Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POC3133: Chinese Politics and Society

This module descriptor refers to the 2023/4 academic year.

Please note that this module is only delivered on the Penryn Campus.

Module Aims

This module will introduce you to the history, internal politics and foreign policy of China. First, it aims to provide you with the historical background and conceptual tools to analyse political and social processes in China. By the end of the module, you will be able to understand how the doctrine of Communism has evolved in China over the past 70 years; evaluate the structure of family, gender and social relations; assess the ways in which rapid economic growth is transforming society; and understand the key principles driving Chinese foreign policy. Second, it will acquaint you with the central concepts and analytical frameworks associated with China, including Confucianism, ‘socialism with Chinese characteristics’, peaceful rise, and hukou. Thirdly, it will introduce you to concepts, perspectives and processes that will be useful in international relations and comparative politics more broadly, including the regional organisations that China engages with, as well as domestic processes such as modernization and urbanization. Finally, it aims to develop a sensitivity towards the differences between Western and non-Western worldviews; by the end of the module, you will also be able to attune yourself to hidden assumptions in Western and Chinese scholarly and journalistic reports on the region.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

This module's assessment will evaluate your achievement of the ILOs listed here – you will see reference to these ILO numbers in the details of the assessment for this module.

On successfully completing the programme you will be able to:
Module-Specific Skills1. Comprehend and evaluate the modern historical contexts for contemporary events and processes in China.
2. Comprehend and evaluate a range of key concepts and theoretical approaches to China.
Discipline-Specific Skills3. Critically employ a range of theoretical frameworks to a variety of empirical cases.
4. Critically analyze theoretical and empirical materials.
Personal and Key Skills5. Construct a reasoned and logical argument supported by evidence.
6. Communicate effectively through well-structured speech and writing
7. Work independently and with peers to achieve goals.