UCL European & International Social & Political Studies


UCL European & International Social & Political Studies


ESPS0034 - Introduction to Chinese Politics

Course value: 15 credits
Convenor: Dr. Igor Rogelja
Duration: One term (Term 1)
Teaching structure: Two-hour seminar
Assessment: 1 assessed policy report of 1,000 words (20%), 1 assessed essay of 3,000 words (80%)
Available to: Priority will be given to ISPS Mandarin major language students, but all ISPS students are welcome (as space permits)
Module level: Introductory

Course Description:

This module provides an overview of China’s domestic politics, explaining how China’s “long 20th century” came to define its current politics and society. It introduces basic concepts of governance specific to China and explores relations between state and society from the imperial state, republican China, through the radical Maoist period and down to the reform-period after 1978. Beginning with a five-week excursion through a tumultuous history of imperialism, war and revolution, the course then looks at five thematic blocks covering contemporary issues relevant to the understanding of China’s present and future. 

The aim of the course is to give students a rounded understanding of China’s recent politics and history. It will do so by flagging up crucial points at which China’s elites and society negotiated a transition to their own vision of modernity, thus preparing the ground for comparative analysis on how China’s recent historical experiences differ or converge with those of the West, the East Asian region, as well as other parts of the developing world.