Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 1 session / week, 2 hours / session

Objectives And Organization

China today is engaged in a remarkable process of transformation - a simultaneous economic, institutional, and societal revolution. This course provides a framework for understanding that process, both in terms of the transition from plan to market and the process of economic development more broadly defined. The course’s wider agenda is to consider the extent to which China’s particular reform experience can challenge our analytical understanding of the foundations of market systems and the process of institutional change. What can the Chinese case tell us about the relationship between property rights and growth? How essential is privatization for economic development? What role has the Chinese state played in fostering development, and how should we understand the role of the state in market systems more generally? Observers of China today frequently point to the need for effective governance and “rule of law,” but what exactly do these terms mean, and what do they have to do with economic development? How has international integration impacted upon domestic change in China, and what will be required for China to foster globally competitive firms? These questions will be addressed through a combination of extensive readings, weekly lectures, and weekly in-class discussions.


All students will be expected to attend lectures regularly and complete all assigned readings prior to their discussion in class/lecture.

Undergraduates are required to write two (5 page) papers focused on the weekly readings, as well as to complete a take-home examination in the final week of the course.

Graduate students are required to write one analytical paper (8-10 page) on a question from the readings, as well as a research paper (approx. 25 pages) on the political economy of Chinese reform; topic by agreement with instructor.