Globalisation Processes and Contemporary China

Academic year
Subject Area
Área Científica do Menor
Language of Instruction
Mode of Delivery
ECTS Credits
1st Cycle Studies

Recommended Prerequisites

Knowledge of English as the main bibliographical references supporting this curricular unit are in English.

Teaching Methods

The course combines theory and seminars. Students develop and debate the case studies presented in theoretical classes. Each student within the regime of continuous assessment selects and analyses a topic of the program, writing an essay and making an oral presentation.

Learning Outcomes

Over the last 30 years China has developed into one of the most important nations in the world. In the 21st century nobody can really considered to be well informed who does not have a fundamental understanding of China. Students who actively participate in this course and achieve good grades will develop a substantial knowledge of modern China. They will be able to analyze contemporary developments and will be better equipped to obtain employment in organizations and companies that deal in various ways with China. 

Work Placement(s)



I – The historical and cultural background to contemporary China

II – The evolution of the People’s Republic of China

III – Domestic characterization of the People’s Republic of China

  1. Organization of the party-state
  2. Economic development model
  3. Society: migration; contradictions between rural-urban and interior-coastal regions; the importance of the middle class; the silent revolution and the role of Information Technology
  4. Separatist problems: Tibet and Xinjiang
  5. Concepts of human rights
  6. National reunification policy: Hong Kong, Macau and the Taiwan issue
  7. Military strategy

IV – The Chinese Foreign Policy

  1. Decision-making process
  2. Domestic constraints
  3. Diplomatic characteristics and negotiation tactics
  4. Main partners and interest areas

V – China and Globalization

  1. China in world politics
  2. Economy in transition
  3. Foreign Direct Investment
  4. Financial system and state capitalism

Chinese business culture

Assessment Methods

Continuous Assessment
Individual work on a topic of the program: 50.0%
Debate about the topic of the essay, tests, participation during class: 50.0%

Final Assessment
Exam: 100.0%



China: Power and Perils, Stratfor, 2010


DIKOTTER, Frank, A Grande Fome de Mao – 1958-1962, D.Quixote, 2012

GALLAGHER, Mary Elizabeth, Contagious Capitalism: Globalization and the Politics of Labor in China, 2007

HAO Yufan, Lin Su, China's foreign policy making: societal force and Chinese American policy, Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2005

KENNETH, L., Governing China: From Revolution through Reform, Nueva York, W.W. Norton & Company, 2005

JAMES, C. F., Wang, Contemporary Chinese Politics: An Introduction, Englewood, Prenctice Hall, 7ªed., 2011

MANN, James, The China Fantasy: How Our Leaders Explain Away Chinese Repression, Penguin Group, 2007

PICQUART, Pierre, L'Empire Chinois: Mieux comprendre le Futur n. 1 Mondial: histoire et actualité de la diaspora chinoise, Favre, 2004

SHIRK, Susan, China: Fragile Superpower, Oxford University Press, 2008

TACIANA, F. y STEVE T. (eds.), China en transición: sociedad, cultura, economía y política, Barcelona, Bellaterra, 2000