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Modern China: Political Participation in China (ResMA)


Admission Requirements

All research master students can take this course as a regular MA Asian Studies (60 ETC) course .

Only a limited number of places are available for taking the course as a Research MA student. Interested students will need to contact the instructor and provide their research plan beforehand, on basis of which she makes the selection.


Since 1989, one of the main questions about developments in China has been whether China will democratize and how this might happen. This course investigates how the Chinese people actually participate in politics and will provide theoretical tools to analyse how this participation relates to popular voice, political stability, regime legitimacy, and governance. The course takes seriously not only the forms of participation first developed in Western countries, but also the possibility that there can be other culturally or ideologically shaped ways to influence policy. It examines critically actual experiences of democratization outside China and takes into account various traditions of democracy.

Course objectives

Students will use their personal learning journals and their participation in discussions in the class to form their own analytical, informed and well-articulated view about what to expect of the Chinese political system and its future developments. Their skills to consider various approaches and alternatives and to present their case orally and in writing will be appreciated.


  • Students will carry out semi-independent research on (a) topic(s) related to political participation in modern China,

  • originate and orally present a plan for an original, small piece of research,

  • present a small research project outcome in a professional written format.

  • When students plan to do fieldwork on the topic of political participation in modern China they are supported in writing a fieldwork proposal including aspects such as research methods.


Check timetable

Mode of instruction


Attendance and participation are obligatory. Classes missed for a good reason (to the discretion of the conveners and to be discussed BEFORE the class takes place) will have to be made up with an extra assignment. Being absent without notification can result in a lower grade or exclusion from the final paper and a failing grade for the course. Further details will be announced in Blackboard.

Course Load

A brief calculation of the course load, broken down by:

  • Total course load for the course (number of EC x 28 hours): 10 EC = 280 hours.

  • Hours spent on attending seminars: 24 hours

  • Extra tutorial hours for Research MA students: 6 hours

  • Time for studying the compulsory literature and writing course diaries: 140 hours

  • Time to write a paper (7,000 words, including reading / research): 110 hours

Assessment method

33% learning journals
33% class participation
33% final essay

In order to pass the course, students must obtain an an overall mark of 5.50 (=6) or higher.

The course needs to be resit as a whole and this means a 10 000-word-long final paper which forms 100% of the grade.

The course is an integrated whole. The final examination and the assignments must be completed in the same academic year.

No partial marks can be carried over into following years.


Yes, see for more info Blackboard

Reading list

See blackboard.


Students are required to register through uSis. To avoid mistakes and problems, students are strongly advised to register in uSis through the activity number which can be found in the timetable in the column under the heading “Act.nbr.”.


Dr. T.M. Salmenkari