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PSCI 3700: Government and Politics in China

This guide is intended for students enrolled in PSCI 3700: Government and Politics in China but may be of interest to any students interested in international relations with China.

This class page is for the PSCI 3700:  Government and Politics in China; however, it has basic research steps and tools that are useful for any research you do related to China and political science topics. If you need assistance with independent study or research for this class, you may contact the Subject Librarian for the Political Science Department, Brea Henson.

Course Information

This class is taught by visiting scholar, Dr. Jongpil Chung. 

In the last twenty years, China has undergone profound economic, social, and political changes. The transformation of China has not only reshaped the fate of a quarter of the world’s population, but it is also of important relevance to the political and economic development of the Asia Pacific region and the entire world. In this class, you examine the origins, processes, strategies, and consequences of these changes. How have these changes come about? What impact have they had on the Chinese state and society? What pitfalls may lie ahead? Will a stronger China contribute to or undermine international peace and cooperation? These are some of the questions we study and explore.

The course covers a wide range of issues. Previous knowledge about China is desirable, but not required. Section one provides an overview of the political history of China. In this section, you familiarize yourselves with the major political events of contemporary China--the Great Leap Forward, the Cultural Revolution, and the recent reform. Section two explores the political structure and processes of China, and section three deals with China’s political and economic reform after Mao. Section four examines Chinese foreign policy and the relationship between the US and China.

Course Goals
  • Understand the historical background of the modern political system of China
  • Examine the key political challenges and governance issues confronting the regime and the ruling Chinese Communist Party
  • Debate the social and economic impacts of the formal and informal institutions and practices the Party adopts
  • Discuss the basic dynamics of Chinese foreign policy toward the US on a variety of issues


Copy of Syllabus

Required Articles for this Class

In addition to your required textbooks, you are required to read the following articles. 

  • Wong, Karen Li Xan and Amy Shields Dobson, “We’re just data: Exploring China’s social credit system in relation to digital platform ratings cultures in Westernized democracies,” Global Media and China, v.4, n.2, 2019, pp. 220-232. Lib. Proxy Link.

  • Zhou, Weifeng & Mario Esteban, “Beyond Balancing: China’s approach towards the Belt and Road Initiative,” Journal of Contemporary China, v.27, n.112, 2018, pp. 487-501. Lib. Proxy Link.

  • Nordin, Astrid H. M. and Mikael Weissmann, “Will Trump make China great again? The belt and road initiative and international order,” International Affairs, v.94, n.2, 2018, pp. 231-249. Lib. Proxy Link.

  • Scobell, Andrew, “The South China Sea and U.S.-China Rivalry,” Political Science Quarterly, v.133, n.2, 2018, pp. 199-224. Lib. Proxy Link.

Required Documentaries for this Class

In addition to your required textbooks and reading, you are required to watch the below documentaries. DVD copies of these documentaries are available on course reserve at the Media Library in Chilton Hall, but there are legal copies on YouTube as well. You will need the call number or your course information to check out the DVDs as well as your student ID. 

(1) “China: A Century of Revolution-The Mao Years 1949-1976” Available at Media Library 

  • Media Library Information: DVD 18881

(2) "The Gate of Heavenly Peace" | Available at Media Library

  • Media Library Information: DVD 18813R

3) “Destined for war with China? Graham Allison and Gen. David Petraeus (Ret)” | Available on YouTube Only

(4) “The New Silk Road: Ambition and Opportunity (CNBC) Available on YouTube Only


Viewing DVDs at the Media Library

Individuals may use the Media Viewing Stations to watch the documentaries. Viewing stations and stereo headphones are available for using materials in the Media Library. Stations are equipped with a 20” TV and one of the following players:

  • DVD player
  • Blu-Ray player
  • VCR
  • All region DVD player
  • All region VHS player
  • Laserdisc player

Note: No food or drinks are allowed at Viewing Stations. Viewing Stations are not available for videotaping or recording. All stations are wheelchair accessible.

A group or class may also reserve the Screening Room (Room: 111C)Located on the 1st floor of Chilton Hall, 111C is a screening classroom. This room may be reserved for one-time use by instructors for screening media materials to their classes. This room fits 35 people, includes a Staff/Teaching/Presenter station, Open/mobile seating, Blu-Ray player, VHS player, LaserDisc player, PC, Projector, HDMI/VGA, Wireless mouse/keyboard, and Webcam with mic



Please note that the Media Library is not open 24hs like Willis. To review hours, please visit their page.

Additional Links