2023-2024 / ASIE0029-1

Power and Society in Modern and Contemporary China


30h Th

Number of credits

 Master in political sciences : general (120 ECTS)5 crédits 
 Extra courses intended for exchange students (Erasmus, ...) (Faculty of Law, Political Science and Criminology)5 crédits 
 Master in population and development studies (120 ECTS)6 crédits 
 Extra courses intended for exchange students (Erasmus, ...) (Faculty of social sciences)6 crédits 
 Master in ancient languages and literatures : Oriental studies (120 ECTS)5 crédits 
 Master in ancient languages and literatures : Oriental studies (60 ECTS)5 crédits 


Eric Florence


Stijn Deklerck

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the second semester


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

2023-2024 academic year

Schedule : Wednesdays from 9.00h to 11.00 am.

First class : 7 février 2024

Classroom : See CELCAT , Sart Tilman.

Infos : Eric.Florence@ulg.ac.be

 Course description :

After a brief overview of the major moments of the political and socioeconomic history of modern China (19th and first half of the 20th century), the course will focus on the politcal and social transformations of the Mao era (1949-1978). The course will be divided in four parts:

early reforms;

  • the One hundred flowers campaign;
  • the Great leap forward;
  • the Cultural revolution.
NB: the post-Mao era is dealt with in "Chine postsocialiste: dynamiques politiques et sociales" ASIE0028-1          

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

At the end of this course, the student will be able to:

- To locate the major events which marked the history of contemporary China between the founding of the People's Republic of China (1949) and the end of the Maoist period (1978);

- Understand the mechanisms for establishing and shaping the legitimacy of the new regime under the aegis of the Chinese Communist Party;

- Understand the complex modalities of the functioning of Maoist totalitarianism and the modes of resistance at work within Chinese society;

- Acquire knowledge allowing students to better understand the socio-political processes at work in China today, in China and elsewhere.

- Draw from the scientific literature in order to produce a focused review of the scientific literature on a chose topic. 

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

Passive knowledge of English (a number of readings are English).

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

In order to achieve these objectives, the following teaching activities will be implemented:
- Presentations by the teacher of chronological landmarks and major facts concerning each period under study;
- Preparation of readings for each session by the students (questions relating to these readings will be available on ECampus; in some cases the students will prepare questions themselves related to these readings);
- Face-to-face discussions around the themes and readings covered during the course;
- Screening of independent Chinese documentaries and discussion around these films;
- Interventions by guest professors (to be confirmed);
- Consultation of various documents by the students via the Ecampus platform (photographic documents, press articles, etc.).

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Face-to-face teaching and usage of the ECampus platform.

Recommended or required readings

In addition to the assigned readings, other documents will be made available to the students via the ecampus page of the course.

Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

written exam ( open-ended questions )

Additional information:

The evaluation consists in:

1. Participation to the classes and to the online assignments: 10% of the total grade.

2. A first written assignment consists in a short synthesis of one scientific article (20% of the global grade). This first assignment, which will take place during the fifth session of class, will enable the student to benefit from feedbacks from the professor and will prepare the student for the second assignment.

3. A second written assignment consists in a focused review of the scientific literature on a specific topic. This assignment may be written in groups of two students. This assignment will represent 70% of the grade.

These assignments, based in particular on all the resources mobilized in this course (portfolio of readings, additional texts, documentary films, iconographic resources, etc.) aims to assess and develop the students' skills of synthesis, reformulation and analysis. (e) s. Details on the modalities of this work will be provided by the teacher to the students.

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course



Association of one or more MOOCs