China in Your Lifetime Syllabus—PAVS 4500 003

Revised 3/12/2012

Spring 2012

Tuesday, 7-9:30pm, Pavilion VIII, room 103


DESCRIPTION:       This seminar will explore the expectations of China’s development and its consequences to 2050, when a 21 year-old will be 60 years old. We will explore the current situation of China, its challenges of sustainable development, and implications for East Asia, the United States, and world order.  The seminar considers the society, politics, economics, and security of China.  We will also discuss the methodologies of long-term societal prediction.  While the readings and discussion focus primarily on the present and future, background on historical dynamics will also be provided.  Class activities will include brief tutorial papers and discussion early in the semester and a research paper.


PROGRAM:            The seminar will be structured into four major parts.  The first part will cover a general introduction to current expectations regarding China’s prospects in terms of societal, political, economic, and security dimensions.  This section concentrates on general required readings with brief (2-3pp) tutorial papers to be discussed in class.  The second part is a one-week reflection on the methodology of expectations.  The third part treats the geographical dimensions of China’s future: domestic, regional, and global, and bilateral relations with the United States.  The last part will be determined by student interests in specific topics relating to China’s future.  Students will suggest class readings related to their research topics and lead the discussion.  Possibilities include aspects of China’s domestic developments such as urbanization or energy, specific international relationships such as China-India or cross-Strait (Taiwan) relations, or global effects such as changes in the global system or effects on global resources.  These categories and possibilities are only suggestive.

Course readings and readings will be weighted toward the beginning of the semester in order to provide a common background and to reduce demands at the end of semester.  We will try to arrange an appropriate course fieldtrip in the second half of the semester.



GRADING:              Class participation is the key of a seminar, and the assignments are designed to maximize discussion.  There will be no tests.  There will be a total of four tutorial papers.  The tutorials will be used for discussion in the class for which they are due, and therefore late tutorial papers will not be accepted.  Research paper topics must be proposed and discussed in week 7, and class activities in weeks 12-14 will arranged according to student research projects.  Readings and discussion will be arranged by students.  Research papers will be due in week 14.  The research papers should be 15pp, double-spaced, with footnotes and a research bibliography.  The four tutorials will each be 10%, with the lowest grade dropped.  The research paper is 30%.  Participation is 30%.  The fieldtrip will displace class in week 15.



These books have been ordered through the Bookstore.  Other required and suggested readings are listed by week.

Martin Jacques, When China Rules the World Penguin 2009

James Fallows, Postcards from Tomorrow Square Vintage 2009

Justin Lin, Demystifying the Chinese Economy  Cambridge 2012

Michael Swaine, America’s Challenge Carnegie 2011

Philip Tetlock, Expert Political Judgment Princeton 2006



(Additional readings will be added)



2        1/24   introduction and discussion of Jacques

REQ:  Martin Jacques, When China Rules the World



3        1/31   Society

REQ:  James Fallows, Postcards from Tomorrow Square

Feng Wang, “Chinas Population Destiny: The Looming Crisis,” Current History September 2010.

Tutorial paper #1


4        2/7     Politics

REQ:  Brantly Womack, “Asian Communism: Enigma Variations,” Miller Center Occasional Papers, no. 4. 1993.

Brantly Womack, “Political Reform and Sustainable Development in China,” Fudan Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences 3:1 (March 2010), pp. 32-54.

Brantly Womack, ““Modernization and the Sino-Vietnamese Model,” International Journal of China Studies 2:3 (August-September 2011),pp 157-175

Minxin PEI, “Introduction,” China’s trapped transition : the limits of developmental autocracy, Harvard, 2006; pp. 1-16.

Gordon CHANG, “The Coming Collapse of China: 2012 Edition,” Foreign Policy, 29 December 2011.

Tutorial paper #2


5        2/14   Economy

REQ:  Justin Lin, Demystifying the Chinese Economy  Cambridge, 2012.

Tutorial paper #3


6        2/21   Security

REQ:  Michael Swaine, America’s Challenge: Engaging a Rising China in the 21st Century Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2011

Tutorial paper #4



7        2/28   Disciplining Expectations

Philip Tetlock, Expert Political Judgment Princeton 2006.

Bent Flyvbjerg, “Survival of the Unfittest: Why the Worst Infrastructure Gets Built,” Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Volume 25, Number 3, 2009, pp.344–367

(research paper topics due)


Spring Break



8        3/13   China Domestic

REQ:  Brantly Womack, “China between Region and World,” China Journal no. 61 (January 2009), pp. 1-20;

World Bank, China to 2030, Overview

Economist, “The End of Cheap China,” March 10, 2012.


9        3/20   China and Asia

REQ:  Brantly Womack, “Beyond Win-Win,” ms.


10      3/27   China and the world

REQ:  CIA, Mapping the Global Future

World Bank, China to 2030, Conference Edition, Supporting Report 5, “Reaching Win-Win,” Chs 1-2, pp. 391 (411 of pdf)-408 (428 of pdf).


11      4/3     United States

REQ:  Robert Kagan, “Not Fade Away: Against the Myth of American Decline,” New Republic, February 2, 2012, pp. 19-25.

General Norton A. Schwartz, USAF Chief of Staff & Admiral Jonathan W. Greenert, USN Chief of Naval Operations, “Air-Sea Battle:  Promoting Stability in an Era of Uncertainty,” National Interest February 20, 2012

Brantly Womack, “First Among Unequals: China in a Multi-Nodal World,” ms.



12      4/10    student-led


13      4/17    student-led


14      4/24    student-led

Research Papers due