Gpa 1070: Government and Politics in China Wang Shaoguang

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GPA 1070:
Government and Politics in China

Wang Shaoguang

Personal Information

  • Name: 王绍光 Wang Shaoguang

  • Office hour:

  • Monday and Wednesday 14:00-16:00

  • Phone number 2609-7515

  • Email:

Goals of this Course

A survey of key issues in Chinese politics that many of you may be interested in, such as:

The Focus of This Course: Political Change

  • Political change does not mean a replacement of one type of regime with another. Rather, it means transition of the regime: shifting balance between different political forces.

  • Chinese politics has taken many sudden turns in the last 100 years.

  • Chinese politics has also undergone many quite yet subtle changes.

  • Situation varies from region to region: More changes in some places than in others.

  • Identify what have changed and what have not.

  • Try to explain these changes.

  • Consider the question of where China is heading.


  • The homepage of this course:

  • Reading: light reading load

  • For a list of books on China, please download it from the following site:

Structure of the Course

  • Introduction

  • Watch video “China Rising”

  • The Rise of Modern China

  • Mao’s China and After

  • The State and Economy

  • The State and Society

  • Mid-term exam

  • The Formal Structure of Political Power

  • The Political Elite

  • Central-Local Relations

  • Law and Policing

  • Political Culture

  • Participation and Election

  • Conclusion

Course Requirements

  • Active participation in class discussion

  • A mid-term exam

  • A final exam

About 30% of your final grade will be based on the mid-term, about 60% on the final exam; and the remaining 10% on your evident grasp of the readings as indicated by your questions and informed participation in classroom discussion.


  • China

  • Why study Chinese politics?

  • How to study Chinese politics?

China in the World

China in Asia

China and Its Neighbors

Chinas Administrative Units

Why Study Chinese Politics?

  • China's sheer size: political significance

  • China has been undergoing consistent changes

  • Multiple transitions at once

  • Uncertain future of China

1. Chinas Sheer Size

  • Big three comparison: China, India and the U.S.A.

The Size of the Economy

  • 中美印日俄五大国经济资源占世界比重

2. Consistent Changes in the Last 150 Years





1900 清末时局图

1911 辛亥革命

1915 袁世凯复辟帝制


1927 蒋介石

1927 国共合作破裂

1934 毛泽东

193536 长征

1938 日本入侵


1945 国共谈判

1949 人民解放军占领南京

1949 中华人民共和国成立

1966 无产阶级文化大革命

1976 毛泽东逝世

1977 华国锋

1978 农村改革

1997 邓小平逝世

2003 新一代

3. Multiple Transitions at Once

  • From a traditional society to a modern society

  • From a planner economy to a market economy

  • From rural to urban

  • From low tech to high tech

  • From poor to not so poor

  • From a weak nation to a regional/global power

  • From an authoritarian regime to something else

4. The Future of the Country: Impact on Others

  • Scenario 1: Disintegration: The Coming Collapse of China

  • Scenario 2: China as #1: The Largest Economy in the World

  • Scenario 3: Democratization

The Coming Collapse of China?


Will China Become the Largest Economy in the World?

  • 五大国经济增长长期趋势(1965-1999年)

Long-Term Trends1998-2020

How to Study Chinese Politics?

Mental Maps Constrain and Misdirect

How do We Study Chinese Politics?

  • Be careful about your mental maps and in using models developed elsewhere

  • 1949-1966: Totalitarianism (the Soviet Union)

  • 1966-1989: Pluralist approach (the United State)

  • 1989-1995: Civil society, state-society relations (Europe), no perfect fit.

  • 1995-2002: Neo-institutionism (Economics)

  • Going beyond the headline news

  • To understand the dynamics of Chinese politics, focus should be placed on political changes over time and regional variation in political development.

Sources for the study of Chinese politics

  • Newspaper/magazines

  • The Central Government of China

  • Yearbooks/statistics

  • Government Information Agency

  • Books gives a list of books compiled by Lynn White III

  • Laws and regulations

  • Journal articles

Directory: gpa -> wang files
wang files -> State and society in early Republican politics, 1912-18
wang files -> Review of China's Political History? All societies are in some measure the products of their past
wang files -> Political Ideologies Outline Ideology and politics
wang files -> 5. Citizen Attitude and Political Behavior Ideology vs. Political Culture Both are belief systems made up of cognitions, values, emotions
wang files -> Introduction to Comparative Politics gpa 2130
wang files -> Executive-Legislative Relations Presidential and Parliamentary Systems Outline
wang files -> The State and Economy Why was Economic Reform Necessary? Economic development is impossible unless the following three problems can be solved
wang files -> To get rich is glorious: Rising expectations, declining control, and escalating crime in contemporary China
wang files -> 2 Classification and Comparison Normative Approach of Research

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