How do we understand the recent Chinese past, and how do we frame contemporary events in China in historical context? At the end of the Mao years (1949-1976), China’s revolutionary experiment gave way to the reforms of a market economy, and observers of China predicted that political transformation would follow. Yet more recently, social scientists have suggested that the key to the Communist Party’s resilience lies in its “adaptive governance,” that Mao-era politics and policy continue to inform governance today. This introduction course investigates the history of the People’s Republic from “Mao to Now,” asking questions about how the Party-State is organized, how state and society interact, what are the causes and consequences of economic disparities, and how various groups—from intellectuals to religious believers—have shaped the meaning of contemporary Chinese society.
Please see syllabus for more information.