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JOHN CABOT UNIVERSITY

COURSE CODE: "PL 350"
COURSE NAME: "Politics of China"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2020
SYLLABUS

INSTRUCTOR: Enrico Fardella
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: W 1:30-4:25 PM
TOTAL NO. OF CONTACT HOURS: 45
CREDITS: 3
PREREQUISITES:
OFFICE HOURS: By appointment

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
This course reviews the evolution of China's national policies, focusing on its 1949 foundation, the Cultural Revolution, the post-Mao economic reforms, the events of 1989 at Tiananmen and their impact on different aspects of Chinese cultural and social life. It examines such contemporary issues as human, civil and political rights, environmental politics, the problems of minorities, and covers China's foreign policy and international relations.
SUMMARY OF COURSE CONTENT:

This course reviews the evolution of China's national policies, focusing on the narrative of National Humiliation, Mao’s central role in Party’s history and ideology & Chinese leadership policies from Deng Xiaoping to Xi Jinping. It examines Chinese Communist Party ideology and structure, China’s key notion of national security and its foreign relations with a special emphasis on the evolution of Sino-American relations and the Belt and Road Initiative. The course will end with a class debate on China’s notions of world order.

 

 The course will critically delve intro the following ten questions:

  1. What is the ‘Century of Humiliation’ and which role does it play in today’s China’s politics? 
  2. The Maoist era and Maoism: which are the core elements of Mao’s ideology and how did they shape the history of the PRC? 
  3. How did Mao’s foreign policy influence the evolution of global politics? And how much does it influence China’s foreign policy today? 
  4. How did Deng’s reform and opening change China’s domestic politics and external relations? 
  5. How did Sino-American relations evolve since the Cold War?
  6. How does the Chinese Communist Party think and how does it actually work? 
  7. Why are Xinjiang, Tibet, Hong Kong and Taiwan so important for China?
  8. What is the Belt and Road Initiative and which kind of impact has it on the Euro-Mediterranean Region?
  9. Fifty years of Sino-Italian diplomatic relations: how relevant is Italy in China’s global strategy?
  10. Is there a Chinese notion of world order? 

LEARNING OUTCOMES:

The course will allow the students to critically an analyse the political dimension of China’s national struggle, identify its resilience and evolution across the history of the PRC and creatively project its potential developments and impact in the world of tomorrow. The individual and group research will allow them to acquire a solid knowledge of China-related research networks, sources and tools and the in class debates will let them using the newly acquired skills to project their analysis into the future by predicting some potential scenarios of China's interaction with the world in the next decades. 

TEXTBOOK:
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
Politics in China: An introduction William Joseph Oxford University Press 0190870710  
REQUIRED RESERVED READING:
NONE

RECOMMENDED RESERVED READING:
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
wealth and PowerOrville Schell Random House Trade Paperbacks 0812976258  
Maoism a global history Julia LovellKnopf0525656049  
China Under MaoAndrew WalderHarvard University Press978-0674975491  
China and the World since 1945: an International History Mark Chi-KwanRoutledge 0415606500  
The Beautiful Country and the Middle Kingdom: America and China, 1776 to the PresentJohn Pomfret Henry Holt and Co.0805092501  
GRADING POLICY
-ASSESSMENT METHODS:
AssignmentGuidelinesWeight
Literary ReviewLiterary review of a topic related to the ten core questions of the course. Length: bw 2000-2500 words Times New Roman, 12. Word file/Double spaced. Topic to be chosen by October 7th Deadline: December 2nd20
Mid-Term A written multiple-choice mid-term exam based on the five questions (1-5) addressed in the first part of the course 20
Final Exam A written multiple-choice final exam based on the five questions (6-10) of the second part of the course 20
Team work A group research work to be presented in class 20
DebatesIn class debates on a previously assigned question or simple topic related to the lectures. The students are requested to structure their own positions on the basis of individual research.20

-ASSESSMENT CRITERIA:
AWork of this quality directly addresses the question or problem raised and provides a coherent argument displaying an extensive knowledge of relevant information or content. This type of work demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate concepts and theory and has an element of novelty and originality. There is clear evidence of a significant amount of reading beyond that required for the course.
BThis is highly competent level of performance and directly addresses the question or problem raised.There is a demonstration of some ability to critically evaluatetheory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture andreference material. The work does not suffer from any major errors or omissions and provides evidence of reading beyond the required assignments.
CThis is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings.
DThis level of performances demonstrates that the student lacks a coherent grasp of the material.Important information is omitted and irrelevant points included.In effect, the student has barely done enough to persuade the instructor that s/he should not fail.
FThis work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question. Most of the material in the answer is irrelevant.

-ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS:
ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS AND EXAMINATION POLICY
You cannot make-up a major exam (midterm or final) without the permission of the Dean’s Office. The Dean’s Office will grant such permission only when the absence was caused by a serious impediment, such as a documented illness, hospitalization or death in the immediate family (in which you must attend the funeral) or other situations of similar gravity. Absences due to other meaningful conflicts, such as job interviews, family celebrations, travel difficulties, student misunderstandings or personal convenience, will not be excused. Students who will be absent from a major exam must notify the Dean’s Office prior to that exam. Absences from class due to the observance of a religious holiday will normally be excused. Individual students who will have to miss class to observe a religious holiday should notify the instructor by the end of the Add/Drop period to make prior arrangements for making up any work that will be missed. The final exam period runs until ____________
ACADEMIC HONESTY
As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
STUDENTS WITH LEARNING OR OTHER DISABILITIES
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.

SCHEDULE

LECTURE

TOPIC

DATE

READINGS

Debates

1

What is the ‘Century of Humiliation’ and which role does it play in today’s China’s politics?

SEPTEMBER 23rd

Joseph, chap. 2

 

 

2

The Maoist era and Maoism: which are the core elements of Mao’s ideology and how did they shape the history of the PRC?

SEPTEMBER 30th

 

 

Schell and Delury,

chap. 9-10

 

 

—————-

OCTOBER 7th

Joseph, chap. 3 & 5

 

Lovell, chap. 12

 

Walder, chap. 14

 

3

How did Mao’s foreign policy influence the evolution of global politics? And how much does it influence China’s foreign policy today?

OCTOBER 14th

Chi-Kwan, chap 1-7

 

Chen, Epilogue

 

 

In light of Mao’s influence over China’s past and present try to assess how Mao’s inheritance can shape China’s - or the world - future

4

How did Deng’s reform and opening change China’s domestic politics and external relations?

OCTOBER 21th

Chi-Kwan, chap. 8

 

Joseph, chap. 4

 

Schell and Delury, chap. 11-12

 

 

 

 

Which are the main

features of Xi

Jinping’s ideology?

5

How did Sino-American relations evolve since the Cold War?

OCTOBER 28th

Fardella “The Sino-American Normalization: A Reassessment”, in Diplomatic History, Vol. 33, No. 4 (September 2009),

545-578.

 

Pomfret Part V

 

Are we entering into a New Cold War between China and the US?

 

MID TERM EXAMS

& TEAM WORK

 

TEAM WORK TOPIC:

 

Assess the potential evolution of US China Policies, China’s responses and their impact on Sino-American relations during the next presidential mandate

NOVEMBER 4th

 

 

6

How does the Chinese Communist Party think and how does it actually work?

NOVEMBER 11th

Joseph chaps 5-6-8

 

7

Why are Xinjiang, Tibet, Hong Kong and Taiwan so important for China?

NOVEMBER 18th

Joseph chaps 16-17-18-19

Is South China Sea a Chinese ‘core interest’ and if so why?

8

What is the Belt and Road Initiative and which kind of impact has it on the Euro-Mediterranean Region?

NOVEMBER 25th

 

Fardella, “The Belt and Road Initiative Impact on Europe: an Italian Perspective" in China&World

Economy, Special Issue: Eurasian Perspective on China's Belt and Road Initiative, Volume 25, Issue 5, September–October 2017, 125-138.

Do European and MENA countries have a different perception of China’s global role?

9

Fifty years of Sino-Italian diplomatic relations: how relevant is Italy in China’s global strategy?

DECEMBER 2nd

Fardella, “A significant periphery of the Cold War: Italy-China bilateral relations, 1949–1989”,

Cold War History,

Vol. 2, 17. 2017, 181-197.

If you were Italy’s prime minister how would you shape Italy’s China policy in the next years?

10

Is there a Chinese notion of world order?

DECEMBER 9th

Wang, Chap. 6

 

 

Is there a Chinese alternative notion of global governance?

 

Final exams

DECEMBER 11-14th (TBC)