Forty Years of China's Political, Economic, and Social Reform

This course will provide an overview of China’s political, economic and social reform over the past four decades. The course traces and articulates a narrative of transformation and reform that will contextualize students’ understanding of China in the present and in the foreseeable future. Lectures and reading first review the starting points of the reform, structural reforms initiated by Deng Xiaoping since the late 1970s as a turning point in China’s trajectory and then further explore and evaluate the evolution and recent reforms in political, economic and social realms.

On completion of this course, students will be able to: (1) Understand the origin, evolution and future prospects of China’s political, economic and social reform since late 1970s. (2) Examine how institutional continuities and changes have shaped both policy making and individual lives in China. (3) Form a deeper understanding of the political, economic and social challenges within the Chinese context.


Christine Wong, Bank of America Merrill Lynch Visiting Chair in International Finance, Schwarzman College; Director, Centre for Contemporary Chinese Studies; Professor of Chinese Studies, University of Melbourne 


Deborah Davis, Professor Emerita of Sociology, Yale University

Barry Naughton, So Kwanlok Professor, School of Global Policy and Strategy, University of California, San Diego

Wang Shaoguang, Professor in the School of Public Policy and Management, Professor of Schwarzman College, Tsinghua University

Yan Fei, Associate Professor in Sociology, Tsinghua University

Zheng Lu, Associate Professor of Sociology, RONG Professor in Data Science, Tsinghua University



Cookie Policy

This website uses cookies, including third-party cookies, in order to obtain information about your visit to the website and make this website better. Please click on the link "Learn More" if you would like more information about the cookies used on this website and how to change your cookie settings. Otherwise, we will assume you’re OK to continue.

Learn more