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POLISCI 335A: From Cold War to New Cold War: Politics and Political Theory in Contemporary China (POLISCI 235A)

"China lacks everything: middle managers, engineers and capital," so wrote French political thinker Raymond Aron. That was 1950, three years after Harry Truman's 1947 Address to Congress, which was usually considered the beginning of the Cold War, and months after the founding of the People's Republic of China. More than seventy years later, and after a long, winding journey, China now has much more than middle managers, engineers, and capital. However, global politics seems to move towards another clash of two powerful countries with seemingly different ideological orientations as many now claim that a new Cold War is on the horizon.How did China emerge as a global power from what Aron described in 1950? And more importantly, can we, and if so, how do we, understand the rise of China with a theoretical perspective? How do theory and real politics shape each other, as manifested in the history of contemporary China? In this class, we explore answers to these questions by reading politi more »
"China lacks everything: middle managers, engineers and capital," so wrote French political thinker Raymond Aron. That was 1950, three years after Harry Truman's 1947 Address to Congress, which was usually considered the beginning of the Cold War, and months after the founding of the People's Republic of China. More than seventy years later, and after a long, winding journey, China now has much more than middle managers, engineers, and capital. However, global politics seems to move towards another clash of two powerful countries with seemingly different ideological orientations as many now claim that a new Cold War is on the horizon.How did China emerge as a global power from what Aron described in 1950? And more importantly, can we, and if so, how do we, understand the rise of China with a theoretical perspective? How do theory and real politics shape each other, as manifested in the history of contemporary China? In this class, we explore answers to these questions by reading political theory against history, sociology, and political science. In every week, we read texts that reflect both the social reality and theoretical concerns of a given period in contemporary Chinese history. By so doing, we seek to make sense of both the contemporary Chinese society and the power and limits of ideas in political theory.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3-5
Instructors: Luo, S. (PI)
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