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2013/2014  BA-KIN_VCPE  The Chinese Political Economy

English Title
The Chinese Political Economy

Course information

Language English
Exam ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Bachelor
Duration One Semester
Course period Autumn
Tuesday: 11:40 - 14:25, week 36-41, 43-48
Time Table Please see course schedule at e-Campus
Max. participants 50
Study board
Study Board for Asian Study Programme
Course coordinator
  • Kjeld Erik Brødsgaard - Department of International Economics and Management (INT)
The course will be co-taught by Professor Kjeld Erik Brødsgaard at Asia Research Center and Professor Paul Deng at Economics Department

Administrator: Maria Isabel Christensen - mic.stu@cbs.dk
Main academic disciplines
  • International Political Economy
  • International Politics
  • Management
  • Political Science
  • Political leadership, public management and international politics
  • Economics, macro economics and managerial economics
Last updated on 02/04/2014
Learning objectives
The course aims to benefit students in the following areas:
1. A solid understanding of modern China from an integrated political-economy perspective;
2. An in-depth knowledge of China’s economic and political system: its history, current development and the future trends;
3. How to use theories in both economics and political science to explain major issues in the world’s second largest economy;
4. Serves as great facilitator for students who are interested in working or doing business in China in the future.
Students are required to:
  • Fully appreciate the institutional context of China's growth and development experience during the past three decades
  • Use economic and political theories to explain and analyze major issues in China
  • Understand the dynamics between China's political system and the path of China's economic reform
  • Discuss major issues in China in broader economic and political contexts
  • Discuss China's position globally as well as China's potential challenge to the existing Western-dominated global order
Course prerequisites
It is preferred that students had some basic understanding about China: its people, history and culture. Some prior knowledge in introductory economics and theory of political economy is also recommended, but not required.
The Chinese Political Economy:
Examination form Oral Exam
Individual or group exam Individual
Duration 20 min. per student, including examiners' discussion of grade, and informing plus explaining the grade
Preparation time No preparation
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and second internal examiner
Exam period December/January, December/ januar
Aids allowed to bring to the exam Closed Book
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content and structure
Which nation currently has the fastest computer on earth? The world’s biggest bank by market capitalization? The world’s largest holding of foreign exchange reserves? The largest growing middle-class for consumer products? The greatest potential to challenge the economic, political, and technological dominance of the West? The answer to the above questions are China, China, and China! If you want to grasp the true magnitude and implications of the shift of economic power that is currently changing the world, it is essential to understand the Chinese economic reform and its political context. This course aims to provide an integral and detailed overview of modern China’s topical issues in both economics and politics.  It will be co-taught by Professor Kjeld Erik Brødsgaard at Asia Research Center and Professor Paul Deng at Economics Department.
In the first part, we focus on Chinese economy with emphasis on the great transformation since 1978, when China first initiated its economic reform after almost thirty years of stagnation and disastrous economic mismanagement. The course is organized around a number of major themes and will include references to the historical and institutional background. These themes include at least the following: 1) What were the major problems and deficiencies of the centralized planned economy before the reform, and why was reform necessary?; 2) What were the main areas of reform, their sequence, and their major impact? And in what respect was China’s economic reform different from the reforms in Eastern European countries, and why so?; 3) Why has Chinese economy been able to grow at an average rate of 10% in the past 30 years? How could economic theories help explain such a phenomenon?; 4) How capitalistic is China today? And what is the role of the state in Chinese economy?; 5) What are the major problems faced by the Chinese economy?  Of those, we focus on issues such as inequality, urbanization, pollution and financial repression; 6) Finally, we discuss China’s role in world economy, its fast productivity growth and rising innovation capacity.
The second part focuses on the political framework and basis for China’s economic development with an emphasis on the post-Mao Zedong era. The objective is to provide a basic understanding of the Chinese governing system and the inter-linkages between structure, power and Party. It will be argued that the Chinese political system is characterized by “fragmented authoritarianism”. The following topics will be covered: 1) The organizational setup of the Chinese political system including central-local government relations, the tiao-kuai matrix and the civil service system; 2) The formation of the Party-state including Party member statistics and profile; Party leading groups and the kou system; 3) Nomenklatura and cadre management including appointment and promotion criteria for leading cadres; ranking systems, executive remuneration and associated benefits; 4) Who is who in China including leadership transition from the current fourth generation to the new fifth generation of Chinese leaders; princeling and youth league factions; 5) Party-business-relations with a focus on rotation between business group CEOs, government ministers and provincial governors including examples from the oil sector; the relationship between administrative restructuring and business group formation; 6) Competing scenarios for China’s political system in 2020: fragmentation, strong state, partial democracy or competitive authoritarianism? Global convergence or new divergence?
Teaching methods
The course is organized around a number of major themes, and it will include lectures and class discussion with references to the historical and institutional backgrounds.
Last updated on 02/04/2014