CCCH9045 China: Culture, State and Society
‘Superpower’: Engaging with the Global Implications of China’s Rise

Course Description

The Liberal West is in crisis. From the economic to the political domain, the consensus brokered from Washington of free trade, globalization and democracy appears to be in tatters. But is China ready to take over and lead the world, or will the geopolitical footprint of its rise be purely regional? Could China become a superpower, like the USA, by promising peace and prosperity to the world, or will it focus on (re)building an Asian Empire? This course will ask what the roles and responsibilities of a superpower in the 21st century are and whether China is likely to live up to them, given its turbulent history. In an interdisciplinary manner, the course explores the question of the Rise of China from the perspectives offered by international relations theory while simultaneously applying historical examples in order to better understand the tremendous challenges that China’s transformation into a superpower poses to the world.

Course Learning Outcomes

On completing the course, students will be able to:

  1. Explain major factors shaping the development of Sino-American relations.
  2. Apply historical knowledge to point out possible implications of China’s rise to become a superpower.
  3. Critically discuss China’s foreign policies in relation to the concept of a superpower.

Offer Semester and Day of Teaching

First Semester (Wed)

Study Load

Activities Number of hours
Lectures 24
Tutorials 8
Reading / Self-study 48
Assessment: Group project and presentation 40
Total: 120

Assessment: 100% coursework

Assessment Tasks Weighting
Tutorial participation 30
Group work 40
Quizzes 30

Required Reading and Viewing

Course Co-ordinator and Teacher(s)

Course Co-ordinator Contact
Dr P. Johansson
School of Humanities (History), Faculty of Arts
Tel: 3917 7935
Teacher(s) Contact
Dr P. Johansson
School of Humanities (History), Faculty of Arts
Tel: 3917 7935