Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

Searchable Course Catalog

header image

DPPG 8579

How China is Chnging the World

How China is Changing the World

The rise of China over the last four decades is one of the most significant events that shape global market competition, trade and economic development, and geopolitics. Its implications on worldly issues from global and regional peace and security to the sustainability of the environment are profound. China’s rise exerts an ever-greater influence on international affairs. The country’s government, military, markets, firms, and ideas are reshaping the world. But there is little agreement across the globe about the nature of this newfound influence. Is China an opportunity? Is China a threat? What does China want? How to meet the challenges of ‘China Shocks’ and ‘the dragon in the room’?

Regardless of how you would answer such questions, all types of policy professionals need to be familiar with China and know how to think about its international profile. This course is an amalgamation of dynamic, complex and interactive forces that appear as problems, puzzles or challenges to different people/countries at different times. This course aims to provide an orientation for students to understand those forces, especially those related to the major stakeholders and their evolving relationships, policies and game rules, and collective behaviors. The orientation is grounded in both Chinese historical and cultural legacies and the contexts of China’s state building, modernization and globalization.

This course provides students with a broad introduction to Contemporary China’s political, economic, and strategic challenges. The discussion begins with the lowest point in Chinese history when the country was rendered as a semi-colony of Western powers and ends with China’s contemporary rise and implications for the world. The questions asked include: In what ways is China rising? How did it happen? How does China’s rise impact the U.S and the global system? The course covers a wide array of topics in primarily three areas: domestic politics, foreign policy challenges and development challenges. More specifically, the topics include Chinese imperial legacies and revolution, contemporary political institutions and policy making processes, the opening of China and its reforms and their resulting challenges, China’s role in global peace and development, its relations with U.S., Russia, the other Asian powers and the other powers of the world powers, and the mainland-Taiwan relation, China’s trade and investment policy before and during the reform era, the Chinese economic regime and policy making process, China’s industrial policy and national standard strategy, and the social, environmental and energy challenges China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has imposed on developing countries.

Throughout the semester, students are also trained on research design including both qualitative and quantitative research methods. Collectively, we will develop research topics and proposals, and drafts of initial methodology (e.g., interview questionnaires, surveys, etc). This would serve as an intensive training on research methodology and the development of research instruments to be implemented during our field research trip in Vietnam and Thailand in January 2024. Students who are not planning to join the trip can also benefit from this field research skills training.

This course is a multidisciplinary study of China’s relationships with the world that synthesizes knowledge from international relations, political science, development and economics to provide students with a holistic understanding of China’s rise and what it means for the world. The aim is to span the divide between scholarship and policymaking by using data, theory, primary sources, and secondary texts from various sides of key China debates.

Development Practice & Policy
Development Practice & Policy
Intl Policy & Management
Requirements Fulfilled:
Equivalent Courses:
GIPD 8579
IPOL 8579 *
IPSG 8579


Fall 2023 - MIIS

DPPG8579A-F23 Lecture (Liang, Teets)
DPPG8579B-F23 Lecture (Liang, Teets)

Spring 2022 - MIIS

DPPG8579A-S22 Lecture (Liang)
DPPG8579B-S22 Lecture (Liang)

Fall 2019 - MIIS

DPPG8579A-F19 Lecture (Liang)
DPPG8579B-F19 Lecture (Liang)

Fall 2017 - MIIS

DPPG8579A-F17 Lecture (Liang)
DPPG8579B-F17 Lecture (Liang)

Fall 2016 - MIIS

DPPG8579A-F16 Lecture (Liang)
DPPG8579B-F16 Lecture (Liang)

Spring 2016 - MIIS

DPPG8579A-S16 Lecture (Liang)
DPPG8579B-S16 Lecture (Liang)