René Patnode

BS: Stanford University, Computer Science

MS: Stanford University, Computer Science

Areas of specialization: China, politics, globalization, education, ethnic identity


"Cosmopolitan Universals and the Chinese University: Authoritarian Education and Its Impact on Global Perspectives"

Numerous studies discuss the impact of globalization on both states and individuals. While there is generally scholarly consensus that there is some impact in both cases, however measured and of whatever magnitude, less work has been done that looks at how states attempt to mitigate the impact of globalization—and of the corresponding flows of people, cultural products, and information—on their citizens in order to maintain political legitimacy. In this project, I explore how the Chinese government uses political education at the university level to ensure popular compliance and the extent to which their effort is successful. I begin by describing the explicit and implicit goals of the Chinese curriculum. Then I investigate how teachers instruct the courses in practice. Finally, I analyze how the courses, both in conjunction with and despite exposure to globalization trends, influence student perspectives on China and the rest of the world. I do so using discourse analysis of textbooks, observation of classes at a Chinese university, interviews with instructors and students, and the statistical analysis of student surveys.