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Cursus: GEO3-3042
Transforming China: local and global perspectives
Cursus informatie
Studiepunten (ECTS)7,5
Categorie / Niveau3 (Bachelor Gevorderd)
CursustypeCursorisch onderwijs
Aangeboden doorFaculteit Geowetenschappen; Undergraduate School Geowetenschappen; B Sociale Geografie en Planologie;
Contactpersoondr. Y. Lin
Contactpersoon van de cursus
dr. Y. Lin
Overige cursussen docent
3  (08-02-2021 t/m 23-04-2021)
TimeslotB: DI-ochtend, DO-middag, DO-namiddag
Cursusinschrijving geopendvanaf 02-11-2020 08:00 t/m 29-11-2020 23:59
Inschrijven via OSIRISJa
Inschrijven voor bijvakkersJa
Please note: the information in the course manual is binding.
This course is developed as an integrative course that links to different sub-disciplines in human geography (economic, urban, regional, development, population and political) as well as other disciplines through addressing themes from each of these in the context of a large emerging and transforming country.
At the end of the course, participants are expected/able to:
  • describe and understand the historical evolution of the country and the forces that have shaped its recent emergence in national, regional and global context;
  • understand  economic, political, social, and geographical transformation in China; 
  • to assess distinct regional identities, following from the regional diversity of the country; 
  • to grasp the regional as well as economic, social, political, and sustainability issues in contemporary China that have emerged in the recent dynamism;
  • to critically assess responses to these issues in terms of their contents and implications for development over the next few decades;
  • to assess different discourses on the meanings for global and local development processes of China’s changing connections to, manifestation and influence in the world;
  • to judge critically alternative viewpoints in popular debates on China and it’s future.
China’s rapid economic rise from the early 1980s has captured the world’s imagination. So does the profound social, cultural and spatial transformation that the country has been undergoing and continues to undergo at a unprecedented scale. The latter is visible in every corner of the country, no matter how remote.

On the other side, institutional transitions underlying its rapid emergence and the characteristics of transformation have gradually raised a host of issues, both domestic, and increasingly external as China’s development has started to resonate throughout the globe. Indeed, unity of the country, social and political stability, and sustainability have come under pressure. It has been recognised that adjustment of the growth model - pursued by China’s leadership over the past decades - is imperative in order to not only sustain growth, but also to achieve broad-based increase of standard of living and solve imbalances in the aspects of economy, geography, social development, politics and sustainable development. In the meanwhile the main features of a new development model and path are clear. Since 2012/13 the leadership - and president Xi Jinping in particular - has been writing China’s next development chapter, under the banner of the 'China Dream'. A range of reforms have been devised. What are the issues associated with the ‘old’ model? What is the substance of the ‘new’ model? Which directions have been stated as to reforms in different spheres? Are reforms in actual fact underwritten and implemented by the leadership? What outcomes are produced? 

China’s rise is rapidly changing its position in the regional and global economic and geo-political order. China is increasingly manifesting itself in, and impacting, other regions on the globe through rapidly growing production, trade, investment and people flows; its role in institutions of regional and global governance is changing. China going global and its growing impact (combined with the domestic issues) has given rise to substantial scientific discourse and public debate, in many parts of the world. Domestic economic restructuring and new foreign policy initiatives reveal China’s ambition to become a pole in a reshaped world order in a 'new Era'. Will the CCP leadership succeed in this ambition?    

The course addresses the above questions. It starts with discussing the evolution of China as a nation state and its historical development with a focus on the 19th and 20th century. Next, attention is focused on the country's diversity, and on patterns of economic, social and geographical transformation. Subsequently, the institutional forces and politics/governance that have shaped China’s dynamism over the past decades are scrutinized. In this framework issues related to unity (focusing on regional patterns of change, the position of ethnic minorities in the 'periphery', and the rural-urban divide), stability (focusing on social fragmentation, the rise of the class-society and its ramifications; urbanization and internal migration), and sustainability (focusing on demography, resources and energy issues, environmental and social problems) are considered. Interwoven is a consideration of rebalancing policies and their ramifications and impacts.
In the last part of the course the drivers and patterns of China’s Going Global and the geopolitical meanings of the rise of the country are explored. Connected to this, participants carry out a small project on ‘China and the Netherlands’.

This course can accommodate 70 students (3 practical groups max.). In case of enrollment higher than 70, selection will take place through draw.
Verplicht materiaal
Course manual
To be announced

The course is taught through a combination of lectures, literature-based practicals, debate-sessions, and group- or individual work. A fair amount of independent work is expected.


Minimum cijfer-

Reading essay-assignments (40%)
Team persentations (30%)
Team project assignments (20%)
Participation (10%)

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