to 25 students. Fall semester. Associate Professor Ratigan.

How to handle overenrollment: Preference will be given to Political Science majors.

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: Students should expect to encounter an emphasis on written work, readings, in-class quizzes, group work, and independent research.

POSC 208 - LEC

Section 01
Tu 1:00 PM - 2:20 PM WEBS 220
Th 1:00 PM - 2:20 PM WEBS 220

ISBN Title Publisher Author(s) Comment Book Store Price
Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China Touchstone (2003) Chang, Jung Amherst Books TBD
China's Political System: Modernization and Tradition (10th edition) Routledge - 10th edition 2018 Dreyer, June Amherst Books TBD

These books are available locally at Amherst Books.


2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2013, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Spring 2020, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Fall 2024