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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : Asian Studies

Undergraduate Course: Politics and Policy in Contemporary China (ASST10126)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course aims to introduce students to various aspects of contemporary Chinese politics and policy. Students will study the different aspects of the Chinese state building an understanding, for example, of the key institutions, the policy making process and the importance of ideology in the running of what is an increasingly dynamic political, social and economic entity. Topics discussed will include Mao's legacy, the Chinese Communist Party, regional relations, and understanding the policy process. The course will complement existing courses offered through Asian Studies by developing students' understanding of the functional elements of the Chinese state and contemporary issues in Chinese politics and policy.

Please note that places on this course are strictly limited and that priority will be given to students taking Chinese honours.
Course description Politics and Policy in Contemporary China will introduce students to the political system and policy processes of the contemporary People's Republic of China. Weekly lectures will introduce students to the core structures and functions of the state and Chinese Communist Party, and key elements in understanding the politics and policy process of China. This will address, for example, the rote of the executive and legislative branches of government, local government accountability, the rule and function of law, and theories of policy making in China.

Weekly seminars will address specific policy areas which will change over time to reflect developments in contemporary China. The students will use Chinese language documents including laws, regulations, and speeches alongside academic research to develop an understanding of both the policy developments and the academic debates relating to them.

Through this combination of lectures and seminars students will be introduced to the foundational elements required to understand and independently analyse politics and policy in contemporary China; they will be provided with the opportunity and means to engage with and analyse both primary and secondary materials; and they will be able to take this understanding and apply it to other political and policy areas that they are interested in. Seminars will follow a mixed format.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Places on this course are strictly limited and priority will be given to students taking Chinese honours.
Additional Costs Essential core texts
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Policy Analysis (3,500 - 4,000 words) - 100%
Feedback All students will be given a formative feedback exercise that will be helpful for the assessment for this course and students' general ongoing academic development.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Recall and summarise key institutions and themes related to contemporary Chinese politics. Explain the functions of core parts of the Chinese state.
  2. Summarise and evaluate selected academic debates related to Chinese politics and policy.
  3. Find, compare and criticise sources related to Chinese politics.
  4. Formulate arguments based on academic literature and source material.
  5. Tailor their arguments and findings for particular audiences through their writing.
Reading List
Core texts which students will be expected to use often:
Dreyer, June Teufel, China┬┐s Political System: Modernization and Tradition (Longman, 2010)
Lieberthal, K, Governing China: From Revolution through Reform, (Norton, 1995)
Saich, Tony, Governance and Politics of China, 3rd Edition (Palgrave, 2010)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsAS Pol Cont Chi
Course organiserDr Daniel Hammond
Course secretaryMiss Kara McCormack
Tel: (0131 6)50 3030
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