Institutions and Political Process in China

A.Y. 2019/2020
Overall hours
L-OR/21 SPS/14
Learning objectives
The aim of the course is to provide the students with the appropriate tools to study and research on relevant aspects of the contemporary Chinese reality, starting from the necessary historical and political contextualization. Issues like identity and nationalism, State and government, party and organization, HR, information and media, will be investigated following the red thread of 'narrative' , laying stress on the representation made by Chinese official and non-official discourse. The students will be required to work in groups and discuss on selected topics, in order to train their critical abilities and their communicative skills.
Expected learning outcomes
The course will allow the students to develop their learning skills through the reading of complex texts and their communication abilities thorough presentations and discussions of papers and multimedia documents. A critical approach will be encouraged and stimulated by means of discussions, panel presentations, debates, conferences and talks with experts of the field.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Third trimester
Course syllabus
The course focuses on the interaction between modernity and tradition in contemporary China. From both an historical and a cultural perpective, it addresses key topics such as the definition of Chinese identity, the development of main political institutions (state and communist party) and the basic characteristics of the media system.
Prerequisites for admission
No previous skills are required, but a general knowledge of the main dynamics of global contemporary history is useful.
Teaching methods
In order to train their critical abilities and their communicative skills, student will be required to actively participate in lessons. Lectures will be enriched with multimedia materials. Seminars and conferences by distingushed guests from the Chinese cultural scene will be offered in order to strenghten the students skills and knowledge. Participation in activities and events is considered an integral part of the course.
Teaching Resources
Teaching materials:
1) Alessandra C. Lavagnino, Bettina Mottura, Cina e modernità. Cultura e istituzioni dalle Guerre dell'oppio ad oggi, Carocci editore, Roma 2016;
2) Guido Samarani, La Cina contemporanea. Dalla fine dell'impero a oggi, Einaudi, Torino 2017.

Multimedia materials, movies, conferences and seminars organised during the course form an integral part of the program.
Any replacement readings for non-attending students must be agreed in advance with the teacher.
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam consists of an oral test including at least one question for each text adopted in the program. The discussion will focus on the ability of students to create links between different sources.
SPS/14 - ASIAN HISTORY AND INSTITUTIONS - University credits: 0
Lessons: 40 hours