729 Elm
Norman OK 73019-2105
(405) 325-3580
FAX: (405) 325-7738
uschina at ou dot edu

The University of Oklahoma
School of International and Area Studies

Spring 2014 IAS 3143-001: Chinese Politics
Prof. Peter Hays Gries

Class meets Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 1:30-2:20 in Bizzell 102
Office Hours: Monday, Wednesday 2:30-4 pm & by appointment in Cate 4, 401.

Course Description

This course provides a comprehensive introduction to Chinese politics. With over a fifth of the world’s population (over 1.3 billion people), an enormous economy (a 2011 nominal GDP of close to 7 trillion), and the world’s largest standing army, China is intrinsically important. Anyone who wishes to understand 21st century world politics needs to engage the China question.

The course begins with a mini-seminar on Internet politics in China today. It then returns to China’s revolutionary heritage, exploring the political history of 20th century China, with emphasis on the half century since “Liberation” in 1949. How should we understand Maoism and the chaos of the Cultural Revolution of the late 1960s? What are the legacies of the Tiananmen Massacre of 1989? It then turns to state-society relations in China today. Who have been the winners and losers in the last three decades of “reform and opening”?

One of the primary goals of this course is to develop critical thinking skills. Therefore, you will not just passively learn about Chinese politics, but will also actively conduct research on Chinese politics. Most fundamentally, in this class you will be asked to make arguments, which will be judged on their persuasiveness.