the univeristy of texas at austin

Home  | Site Search:

UT Austin International Office Study Abroad

china government maymester

Program  Description

Few countries will figure more prominently in America’s future than China.  Already an economic powerhouse, China is rapidly emerging as a leading nation and a potential geopolitical rival to the United States.  What is the nature of the Sino-American relationship?  What are the main sources of tension and competition?  How do the Chinese view U.S. ambitions in Asia? What steps might be taken now to foster greater understanding and cooperation in the future?

This course takes up these important questions about the character and direction of U.S.-China relations. Students learn how the relationship has evolved over the past half-century, starting with the 1949 Chinese revolution, running through efforts by Mao and Nixon and their successors to normalize relations in the 1970s and  conclude by considering how globalization, September 11th, and the “war on terrorism” have affected the relationship. Students gain a greater appreciation of how Washington and Beijing make foreign policy and, more generally, how great powers define their interests in world politics.

Students have a rare opportunity to learn how Chinese intellectuals and policy-makers understand the evolving Sino-American relationship. Scholars from China’s top universities, as well as policy analysts who work at "think tanks" in Beijing, are invited to address the class. Additionally, the group takes course-related excursions in and around Beijing. Students take classes and live at Tsinghua University.


  • GOV 360N | U.S.- China Relations

Faculty Director

Benjamin Gregg

Dr. Benjamin Gregg, a professor in the Department of Government, is in his first year as faculty director for this Maymester. He first visited China in 1987-88 when he taught at the Beijing Foreign Studies University and gave guest lectures at Beijing and Qinghua Universities. He has taught at universities in Germany, Japan, and Austria, and led a UT seminar in Italy.

Dr. Gregg received his Ph.D. from Princeton. He is the author of Thick Moralities, Thin PoliticsCoping in Politics with Indeterminate Norms; and Human Rights as Social Construction. Next year he will publish The Human Rights State. He is currently writing a book on the legal, political, and moral consequences of the human species taking control of its own genome through genetic engineering.

Program and Application Details

For full program details and information on how to apply, go to the Program Page.

Questions? Email: Arelis Palacios