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PLT3631 - China: Revolution Versus Pragmatism

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Dennis Woodward


Clayton Second semester 2007 (Day)


This unit examines contemporary Chinese politics. In particular, it focuses on the post-1978 'reform' period and seeks to place its policies against the background of the 'Maoist' period. It is assumed that students will not have any prior knowledge of Chinese history, society or politics. As well as looking at the major debates over social and economic change in China, the changing nature of Chinese politics will be examined through highlighting specific policy areas. The role of ideology, the relationship between the Chinese Communist Party, the army and the state apparatus, and the relationship between the individual and the state will be scrutinised.


On successful completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Have a critical understanding of contemporary Chinese society.
  2. Have an understanding of the relationship between economic, social and political reform.
  3. Have an understanding of the relationship between stable government and revolutionary ideals.
  4. Have a critical understanding of Maoism.
  5. Be able to find, evaluate and effectively use empirical data in support of an argument in regard to central issues in Chinese politics.
  6. Be able to present an argument in a fluent, coherent and persuasive manner.


Essay (2500 words): 50%
Tutorial participation: 10%
Examination (2 hours, equivalent to 2000 words): 40%

Contact hours

2 hours (1 x 1 hour lecture and 1 x 1 hour tutorial) per week