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Introduction to the Political Economy of China

Peking University, Beijing, China
2017-07-17 - 2017-07-28
Course Fee
11.500 CNY (incl. course fee + course materials + housing + social programma)
4 ECTS & Certificate of Attendance
Bachelor level
Course description

This course is primarily intended to provide an informed perspective about the evolving process of China’s political and economic transition and development during the past three decades. We will analyze Chinese economy from micro- and macro- economic and political perspectives, combining theoretical and empirical studies. Students are expected to (1) understand the path and historical background of China’s economic development; (2) compare and evaluate the strengths and weakness of China’s reform policies and practices; and (3) apply economic theories to the analysis of political and economic phenomena related to China.

Student profile/target group

Students of social sciences (incl. law, economics, business), sciences and engineering at senior undergraduate or graduate level with an interest in business, governance, commerce and sustainability. A general background in either business or economics is desirable, but no specific expertise is required.


Students must come to class having completed the required readings for the week and are prepared to engage in discussion. The required readings will be the basis of the lecture and class discussions, while the suggested readings are recommended for better understanding of the readings of a particular week.


Three parts of the evaluation will be calculated as follows:

  • Participation and discussion 40%
  • Presentation and critique 15%
  • Paper(s) 45%


Required Book:
Naughton, Barry. 2007. The Chinese Economy: Transitions and Growth. The MIT Press. (Hereafter Naughton)
Recommended Books:
Brandt, Loren and Thomas G. Rawski. 2008. China’s Great Economic Transformation. Cambridge University Press. (Hereafter B-R)
Guthrie, Doug. 2009. China and Globalization: The Social, Economic and Political Transformation of Chinese Society. Revised Edition. New York: Routledge. (Hereafter Guthrie)
Shirk, Susan. 1993. The Political Logic of Economic Reform in China. University of California Press. (Hereafter Shirk)
Steinfeld, Edward S. 2010. Playing Our Game: Why China’s Economic Rise Doesn’t Threaten the West. Oxford University Press. (Hereafter Steinfeld)
Maddison, Angus. 2007. Chinese Economic Performance in the Long Run. Second Edition, Revised and Updated. 960-2030AD. Development Centre: OECD. (Hereafter Maddison)

Contact hours


For more information

Required application documents

  • Peking University Application Form
  • Passport copy
  • CV
  • Home University Transcripts



Course director / Lecturers

  • Pic Zhou Qiang
    Dr. Zhou Qiang

    Dr. Zhou Qiang is an Assistant Professor at the School of Government, Peking University. Dr. Zhou obtained his Bachelor degree from Peking University in 1999, and his MA, MPhil and PhD from Columbia University, New York. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Chicago between 2008 and 2011 and Assistant Professor at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics between 2011 and 2014.

Course schedule
July 15, 2017

Arrival day

July 16, 2017

Registration and orientation

July 17, 2017

09.00-12.00 Session 1: Introduction and Session 2: Ancient and Socialist China

July 18, 2017

09.00-12.00 Session 3: China's Market Transition

July 19, 2017

09.00-12.00 Session 4: China's Economic Growth

July 20, 2017

09.00-12.00 Session 5: Sources of China's Economic Boom, part 1

July 21, 2017

09.00-12.00 Session 6: Sources of China's Economic Boom, part 2

July 24, 2017

09.00-12.00 Session 7: China and International Trade

July 25, 2017

09.00-12.00 Session 8: China's Fiscal System

July 26, 2017

09.00-12.00 Session 9: Banking and Finance

July 27, 2017

09.00-12.00 Session 10: Income Distribution

July 28, 2017

09.00-12.00 Session 11: Looking Beyond Today's Chinese Economy and Session 12: Discussions and Conslusions


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