About the Module

“Traditionally academics have tended to view the world through the eyepiece of a single discipline. But the real world is not like that, it is by its very nature interdisciplinary and can only be deeply understood when viewed from multiple academic perspectives. ”

Mark Cranshaw, Director, Centre for Contemporary China Executive Director, Confucius Institute, Developer of Curriculum Innovation module, Understanding Modern China

Dr. Hui-Chi Yeh
Room: 4009, Murray Building
Email: H.Yeh@Soton.ac.uk
Office Hours: 11:00-13:00 Friday

Module aims and learning outcomes
The aim of this module is to help students understand how China’s economic miracle unfolded since the open-door policy was introduced in 1978 and to explore the economic, social, cultural and political implications of more than thirty years of accelerated growth from an interdisciplinary perspective. The module will introduce the students to key issues and events and provide opportunities to discuss a broad range of subjects associated with China’s rise as a global power.

In particular students completing this module will be able to:

1. Understand the drivers for economic growth in the Chinese economy post 1979
2. Discuss the sustainability of China’s growth ambitions from an interdisciplinary perspective
3. Analyse the social, political and cultural impact of China’s economic development
4. Critically evaluate views on China’s socio-economic and political systems, exploring key current issues such as social equality, population policy and growth, the role of the Communist Party, the environment, and foreign policy
5. Extrapolate from existing policy and practice at home and abroad to analyse predictions about China’s future as a global power
6. Engage in group discussion with students from different disciplines to develop a deep and critical understanding of contemporary China

Attributes *How students obtain them *How students reflect on them
Reflective Learner Through participation in seminars and   other group discussion. Through Blogging.  
Academic Learner Through interdisciplinary study of   Modern China  
Communication Skills Delivering presentation, writing report   and making blog entries Peer evaluation of group presentation
Ethical Leader Study of the implications of China’s   growth In discussion at seminars
Global Citizen By analysing the impact of China’s   growth in a global context In discussion at seminars, in   presentations and in Blog entries
Research & Enquiry In contributing to the group   presentation involving a detailed examination of a non-trivial issue Reflective Report


Summary of syllabus content
The first part of the course will comprise introductory lectures charting China’s economic development since the “open door” policy was introduced in 1978, looking at key aspects of Chinese political and social organisation and relevant aspects of Chinese culture.  The focus of the unit will then switch to current issues in contemporary China. Content in the latter part of the course will be driven by current affairs and student interests.

The lectures will introduce students to the topics under discussion and stimulate a critical awareness of the current issues inherent in each topic. Lectures are meant to be as interactive as possible. Course readings – primary sources as well as scholarly writings – have been selected to encourage a critical and reflective approach to the issues dealt with.

Topics covered include:
The Impact of the Open Door policy on the Chinese Economy.  Foreign trade, Foreign Direct Investment, joining the WTO and the aftermath

The Chinese economy in the context of world economic crisis

Poverty and Inequality in China.  The gap between rich and poor, town and country, economic growth and the effect on poverty

China’s political system, the role of the Party before and after Tiananmen

The one child policy and its impact yesterday, today and tomorrow

Innovation and enterprise: The Chinese Economy from Made in China to Created in China (Intellectual Property in China)

China’s rising Middle Class

China’s foreign policy and its global influence

The unit will be taught through a coordinated programme of lectures and seminars. There is one lecture and one seminar per week.

The course will be delivered using a variety of teaching and learning methods including lectures, seminars, directed learning, and web based research. Staff from different Academic Units with expertise in different fields of China Studies such as Economics, Politics, Sociology, Humanities and Management will contribute to the programme as appropriate.

The delivery will offer the possibility of exploring the same or similar issues from different disciplinary perspectives, driven by the participation of staff and students with varied disciplinary backgrounds. Shared blogs will be used to support collaboration between students, and establish thought provoking and imaginative context for learning.

Students will take responsibility for leading and participating in weekly seminar discussions, supported by recommended reading. You are expected to attend and participate in each lecture and seminar.

The course Blackboard site and blog will set up as a platform to provide additional information and interaction.




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