IR5002 - Chinese Politics

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What will I learn on this module?

In this module I will be introduced to, understand and analyse a range of issues within the field of Chinese Politics. The focus of the module is on domestic Chinese politics. I will be introduced to modern Chinese history starting from the Opium War in order to understand the historical path of China from an imperial to a communist state and the policies that led to China turning communist in 1949.

I will then learn in depth about the policies after 1949 to the present in order to understand the policies of the revolutionary government and the emergence of capitalist reform. Specifically, this will cover economic policies, social policies, environmental policies, ethnic policies, and towards the end of the module the emergence of China in the global political landscape.

How will I learn on this module?

My learning on this module will be supported by lectures and seminars, small group work, debates, and a weekly news roundup in order to stay abreast of new developments in China. The current news will be linked, where possible, to past and present sessions of the module in order to connect current events to the module themes. Classroom time will give me the opportunity to learn about key themes in Chinese politics, which I will further pursue and deepen through independent study.

During the module I will engage with a range of concepts drawn from the field of political science, including varieties of capitalism and democracy theory, in order to better understand the political system and the political culture of the Chinese state. I will critically engage with these concepts in order to evaluate their explanatory reach for the study of Chinese politics.

I will be tested through a summative essay and a summative (group) presentation.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

My academic development will be facilitated through engagement with the academic literature and by talking with my peers and academics about my understanding of the literature. I expect to critically evaluate my pre-conceived notions that I might have in the light of the literature and debates during lectures and seminars. I will read beyond the material provided in the module handbook in order to widen and deepen the scope of my understanding of academic debates.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. Critically analyse relevant theories and examine their applicability to Chinese politics and society
2. Understand the opportunities and limitations of different actors to influence Chinese politics

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
At the end of this module I will be able to:
3. Investigate the utility of Western concepts for the analysis of a non-Western state
4. Communicate ideas and arguments through essays and presentations, using PowerPoint for the latter

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
5. Value curiosity about non-Western societies and the ability to immerse yourself in the study of different political systems, societies and cultures

How will I be assessed?

Summative essay and presentation; in-class debates; group work with documents during various sessions of the module





Module abstract

Please find details of this module in the other sections provided.

Course info

UCAS Code L2L2

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Social Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2020

Fee Information

Module Information

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