China: A Success Story?


Fall 2013 quarter

Taught by

China studies, theater
David Shaw
international business, economics

In the fall of 2012, China’s 18th Communist Party Congress selected the current generation of Chinese political leaders, moving China into the next chapter of its 3,000-plus years of political history.

Today, China’s economic power continues to grow, and its rise globally has drawn increasing attention. Many developing countries are viewing the China model as an alternative to the Western experience of economic growth and middle class prosperity. However, China is faced with many internal and external challenges. Challenges like these have repeatedly threatened China’s social stability in the past. In the extreme case, they might alter its current ideological foundations, potentially undercutting the premises of the China “success story.”

This introductory China studies program will focus on China's present situation as a modern state and global power evolved from a lengthy and complicated cultural development over centuries. Within the time constraint of a quarter, we will examine China from selective angles and subject matters suggesting recurrent cultural patterns and distinct national characteristics. In the social sciences, we will touch on China’s geography, political structure and economic and business systems, including sustainability and environmental issues. From the humanities perspective, we will look at prominent examples of China’s religion, philosophy, arts and literature. All these issues are potentially interrelated, leading to a more coherent set of inquiries into the myth or reality of China’s current image of success.

Students will be exposed to multiple topics and issues through weekly readings, lectures, discussions and workshops. They will also conduct a research project on a China-related topic of their own choice. This research project will provide them with opportunities to develop skills in research methods and academic writing. The program will introduce the fundamentals of Chinese language and linguistics through program studies but does not contain an independent Chinese language study component.

Program Details

Fields of Study

Preparatory for studies or careers in

China studies, international business and international studies.

Location and Schedule

Campus location



Offered during: Day


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Online Learning

No Required Online Learning: No access to web tools required. Any web tools provided are optional for students.


Date Revision
June 7th, 2013 This program is now open to students of all class levels (freshmen through seniors).

Registration Information

Credits: 16 (Fall)

Class standing: Freshmen–Senior; 25% of the seats are reserved for freshmen

Maximum enrollment: 48


Course Reference Numbers

Fr (16 credits): 10114
So - Sr (16 credits): 10115

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