The final essay is a take-home exam. It consists of a series of essay questions covering the scope of the course. Students are encouraged to discuss the questions with one another, but the essays MUST be written on an individual basis.

Final Essay Assignment


Attached you will find two short New York Times op-ed articles by Nicholas Kristof, the Times’ former Beijing bureau chief (Nicholas Kristof, “Will China Blindside the West?” The New York Times, Dec. 3, 2002; Nicholas Kristof, “China’s Deadly Cover-Up,” The New York Times, Nov. 29, 2002). One discusses China’s horrifying, and to some extent governmentally-induced AIDS crisis. The other predicts China’s coming rise as a major economic and political power - essentially, the recovery of China’s traditional greatness. Each article appears based on a different sense of how the Chinese system actually works.

Questions to Answer:

How does the nature of China’s political system and the manner by which Chinese society is organized explain why both articles can be true? What factors about the way China is governed lead to such diametrically opposed and contradictory outcomes? Can such a manner of governance ultimately lead to greatness?


Please answer the above questions in an 8-10 page (double spaced) essay. Fifty percent of the paper grade will be determined by the quality and sophistication of your argument. The other fifty percent will be determined by the efficacy with which you integrate information from assigned readings and films. Any information and ideas taken from assigned readings must be cited. Films should also be cited. Additional research beyond assigned materials is neither necessary nor encouraged. Papers are due at the beginning of class in Lecture 13. Late papers will be receive a ½ grade per day reduction.

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