Political Economy

Political Economy of China

Lecturer:Prof. ZHANG Li

Credits:3 Fudan University credits, 5 ECTS equivalent

This course provides a political economy perspective on the rapidly changing economy and society in contemporary China. The course will focus on the discussion how political, economic and social forces shape “socialism with Chinese characteristics”. 

The ultimate objectives of this course are: 

to enhance students’ intellectual knowledge about China from a political economy perspective; 

to improve students’ ability to think about China’s complex development more comprehensively and critically; and

to enable students to integrate what they have learned from this course into other China-related courses in their own discipline of study.

After completing the course, students should

be able to explore controversial concepts and issues that are important for understanding socialism with Chinese characteristics;

be knowledgeable about the relationships between various development patterns and systemic features in both pre-reform and reform periods; and

be able to understand China’s development beyond what is presented in the mass media.


Lecture 1 Course introduction 

Lecture 2 The lexicon of China’s political economy 

Lecture 3 Political economy concerns of urbanization 

Lecture 4 Inequality under welfare regime transformation 

Lecture 5 Demographic dividend and China’s power 

Lecture 6 Territorial dimensions of authority and power in China’s political economy 

Lecture 7 Migration and citizenship in the Chinese context 

Lecture 8 Government finance: the case of infrastructure financing 

Lecture 9Political reform 

Lecture 10 Presentation preparation week, no class meeting

Lecture 11Student Presentation 

Lecture 12How can we understand the real China

Lecture 13Final exam week