The University of Mississippi
Fall 2019, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8:00-9:15, 111 Bryant Hall
Instructor: Dr. Gang Guo * Office: 128 Deupree Hall * Telephone: (662) 915-5419 * e-mail: gg at olemiss dot edu
Office hours: by appointment

[ Class Schedule ] | [ Student Presentations ] | [ On-line Resources ] | [ Map of China ]

Course Overview

This undergraduate lecture course is an introduction to the politics of China, with an emphasis on the mainland in the post-Mao reform era. It includes important topics in the Chinese political history, political ideology, political institutions, political processes, as well as some key issues in contemporary Chinese politics. After completing this course, a student should be able to gain a better understanding of the historical and current developments in Chinese politics and to appropriately apply the concepts and theories to the study of China.

The required readings for this course will be linked from this web page or through electronic journals at the University of Mississippi libraries.

It is essential for students to read (often critically) the required materials before class and attend all class sessions. Class participation accounts for 10% of the course grade.

Each student is also required to make a brief in-class presentation of about 5-10 minutes in length on a recent news on China. A sign-up sheet is distributed during the first class and each student will choose a date to present. In reporting the news, the presenter should synthesize news stories from at least two major mass media outlets. The PowerPoint file should include at least one page on the main news story, at least one page on some background information to help the audience understand the news story better, and at least one page of sources and/or references. The PowerPoint (or PDF) file for your presentation should be uploaded on Blackboard before the class in which you present. After each presentation there will be a short period of time in which the presenter responds to questions or comments from the audience.

The presentation accounts for 15% of the course grade and will be evaluated using the following rubric:

  1. Content
  2. Format
  3. Delivery

There will be one or more pop quizzes, two short papers, a midterm exam, and a final exam for the course. The pop quiz(zes) will be held on randomly chosen dates in class and account for 5% of the course grade. The two short papers shall be submitted on Blackboard on Tuesday, September 17th and on Thursday, October 31st, respectively. The papers account for 15% of the course grade. The mid-term exam in class on Tuesday, October 8th, will account for 25% of the course grade. The final exam starts at 8 A.M. on Tuesday, December 10th, according to the Registrar's Office. It accounts for 30% of the course grade.

Disability Access and Inclusion:
The University of Mississippi is committed to the creation of inclusive learning environments for all students. If there are aspects of the instruction or design of this course that result in barriers to your full inclusion and participation, or to accurate assessment of your achievement, please contact the course instructor as soon as possible. Barriers may include, but are not necessarily limited to, timed exams and in-class assignments, difficulty with the acquisition of lecture content, inaccessible web content, and the use of non-captioned or non-transcribed video and audio files. If you are approved through SDS, you must log in to your Rebel Access portal at https://sds.olemiss.edu to request approved accommodations. If you are NOT approved through SDS, you must contact Student Disability Services at 662-915-7128 so the office can: 1. determine your eligibility for accommodations, 2. disseminate to your instructors a Faculty Notification Letter, 3. facilitate the removal of barriers, and 4. ensure you have equal access to the same opportunities for success that are available to all students.

Class Schedule

MonthDateDayLecture NotesRequired Reading
August27thTuesdayIntroduction and Administration
29thThursdayThe People and the LandCentral Intelligence Agency, United States. 2019. "China." The World Factbook.
September3rdTuesdayImperial Era (221 B.C.E.-1911 C.E.)Richey, Jeff. "Confucius," Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
5thThursdayRepublic Era (1912-1949)"Chiang Kai-shek," in Encyclopaedia Britannica.
10thTuesdayMarxism, Leninism, and MaoismMao 1927-1945
12thThursdayChina under Mao (1949-1976)Shinn, Rinn-Sup and Robert L. Worden. 1988. Section on The People's Republican China in Chapter 1: Historical Setting in A Country Study: China. Federal Research Division, Library of Congress.
17thTuesdayDocumentary: Born under the Red FlagDeng Xiaoping; First paper due on Blackboard at 11:59PM.
19thThursdayThe Party-StateManion 2010a
26thThursdayThe People's Congress SystemWee, Sui-Lee. 2018. China's Parliament Is a Growing Billionaires' Club," New York Times, March 1st.
October1stTuesdayJudicial SystemAhl, Bjorn. 2014. "Retaining Judicial Professionalism: The New Guiding Cases Mechanism of the Supreme People's Court." The China Quarterly.
3rdThursdayElite PoliticsBo, ZhiYue. 2017. "The 7 Men Who Will Run China: What you need to know about the members of the 19th Politburo Standing Committee". The Diplomat, October 25th.
8thTuesdayMidterm ExamAll of the above
10thThursdayPolitical RecruitmentBian, Shu, and Logan. 2001. "Communist Party Membership and Regime Dynamics in China." Social Forces, Volume 79, Number 3, March, pages 805 - 841.
15thTuesdayRecruitment of StudentsGuo, Gang. 2005. "Party Recruitment of College Students in China." Journal of Contemporary China, Volume 14, Number 43, May, pages 371 - 393.
17thThursdayPolitical ParticipationManion 2010b
22ndTuesdayVillage ElectionsGuo, Zhenglin and Thomas Bernstein. 2004. "The Impact of Elections on the Village Structure of Power: The Relations Between the Village Committees and the Party Branches". Journal of Contemporary China, Volume 13, Number 39, pages 257 - 275.
24thThursdaySocial OrganizationsGuo, Gang. 2007. "Organizational Involvement and Political Participation in China." Comparative Political Studies, Volume 40, Number 4, April, Pages 457-482.
29thTuesdayWorkers & PeasantsSolinger, Dorothy J. 2002. "Labour Market Reform and the Plight of the Laid-off Proletariat." The China Quarterly, Volume 170, June, pp. 304-326.
31stThursdayVideo: A Tale of Two Political SystemsSecond paper due on Blackboard at 11:59PM.
November5thTuesdayEconomic DevelopmentMorrison, Wayne M. 2019. China's Economic Rise: History, Trends, Challenges, and Implications for the United States, Congressional Research Service, October 21.
7thThursdayMiddle ClassNathan, Andrew J. 2016. "The Puzzle of the Chinese Middle Class." Journal of Democracy, Volume 27, Number 2, April, Pages 5-19.
12thTuesdayTaiwanCentral Intelligence Agency, United States. 2019. "Taiwan." The World Factbook.
14thThursdayHong KongChan, Ming K. 2003. "Different Roads to Home: The Retrocession of Hong Kong and Macau to Chinese Sovereignty". Journal of Contemporary China, Volume 12, Number 36, August, pages 493 - 518.
19thTuesdayPRC-US RelationsNews China. 2019. Cover Story: "China-US Relationship 1979 to 2019: A 40-Year Timeline." Volume 128, April, Pages 14-28.
21stThursdayHuman RightsCarnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs. 2016. "Human Rights in China with Jeffrey Wasserstrom."
December3rdTuesdayDemocratizationBell, Daniel A. et al. 2015. "Is There a China Model? A ChinaFile Conversation" at Asia Society.
5thThursdayU.S.-China TradeShih, Victor, Yu Zhou, and Christopher Balding. 2019. "What Are We Getting Wrong about the Trade War?"

Student Presentations

MonthDateDayPresenter IPresenter II
August27thTuesday(No Presentation)
5thThursdayMichael Magyar
10thTuesdayJasmine Stoudemire
12thThursdayTaylor Schmidt-Fellner
17thTuesday(No Presentation)
19thThursdayMeg Petersen
24thTuesdayMackenzie Cagle
26thThursdayEmma Morris
October1stTuesdayKaleb McKinnon
3rdThursdayMadison Bentel
8thTuesdayMidterm Exam
10thThursdayA.J. Stone
15thTuesdayCharlie Kihm
17thThursdayGrace Jennings
22ndTuesdayChristian EnglishLee Groon
24thThursdayHunter Jolly
29thTuesdayJack McCalisterMeredith Vavala
31stThursday(No Presentation)
November5thTuesdayLiam-B LittleColleen Shuford
7thThursdayChristian Wisneski
12thTuesdayJacob DawsonHannah Chauvin
14thThursdayGage Clark
19thTuesdayJohn Lewis

On-line Resources