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Robert G. Moser, Chair BAT 2.116, Mailcode A1800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-5121

Fall 2003

GOV 390L • Civil Society in East Asia

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
36010 M
3:00 PM-6:00 PM
CAL 221

Course Description

Course number may be repeated for credit when topics vary. Since the decline of communism in Eastern Europe during the late 1980s, "civil society" has assumed the dimensions of an intellectual fad in the social sciences. Like all fads, it has attracted more that its share of fans and critics. Proponents, on the one hand, extol civil society both as a useful counterpoint to such concepts as "state" and "market" and as an intellectual indicator of recent trends in democratization at the turn of the century. Critics, on the other hand, doubt the theoretical relevance of the concept while questioning whether "civil society" even exists in reality. The purpose of this course is tor introduce graduate students to the themes and controversies of civil society literature and to assess it applicability to East Asia. For the first few weeks of the semester, we will explore works by key authors such as Habermas, Seligman, Keene and Putnam, followed by selections from the relevant literature on Japan, China, and South Korea. The last three weeks of the semester will be devoted to student presentations of their research papers. Students are free to write on either theoretical questions relating to civil society, or on a relevant topic pertaining to Japan, China, Taiwan, North or South Korea, or Hong Kong.

Grading Policy

Class Discussion: 35% Paper Proposal: 5% Research Paper: 45% Paper Presentation: 15%


Adam B. Seligman, The Idea of Civl Society (Princeton, 1995) Sheldon Garon, Molding Japanese Minds (Princeton, 1997) Timothy Brooks and B. Michael Frolic, eds., Civil Society in China (M. E. Sharpe, 1997) Sunhyuk Kim, Politics of Democratization in Korea: The Role of Civil Society (U of Pittsburgh, 2001) Course Packet, available for purchase in August


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