Introduction to Contemporary Development of China
This course uses development theories to analyze China’s development history, path and model. It helps students gain a better understanding of China’s development and cultivates their ability to identify and analyze China’s real problems. The topics of the course include: how China’s development interacts with global changes; how China’s development is affected by population, resources, environment, institutions and cultural factors; how China’s development has changed these factors; how China’s development model has evolved; and how the Chinese model compares with the Western experience, and what this implies for development theories.
This course introduces students to various development theories with the goal of explaining what development is, how it happens (or why it does not happen), and who benefits. “Development” is a concept widely used in academic and policy discourse, but the necessary social processes that are actually involved in the process of change that we call development are only partly understood, and certainly there is no consensus on their nature and causes. Some approaches, like Modernization Theory, argue that development is an ordered structural transition and every society eventually follows a similar path of socioeconomic development. Other approaches, such as the various post-development theories, contend that development is only a euphemistic way of interpreting the power and production relations between the North and the South. In order to understand these academic polemics and political controversies, the course will cover some major development theories, including Modernization Theory, Dependency Theory, World Systems Theory, Feminism and Sustainable Development Theory, combined with critical analyses of selected real-world cases.
This course will give students familiarity with the common research methods social scientists use to conduct research. Both quantitative and qualitative research methods will be covered, and experimental and historical/comparative research methods will also be covered. Four themes will be explored: 1) the basics of solid research design, 2) the various advantages and disadvantages of each method, 3) when the use of a method is appropriate or inappropriate for the research question, and 4) how to evaluate researchers’ claims on the basis of the evidence they present. These themes will be explored by reading examples and conducting exercises designed to give students hands-on experience in each of the methods.
Public Policy Analysis
The main objective of this course is to introduce policy analysis as a systematic method of thinking about public choices, as well as thinking theoretically in explaining and analyzing policy issues. Throughout the course, students will discuss and understand crucial concepts, policy process, ethical feasibility and analytical approaches. This course is designed to help students develop the skills required to define and analyze policy problems in China, articulate relevant decision making criteria, and evaluate alternative policy options. A major focus of this course is international comparison in general and social preference of different societies in particular.
Chinese Social Policy and International Comparison
This course introduces the field of public policy development and change since the reforms and opening up of China. It focuses focusing on the process of Chinese economic reform and introducing the development of urban and rural social security systems, specifically including urban social pension insurance, medical insurance, unemployment insurance, worker injury compensation insurance and social assistance, and new rural pension insurance, the new cooperative medical care system, the Five Guarantee support systematic-poverty policy in rural areas, the rural minimum living standard social security system ,the medical aid system, and new rural construction policy process and implementation status. The purpose of this course is to provide student with an understanding and grasp of the general content of China's public and social policy, especially an understanding of the interaction between public and economic policy and social development in the specific social context of China.
Migration and Social Transition in China
Since the reforms and opening thirty years ago, China has experienced the largest population migrations in human history, and in so doing has transformed from a settled society to a mobile society. Population migration has had a deep effect on every aspect of Chinese social life: to understand contemporary China, one must understand Chinese population migration. This course introduces the basic conditions of Chinese domestic migration, their similarities to and differences from world population migrations, the Chinese hukou system and its reform, migration with respect to China’s education and labor systems, social stratification, social management, regional development and other aspects of attendant changes, social problems associated with population migration, and remaining challenges.
Poverty Reduction: Theory and Practice
This course aims at: 1) describing the basic theories on poverty and poverty reduction; 2) introducing the strategies and policies on poverty reduction across the world, including economic growth, institutional transition, public services, social security, and special poverty intervention; 3) diffusing the methodologies on poverty study, description, monitoring and impact evaluation of poverty reduction;4) analyzing modes, policies and experiences of China’s poverty reduction and its effects; 5)highlighting the major challenges faced by the developing world and exploring the countermeasures to cope with them; 6) constituting astrategy framework for developing countries in poverty reduction. Through the course, students can understand the theories and policies of poverty reduction, understand the history of global poverty reduction and its trend in the future, learn the experiences and implications of successful cases in the developing world, and clearly grasp the various methodologies in poverty study and implementation of poverty reduction projects. More important, the course tries to help the students gain a new understanding of the path of industrialization and modernization of developing countries based on the practice and experience of China and other countries in poverty reduction, and finally seeks out a more appropriate way to effectively reduce poverty in the developing world at the present time.
Civil Society in China
Civil society in contemporary China is growing rapidly, and the government and the marketplace play important, irreplaceable roles in the development and governance of many areas of public affairs. This course aims to introduce students to civil society in China (especially various kinds of non-governmental organizations) in poverty elimination, sustainable livelihood promotion, environmental protection, relief of the disadvantaged, rural development, and development of grass-roots governance areas. The course will also use a “state-marketplace-civil society” analytical perspective to explore the interactions and possible cooperative mechanisms between these three factors. The course will analyze Chinese civil society organizations in many areas of development and governance practices, roles, influences and limitations, and it will employ reading and discussion of literature, case discussion, field visits, experts’ sharing of information and other teaching methods to achieve the course objectives.
NGO Leadership and Management
This course is designed to give students both an overview and in-depth analysis of major theories on leadership and management of nonprofit organizations, with a focus on their practice and exercise in China’s context. With a purpose to help the students prepare themselves to become future leaders of non-profit organizations, the course will examine key components and features of leadership and management, and provides students with insights on how leadership is different from management, as well as how they complement each other in the running of a non-profit organization. Drawing on live cases in both China and abroad, the course will manifest to students how management and leadership competencies will play different roles to make contemporary non-profit organizations successes. With the course unfolding itself, leaders and managers of both Chinese and international non-profit/for-profit organizations will be invited to share experience, successes and failures in exercising their leadership and management capabilities in forms of penal discuss and/or lecture. Participating in the course demands readings, small group work and discussions, and presentation.
Gender and Development (GAD)
Gender and Development introduces key concepts and debates regarding the consequences of the development agenda and the relationship with issues of gender, poverty alleviation, and control and management of natural resources. It is situated within an academic social science framework, as well as in the context of policymaking and implementation. This course aims to equip students with the analytical and conceptual skills needed to understand gender issues in both contexts, enabling them to participate effectively in gender- and development-related research, policymaking and implementation. The course is organized into 5 major themes: 1) Historical and theoretical perspectives on gender in development discourse; this unit examines contemporary approaches to gender through both historical and theoretical contexts. It includes a review of the Women in Development (WID), Women and Development (WAD), and Gender and Development (GAD) approaches and how these relate to political economy in China and in other developing countries. 2) Gender policy and planning. Issues explored include poverty alleviation, gendered dimensions of policy intervention in China and other developing countries, and their effects on women and men. 3) Gender, labor and migration. This unit examines the gender dynamics of migration, dimensions of labor, gender inequality and the situation of women and men subjected to coercive working conditions in China’s market economy. 4) Gender and environment explores the relationship among livelihood systems, gender and access to natural resources. 5) Women’s human rights and intersectionality of gender. It focuses on women’s rights to health, which includes protection from violence and abuse, adequate nutrition, safe reproduction, safe drinking water and occupational health. Intersectionality examines other categories such as race, ethnicity, age and class in diverse social contexts and the relation between and among these factors as these affect development objectives.
Strategic CSR and Social Innovation
The advancement of Chinese development relies deeply on the intertwined issues of sustainable development, ethical business, environmental stewardship, and social stability. The role of businesses in the society has attracted greater public attention as to what businesses can do either singly or in partnership with state and non-state actors to address the rising issues in social development. This course introduces strategic CSR perspectives, innovation and entrepreneurship, and many ways that companies conceptualize their contribution to China’s continued stability, economic growth and development.
This course will survey the political development in China from the late-Qing period to the contemporary era. A special focus will be given to post-1949 politics. Major themes of the course include China’s path to Communism, Mao Zedong and his political ideology, the Cultural Revolution, economic reforms in the post-Mao China, social consequences of China’s economic development, democratic movements, the new middle class and the rising civil society, and China’s relations with the world. The main objective of the course is for students to obtain in-depth knowledge on Chinese politics and to develop theoretical thinking in explaining and analyzing political development in modern China.
Issues in Public Health in China
This course will provide a critical review of China’s major health issues. Specifically, we will discuss 1) profiles of chronic diseases and newly emerged infectious diseases as well as the social, behavioral and environmental risk factors contributing to these diseases; 2) main characteristics of health systems, healthcare provision and financing, and health reform initiatives; and 3) the need for the improvement of health education and health promotion. Throughout the discussions, the issues of health equity will be addressed and critically assessed from a public policy perspective. The course will be conducted through lectures, class discussions and case studies.
Practicum: Issues in International Development
This course will give students access to working development professionals from around the world that will bring their expertise into the classroom to provide a glimpse into the current theory and practice in international development. Each session will feature a talk by a seasoned practitioner from government, an NGO, or aprivate-sector organization, followed by an open dialogue with students. Dimensions of development to be explored will include environment, gender, education, public health, urbanization, and sustainability.
Development Policy and Practice in International Comparison
This module course is part of an inter-university course (“Learning Across Borders”) lead by the Sustainable International Development Graduate Program of the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. The main coordinator of the course is Prof. Susan Holcombe. Using online methods, students of BNU will discuss directly with students of Heller School at Brandeis University and students from a university in Ghana in Africa. The course seeks to foster dialogue across the globe about key challenges to implementing policies and programs that serve social justice development goals. The course analyzes the different kinds of development policy in use around the world. It discusses how development goals evolve, the upside and downside of international aid, NGO intervention and other forms of development assistance, and studies the three main “styles” of development policy using the cases from countries like Bangladesh, Rwanda and China.
This course is an introduction to the practice of statistics in social and behavioral sciences. It is open to beginning graduate students. Topics covered include the description of social science data, in graphical and non-graphical form; correlation and other forms of association, including cross-tabulation; bivariate regression; an introduction to probability theory; the logic of sampling; the logic of statistical inference and significance tests; multivariate regression, including OLS regression and logistic regression; and model fit statistics. Students will be provided the opportunity to analyze real data using modern statistical software.