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E-Seminars: E-Seminar Detail

E-Seminars in This Series

E-Seminar 1
The Roots of Crisis

E-Seminar 2
Chinese Democracy and Its Future

A Series of Three E-Seminars
Tiananmen: June 1989 and Its Significance
Tiananmen: June 1989 and Its Significance
E-Seminar 3, Behind Red Walls: Changing Politics in China

Taught by: Andrew J. Nathan

E-Seminar Description
Behind Red Walls: Changing Politics in China, the third and final seminar of Tiananmen: June 1989 and Its Significance, examines what the Tiananmen Papers reveal about the workings of the Chinese political system. Professor Andrew J. Nathan discusses the process of internal documentation in the Chinese government and details its attempt to control any damage that might be caused by the publication of these highly classified documents. In the process, he looks at the question of political succession in China and considers the future of political reform and what form democracy in China might take if it is achieved there.

E-Seminar Length:3-5 hours
Start Date:Anytime
Columbia Students, Faculty, Staff, and Alumni:FREE

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Note: Columbia students, faculty, staff, and alumni will need to use their University Network ID (UNI) to access e-seminars.

E-Seminar Objectives | Outline | Instructor's Background | Recommended Reading |
Additional Course Information |Technical Requirements

E-Seminar Objectives
•    Learn the perspective of Chinese leadership on events that are usually described from the opposing (student) point of view.

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1. The Tiananmen Papers.
2. Lessons from the Tiananmen Papers
3. The Chinese Reaction
4. The Question of Succession
5. The Future of Reform

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Instructor's Background
Instructor's Background
Andrew J. Nathan is Professor of Political Science at Columbia University. His publications include Peking Politics,1918–1923 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1976); Chinese Democracy (New York: Knopf, 1985); Popular Culture in Late Imperial China, coedited with David Johnson and Evelyn S. Rawski (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985); Human Rights in Contemporary China, with R. Randle Edwards and Louis Henkin (New York: Columbia University Press, 1986); China's Crisis (New York: Columbia University Press, 1990); The Great Wall and the Empty Fortress: China's Search for Security, with Robert S. Ross (New York: Norton, 1997); China's Transition (New York: Columbia University Press, 1997); The Tiananmen Papers, coedited with Perry Link (New York: Public Affairs, 2001); and Negotiating Culture and Human Rights: Beyond Universalism and Relativism, coedited with Lynda S. Bell and Ilan Peleg (New York: Columbia University Press, 2001). His current research involves collaborative survey-based studies of political culture and political participation in mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and other Asian societies.

Born on April 3, 1943, in New York City, Professor Nathan received his degrees from Harvard University: the B.A. in history, summa cum laude, in 1963; the M.A. in East Asian regional studies in 1965; and the Ph.D. in political science in 1971. He taught at the University of Michigan in 1970–71 and at Columbia University since 1971. He has held a Guggenheim Fellowship as well as fellowships and grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Science Foundation, the Henry Luce Foundation, the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation, and others. He served as director of the East Asian Institute, 1991–1995, and has served director of graduate studies in the Political Science Department since 1997.

Professor Nathan was chair of the Advisory Committee of Human Rights Watch, Asia, 1995–2000, and continues to serve on this committee and on the board of Human Rights in China. He is a member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Democracy, The China Quarterly, The Journal of Contemporary China, and China Information, among others. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, the Association for Asian Studies, and the American Political Science Association. He does frequent interviews for the print and electronic media, has advised on several film documentaries on China, and has consulted for business and government.

The East Asian Institute is Columbia University's interdisciplinary center for research and teaching on modern East Asia. Its faculty members conduct individual and group research projects. The Institute awards a certificate in East Asian studies to students enrolled in the university's various graduate programs.

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Recommended Reading
Nathan, Andrew J., and Perry Link, eds. The Tiananmen Papers. New York: Public Affairs, 2001.

Buruma, Ian. Bad Elements: Chinese Rebels from Los Angeles to Beijing. New York: Random House, 2001.

Friedman, Edward, and Barrett L. McCormick, eds. What If China Doesn't Democratize? Implications for War and Peace. Armonk, N.Y.: M. E. Sharpe, 2000.

Nathan, Andrew J. Chinese Democracy. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986 (paperback).

———. China's Transition. New York: Columbia University Press, 1997; 1999.

———. "The Tiananmen Papers: An Editor's Reflections." The China Quarterly 167 (September 2001): 724–37.

Suisheng Zhao, ed. China and Democracy: Reconsidering the Prospects for a Democratic China. New York: Routledge, 2000.

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Additional Course Information
Who should take this course? Sinophiles; international-affairs enthusiasts; political activists; history buffs; teachers of history, East Asian history, world history, social studies, and political science; lifelong learners.

Reading assignments: There are no required reading assignments in this course, though Professor Nathan has recommended a number of books for those who wish to pursue the course topics further.

Taking the seminar: The content of this seminar is delivered entirely on the Internet. You may access this content and participate in discussions at any time during which the course is open. There are no set times you must be online.

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Technical Requirements
You will need to use a computer with Internet access to complete this course. We recommend the following minimum configurations:

Windows 95, 98, 2000, XP, or NT
64 MB of RAM (128 recommended)
Monitor: 800x600 resolution recommended
Connection: Internet service and 56K modem minimum
Browser: Internet Explorer 4 or above (Internet Explorer 5 strongly recommended) or Netscape 4.7 or above
Sound Card (if you can hear audio you have a sound card)
Plug-ins: RealPlayer 7 or later; Flash Player 5 or later; Acrobat Reader 5 or later
(all plug-ins are free)

MAC OS 8.6 or higher
64 MB of RAM (128 recommended)
Monitor: 800x600 resolution recommended
Connection: Internet service and 56K modem minimum
Browser: Internet Explorer 5 or above or Netscape 4.7 or above
Sound Card (if you can hear audio you have a sound card)
Plug-ins: RealPlayer 7 or later; Flash Player 5 or later; Acrobat Reader 5 or later
(all plug-ins are free)

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