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UTVB3121 Capitalist Development and Social Transformation in India and China

The course description was approved 23.05.13 by the Academic Affairs Committee, Faculty of Education and International Studies. Latest revision approved by the Academic Affairs Committee 11.05.17. Reading list updated 19.06.17. Valid from autumn semester 2017.


The Faculty of Education and International Studies at Oslo and Akershus University College (HiOA) offers interdisciplinary courses in Development Studies and North-South relations, leading to a Bacherlor’s degree of 180 ECTS credits in Development Studies. This course on “Capitalist Development and Social Transformation in India and China” is at the intermediate level and represents a 10 ECTS credits module in the 5th semester of the Bachelor programme.

The course will be taught in English or Norwegian, depending on needs according to the participants’ language abilities. The exam papers can be written in English, Norwegian, Swedish or Danish.

Admission Requirements

The course is open to students who have completed at least a one-year introductory course in Development Studies at either HiOA, the University of Agder or equivalent courses at other universities/university colleges in Norway or abroad.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the course the student has obtained the following learning outcomes:


The student

  • has knowledge of main theories and analyses of transition to capitalism/new neo-liberal policies in China and India
  • has knowledge of changes in social relations of inequality in India and China
  • has acquired a brief overview of the modern history of India and China since the late 1940s


The student

  • is able to compare the modern histories of India and China
  • is able to compare recent economic and social change in India and China

General competence

The student

  • is able to compare macro and micro level social change across cultures/countries


The course provides a research-based and cross-disciplinary approach to selected processes of social transformation during the market reforms of India and China since 1991 (India) and 1979 (China) within a comparative framework. It will look into changes of class, caste, migration patterns, gender relations and politics.

Lectures will be organised around the following themes:

  • The modern history of the two countries.
  • The market reforms.
  • Political change.
  • How market reform and political change interact with gender and class relations.

Learning and Teaching Forms

The course will be running from late September until December (in parallel with the course Energy and Climate Change in Africa and Latin America). There will be nine lectures and three teacher-led seminars. Students are expected to participate actively in group work and discussions during seminars.

Course Work Requirements

The course aims at promoting good study techniques. Therefore, a requirement to be allowed for examination is that students write a paper (approximately 2,000 word +/- 10 %) that compares two of the course texts as agreed with the lecturer.

Students, who due to illness or other compelling reason, fail to submit this course work requirement within the set deadline, can be given a new deadline. In this case, the student shall present the documents confirming his/her illness or other compelling reasons.

The assignment is evaluated with ‘accepted’ or ‘not accepted’. Students who get ‘not accepted’ on their assignment may rewrite and submit maximum two new versions of the assignment. The student shall contact the teacher to get a new evaluation.

The course is based on active student participation, especially during seminars. These are considered essential for developing skills and general competence, as they give the students the opportunity to verbalize, analyze and discuss key issues of the course. Presence during the three seminars is therefore required to be allowed for examination.

Students who have not attended all of the three seminars, but can document valid compelling reasons for their absence, will have to submit a written paper on a given theme as compensation in order to be able to take the exam. The length of the paper shall be in the range of 2000-5000 words, depending on the number of seminars missed.


The assessment is an individual oral examination of approximately 45 minutes. The exam will be assessed by one internal and one external examiner. A graded scale from A to E for passed and F for not passed will be used.  

New/postponed exam

New or postponed exam is offered within a reasonable time span following the regular exam. The student is responsible for applying for a new exam within the time limits set by HiOA and the Faculty of Education and International Studies. Regulations for new or postponed examinations are available in Regulations relating to studies and examinations at Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences. More information about registration and time for new or postponed examinations is available on the HiOA web site.


Revisions may occur and must be approved by the Head of Studies.



Bardhan, Pranab (2010) Awakening Giants, Feet of Clay: Assessing the Economic Rise of China and India . Princeton: Princeton University Press, pp. 1-41, 90-103, 125-159, chs. 1-2, 7, 10 (90 p.)

Das Gupta et.al. (2004) “State Policies and Women’s Agency in China, the Republic of Korea, and India, 1950 – 2000: Lessons from Contrasting Experiences”, pp.234-260 in Rao and Walton (eds.) Culture and Public Action . Stanford: Stanford University Press. (27 p)

Total India/China: 117 pages



Anandhi et al. (2002) “Work, caste and competing masculinities. Notes from a Tamil Village”, Economic and Political Weekly , 26th October, pp. 4397-4406. (10 p.)

Barua, Padmaja, et.al (forthcoming) “Maid in India: Negotiating and Contesting the Boundaries of Domestic Work", Forum for Development Studies , 2016. (c. 20 p.)

Béteille, André (1992): “Caste and Familiy: In Representations of Indian Society”, Anthropology Today , Vol. 8, No. 1, pp. 13-18 (6 s.)

Corbridge, Stuart et al. (2012) India Today: Economy, Politics & Society . Cambridge: Polity Press.

  • ch. 6: “How Did a ‘Weak’ State Promote Audacious Reform?”, pp. 121-139
  • Ch. 12: “Does Caste Still Matter in India”, pp. 239-257
  • Ch. 13: “How Much Have Things Changed for Indian Women?”, pp. 258-286

(57 p.)

Ilaiha, Kancha (1996) “Chapter 1: Childhood Formations”, pp. 1-20 in Why I am Not a Hindu: A Sudra Critique of Hindutva, Philosophy, Culture and Political Economy . Calcutta: Samya. (20 p.)

Metcalf and Metcalf (2012) A Concise History of India, Third Edition . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. The following chapters, pp. 203-294:

  • Ch. 7: “The 1940s: Triumph and tragedy”
  • Ch. 8: “Congress Raj: Democracy and development, 1950-1989”
  • Ch. 9: “Democratic India at the turn of the Millennium: Prosperity, poverty, power”

(92 p.)

Pai, Sudha (2001) “From Harijans to Dalits: Identity Formation, Political Consciousness and Electoral Mobilisation of the Scheduled Castes in Uttar Pradesh” in Ghansyam Shah (ed.) Dalit Identity and Politics . New Delhi/Thousand Oaks & London: Sage, pp. 258-287. (30 p.)

Patel, Reena (2014). “Today’s Good Girl: The Women Behind India’s BPO Industry”, pp. 21-33 in Nielsen & Waldrop (eds.) Women, Gender and Everyday Social Transformation in India. London: Anthem Press. (13 p.)

Vakulabharanam, Vamsi & Sripad Motiram (2011) “Political economy of agrarian distress in India since the 1990s”, pp. 101-126 in Sanjay Reddy (ed.) Understanding India’s New Political Economy . London/New York: Routledge. (26 p.)

Varshney, Ashutosh (2013). Battles Half Won: India’s Improbable Democracy . Haryana, India: Penguin, ch. 1. (c. 35 p.)

Waldrop, Anne (2004) “Gating and Class Relations: the case of a New Delhi ‘colony’”, City & Society , Vol. 16, No. 2, pp. 93-116 (24 p.) 

Total India: 316 pages



Cheek, Timothy (2006) Living with Reform: China since 1989 . London: Zed Books, ch. 1-3, 5, pp. 13-73, 103-121. (80 p.)

Ebrey, Patricia Buckley (2010) The Cambridge Illustrated History of China Second Edition . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ch. 11, pp. 294-331. (38 p.)

Gaetano, Arianne (2010), «Gender and Citizenship Inequality: The Story of Two Migrant Women»”, ch 12, pp. 265-286 in Martin King Whyte (ed.) (2010) One Country, Two Societies: Rural-Urban Inequality in Contemporary China . Cambridge Mass./London: Harvard University Press. (22p.)

Jacka, Tamara; Andrew B. Kipnis & Sally Sargeson (2013) Contemporary China. Society and Social Change . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Ch. 3: “Citizenship, Household Registration and Migration”, pp. 65-81. (17 p.)

Li, Cheng (2014) “China’s Communist Party-State: The Structure and Dynamics of Power”, in Joseph, William A. (ed.) Politics in China. An Introduction . Second Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press”, pp. 192-223. (32 p.) 

Leung, Alicia S.M. (2003). “Feminism in Transition: Chinese Culture, Ideology and the Development of the Women’s Movement in China”. Asia Pacific Journal of Management , Vol. 20, pp. 359-374. (15 p.)

Pun, Ngai (2007) “Gendering the dormitory labor system: production, reproduction and migrant labor in South China”, Feminist Economics , vol. 13, no. 3-4, pp. 239-258 (20 p.)

Silver, Beverly J. & Lu Zhang (2009) “China as an Emerging Epicenter of World Labor Unrest”, pp. 174-187 in Ho-fung Hung (ed.) China and the Transformation of Global Capitalism . Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press. (14 p.)

So, Alvin Y. (2013) Class and Class Conflict in Post-Socialist China , ch. 5, pp. 101-120. (20 p.)

Tomba, Luigi (2005) “Residential Space and Collective Interest Formation in Beijing's Housing Disputes”, The China Quarterly , no. 184, pp. 934 – 951. (18 p.)

Wright, Teresa (2011) “Perpetuating Communist Party Rule in China”, Journal of International Affairs, vol. 65, no. 1, pp. 31-45. (15 p.)

Wu, Jieh-min, “Rural Migrant Workers and China’s Differential Citizenship: A Comparative Institutional Analysis”, pp. 55–81 in Martin Whyte (ed.) (2010) One Country, Two Societies: Rural-Urban Inequality in Contemporary China . Cambridge Mass./London: Harvard University Press. (27 p.)

Total China: 318 pages

Total number of pages: 751

(Literature list last updated: 19 June 2017)

About the course

Kapitalistisk utvikling og sosial endring i India og Kina Bachelor’s Programme in Development Studies 10 ECTS 5. semester English or Norwegian 2017-2018
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