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BEXP 12A00 - China Nowadays

Type d'enseignement : Lecture alone

Semester : Spring 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English



Course Description

Lectures 1 and 2: Capitalism in China The two exploratory lectures of four hours each course will use the theoretical framework of the variety of capitalisms in the world and in Asia to understand the specificities of China's contemporary economic development. The course will analyze the emergence and the evolution of capitalism in China and compared to the orthodox economic development textbook. After giving an historical overview of the economic development in China, the course will analyze several important policies (property rights, financial reform, technology transfer) implemented after the launch of the reform policies in 1978. It will analysed the political and historical context and how it has interacted with the mode of growth in China. The course will also analyze what has been the role of the State in the rapid recent economic development of China (post 1980's). The course will also present the different challenges that China is facing currently to implement new reforms. Lectures 3, 4, 5 and 6: Chinese identity Cultural, political, historical and philosophical identities are not a given in China. On the contrary, despite remaining rooted in the rich cultural heritage on the country, the Chinese identity has been constructed and reconstructed by the élites to nurture their own legitimacy and to secure popular support for their specific political vision. Not even Confucianism can be considered a philosophical framework that has been characterizing the Chinese population in a totalizing manner over a long period of time. What it “Chineseness”, then, and how can we define it? This subject will guide you among all the changes that the Chinese identity has been going through in the last few decades. Assessing bottom-up and top-down forces behind the transformation of what we consider “Chineseness” today, this subject explores the strong impact that nationalism, propaganda, official historical narrative and traditional Asian values had in creating China's contemporary image.


  • ASTARITA, Claudia (PhD. Lecturer)
  • HUCHET, Jean-François (Chercheur, Directeur du centre ASIEs INALCO, Directeur Adjoint GIS Asie et Réseau Asie CNRS)

Pedagogical format

This class is composed by three sessions of two lectures each and aims at exploring China throughout different lenses. The first one develops an economic approach (Prof. JF. Huchet), the second one a humanities related focus (Prof. C. Astarita) .

Course validation

one 3h final exam

Required reading

Richard McGregor, The party: the secret world of China's communist rulers, London; New York, Allen Lane, 2010, 301 p.

Additional required reading

  • Atul Kohli, State-directed development: political power and industrialization in the global periphery, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2004, 466 p.
  • “Culture, "race" and nation: the formation of national identity in twentieth century China”, Frank Dikotter, Journal of International Affairs. 49.2 (Winter 1996): p590-605.
  • San Min Chu I, The Three Principles of the People (1927), Sun Yat Sen, China Committee, Institute of Pacific Relations, Shanghai, 1927. Lecture 1.