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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Economic and Social History

Undergraduate Course: Tradition and Transformation in the Chinese Economy since 1949 (ECSH10088)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course explores the trajectory of Chinese economic history from the establishment of the People's Republic of China until the present day, complementing approaches of economic and political history with those of social, cultural, and intellectual history. From the early days of central planning, to the People's Republic of China's accession to the World Trade Organization, via the heydays of Maoism and Deng Xiaoping's economic reforms of the 1980s, this is a class on modern economic Chinese history for anyone interested in understanding one of the most important actors in today's world economy.
Course description This course analyses the development of China's economy between ideology and economic necessity, dramatic failure and extraordinary success. This part of the course covers the period since 1949, when the People's Republic of China was established. In the early 1950s, the new People's Republic of China looked set to become a planned economy on the Soviet model; but a few years later, Mao Zedong launched the 'Great Leap Forward', a developmental policy that may well have been one of the most disastrous economic experiments of the 20th century. The PRC had hardly recovered from the 'Great Leap Forward' when it was devastated by the 'Cultural Revolution', an all-consuming political campaign, the scars of which are visible in China to the present day. And yet, one only needs to open a newspaper these days to be reminded of the supposed threat which China's economic development poses to the developed economies. How was this astonishing economic recovery possible? In this course, we will trace the story of the PRC's economy, from planned economy through Maoist utopia to its present perceived glories; by the end of the semester, students will have developed an understanding of why the history of China's economic development is crucial to making sense of today's global economy. No previous knowledge of Chinese history or of the Chinese language is required to take this course.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking The Chinese Economy: Past and Present (ECNM10079)
Other requirements A pass or passes in 40 credits of first level historical courses or equivalent and a pass or passes in 40 credits of second level historical courses or equivalent. Students on Chinese (MA Hons) may take the course without meeting this requirement.

Before enrolling students on this course, PTs are asked to contact the History Honours Admission Administrator to ensure that a place is available (Tel: 503780).
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 3 History courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses. Applicants should note that, as with other popular courses, meeting the minimum does NOT guarantee admission.

** as numbers are limited, visiting students should contact the Visiting Student Office directly for admission to this course **
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  23
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 172 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 60 %, Coursework 30 %, Practical Exam 10 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Students will prepare and deliver one assessed class presentation, submit one 3000-word essay and sit a two-hour exam in the April/May examinations diet. The class presentation will be worth 10% of the final assessment, the essay 30%, and the exam 60%.
Feedback Students will receive written feedback on their coursework, and will have the opportunity to discuss that feedback further with the Course Organiser during their published office hours or by appointment.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, command of the body of knowledge considered in the course;
  2. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to read, analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship;
  3. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to understand, evaluate and utilise a variety of primary source material;
  4. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, the ability to develop and sustain scholarly arguments in oral and written form, by formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence;
  5. demonstrate independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers.
Reading List
1. Christopher Bramall, 'Chinese Land Reform in Long Run Perspective and in the Wider Asian Context', Journal of Agrarian Change, 4/1-2 (January, April 2004).

2. Alfred L. Chan, Mao's Crusade: Politics and Policy Implementation in China's Great Leap Forward (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001).

3. Sherman Cochran, 'Capitalists Choosing Communist China: the Liu Family of Shanghai, 1948-1956', in Jeremy Brown, Paul Pickowicz (eds.), Dilemmas of Victory: the early Years of the People's Republic of China (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2007).

4. Frank Dikötter, Mao's Great Famine: the History of China's Most Devastating Catastrophe, 1958-1962 (London: Bloomsbury, 2010).

5. Edward Friedman, Paul Pickowicz, Chinese Village, Socialist State (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1991), Ch.s 4-8.

6. Deborah Kaple, Dream of a Red Factory: the Legacy of High Stalinism in China (New York and London: Oxford University Press, 1994).

7. Li, Huayu, Mao and the Economic Stalinization of China, 1948-1953 (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2006).

8. Li, Wei, Tao, Dennis Yang, 'The Great Leap Forward: Anatomy of a Central Planning Disaster', Journal of Political Economy, 113/4 (2005).

9. Edward E. Moise, Land Reform in China and North Vietnam: Consolidating the Revolution at Village Level (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1983).

10. Barry Naughton, Growing out of the Plan (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992).

11. Barry Naughton, The Chinese Economy: Transitions and Growth (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2007).

12. Carl H. Riskin, China's Political Economy: the Quest for Political Economy since 1949 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987).
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsTradition 1949
Course organiserMr Rudolph Ng
Tel: (0131 6)50 38 44
Course secretaryMiss Alexandra Adam
Tel: (0131 6)50 3767
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