PROGRAMME/Courses overview

Transitional Chinese Society



Lecturer:Prof. SHEN Ke (Ph.D Peking University)

Credits:3 Fudan University credits, 5 ECTS equivalent

China has been undergoing two exceedingly rapid transformations in the past half a century: a demographic transition with dramatic decrease in fertility and mortality, and an economic transition from a planned economy to a market economy. The compressed demographic transition has made China a country with a very low population growth rate and accelerating population aging, and unprecedented economic reform has lifted China to the ranks of middle-income countries. These two historical transformations are not independent of each, but have been closely intertwined. Thus, this course not only introduces various demographic events and socio-economic reforms, but also explores the linkages between population change and socio-economic transformation. We raise a series of questions: What are social and economic implications of one-child policy? How will China’s imbalanced sex ratio at birth influence the marriage market? Will China lose the competitive edge in labor-intensive industry in the near future due to low fertility rates? How can China accommodate the expanding elderly population in the context of frequent migration of young people? Investigations into these questions may provide students with a deeper understanding on China’s contemporary society.


Session 1 Introduction to Demography and Chinese Population

Session 2, 3  Fertility Measures and Fertility Transitions

Session 4,6  Evolution of Fertility Policies

Session 7 Mortality and Health

Session 8 Demographic Transition and Population Aging

Session 9, 10 Migration and Urbanization

Session 11 Student Presentations (For students taking the 2-credit course)

Session 12 Social Change and Marriage 

Session 13 Demographic dividend and economic surplus

Session 14 Student Presentations (For students taking the 3-credit course)

Session 15 Hand in the Final Essay (For all students)