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Political Science 353: Reforms in Post-Mao China
Spring 2001
Steven W. Lewis
T-TH 9:25-10:40
Baker Building 114
Office: Baker 224
Office Hours: T-TH 10:45-12:00 and by Appointment
Phone: 713-348-5832
E-Mail: swlewis@rice.edu

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Our most populous country is an excellent "laboratory"for the social scientific study of political, economic and social behavior. The Twentieth Century alone has seen many changes in China's fundamental institutions: from imperial courts to military regimes and single-party police states, from rural households to international stock-holding companies, and from foot-binding and slavery to mass movements and, more recently, democracy protests. Moreover, there is much variation in the political, economic and social institutions across the regions and cities of China today, making it a very rich area for the study of institutions. This course begins with the premise that understanding how China has arrived at the last decade of this century can also help us understand how other societies change, including such processes as democratization and marketization.

Our goal in this class is to study and explain the momentous transformations of the Post-Mao reform period in a way that helps us understand change in societies in general. In order to do so we will be reading and discussing many theoretical and empirical works. As such, class participation will be an important part of your final grade (20 percent), including both everyday participation and one session in which you will lead discussion on a reading or set of readings.

Three quizzes and two short essay assignments (40 percent of total) on narrowly defined topics will help you remember some key facts. And a final, research paper (12-15 pages in length) will help you critique and evaluate existing theories, as well as propose and evaluate some of your own. The final paper is worth 40 percent and can be written on any topic related to Chinese politics in the Post-Mao era, but it must be on a topic decided on through consultation with me.

Except for the in-class quizzes, all written assignments must be double-spaced, carefully-proofread, meticulously-cited, legible hard copy (be sure and retain a copy for your own security). Late papers will not be accepted. Any student with a documented disability needing academic adjustments or accommodations is requested to speak with me during the first two weeks of class. All discussions will remain confidential. Students with disabilities should also contact Disability Support Services in the Ley Student Center.



Required Texts: Textbooks are available at the Campus Book Store in used and paperback form. Most books and all articles are also on reserve at Fondren Library. In addition, many articles are available through Fondren Library's online electronic journal service or directly from the publishers of the journals.



WEEKS ONE AND TWO (January 16, 18, 23, 25): Introduction to Social Science and the Study of Chinese Politics, Resources for Research, and Foundations of Political and Economic Institutions in Pre-Revolution China.



WEEK THREE (January 30, February 1): The Question of Political Culture.
Quiz One
: Key Concepts of Theory Building and Features of Chinese Political Geography.



WEEK FOUR (February 6, 8): State Building, Centralization and Cultural Revolution.
Quiz Two
: Important Cultural Concepts.



WEEK FIVE (February 13, 15): State Revolution and Coup D'Etats; The Politics of Succession and the Study of Factions/Coalitions



WEEKS SIX, SEVEN (February 20, 22, 27): Changing the Central Institutions of the Party and the State, the Decentralization of Party and State Authority During Transition.
Quiz Three
: Important Actors and Institutions.
Note: No Class on March 1 (Instructor in Hong Kong), March 6, 8 (Spring Break)
Research Paper Prospectus (one paragraph) Due February 27.
First Short Essay Handed Out February 27, Due March 13.



WEEK EIGHT (March 13, 15): Tian An Men Square and Explaining China's Political Protests During Transition; The Comparative Study of Revolution and Rebellion.



WEEK NINE (March 20, 22): Marketization in the Largest Central Planned Economy.



WEEKS TEN, ELEVEN, TWELVE, THIRTEEN (March 27, 29, April 3, 5, 10, 17, 19): China's Decentralized Privatization, or Making all Economics Local.
No Class on April 12 (Spring Recess).
Second Short Essay Assignment handed out March 29, Due April 5.
Final Research Paper Due April 19.


WEEK FOURTEEN (April 24, 26): China as a Society in Transition: The Comparative Study of Marketizing, Democratizing Societies.

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Copyright 2000, Steven W. Lewis.
This page last updated January 18, 2001, by Steve Lewis (swlewis@rice.edu)