Fall 2015 Wallace Paper

—The paper is due by the end of exams on Friday 18 December 2015—

Please put a pledged hard copy in the box outside my office door; keep an electronic copy as backup

This paper is due before the end of final exams on Friday 18 December 2015. It should be cleanly written (edited and proofread), have your name, date and a title at the start, be stapled together and signed and pledged. It is perfectly acceptable to discuss the book with classmates, and to have them help with editing and proofreading. While this paper is not in lieu of a final exam, the Wallace book does pull together themes raised from throughout the term. It thus would be entirely appropriate to reference Hessler, Li, Miller and narrower readings on migration and other topics as well as the content of our blog posts.

Topic: What are the central challenges China’s leaders face during the coming decade, through the perspective of the Wallace book? What policy changes are central to this? Do you believe that it will be possible to meet this challenges in a timely manner?

You cannot address this comprehensively in a 5-10 page paper. So be selective, and of course make clear your focus in your introductory paragraph. For example, do you believe that China can in fact reform its hukou system [户口=户籍制度]? What concrete steps would the government need to implement to see that such reforms were meaningful?

Other possible topics include the following (that is, this is not an exhaustive list).

  1. implementing measures that would build social and economic support structures in the countryside that would make becoming a farmer a viable career choice, and the would improve the welfare of the generation of farmers now retiring.
  2. developing a comprehensive national health system that covers most costs
  3. re-nationalizing housing, or at least adopting policies that would discourage holding condominiums vacant
  4. giving full ownership of land to farmers, that is, denationalizing agricultural land
  5. implementing a comprehensive income tax system on businesses alongside the current value added tax [if businesses are taxed, there’s no need to tax income except for those self-employed]
  6. and so on