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POL3104 : The Fall and Rise of China (Inactive)

  • Inactive for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Ben Coulson
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


•To provide a comprehensive introduction to Chinese politics, with particular emphasis on the Reform era
•To understand key political structures, actors, and processes within mainland China
•To understand a range of key issues in Chinese domestic and foreign policy
•To situate the rise of China within its historical and geopolitical context
•To give students a critical appreciation of the complexity of modern Chinese politics and to enable them to critically assess competing claims made by both China and by Western governments

Outline Of Syllabus

How has China managed to develop so rapidly and what are the consequences of its ascent? How is its newfound power re-shaping the geopolitical landscape? This module aims to provide a well-rounded assessment of modern Chinese politics, with particular emphasis on events since the 1978 Open Door Policy initiated by Deng Xiaoping. We will first examine the historical context behind China's rise (the so-called ‘Century of Humiliation’), then look at the workings of the Communist Party and the possibilities for political reform. The bulk of the course will consider a range of key issues, including: the revival of Confucian politics, China’s environmental crisis, the changing nature of state and society relations, critical problems posed by the rural/urban divide, nationalism, soft power, the propaganda war over Tibet and human rights, Sino-US relations, and China's search for energy and resources in Africa and SE Asia.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion182:0082:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture112:0022:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching101:0010:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery41:004:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study182:0082:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures are crucial to provide students with an introduction to key ideas, actors, and events of Chinese politics. Lectures make extensive use of power point slides to help re-enforce students’ understanding. The lecturers own expertise and research into these topics provides engaging examples and contributes towards the goal of research informed teaching. Seminars will allow students to follow up these ideas and issues by asking questions and debating amongst themselves. It provides the context for students to articulate their knowledge and understanding and to help them prepare for written assessment.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination901A50N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M502000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The essay will help enable students to develop skills of critical analysis and provide an opportunity for them to hone their abilities to reason systematically and write clearly, as well as develop bibliographical skills. The essay will also allow students to explore a topic in depth and permit them to discuss and analyse, in brief, debates in Chinese politics. The exam will test students for their broad knowledge of Chinese politics. These assessments act in tandem so as to test students on both their broad and specific understanding of the module content.

Reading Lists