This course discusses the role of the state and society in China and Vietnam. Building on varies paradigms to study the state society relationship, the course will seek to explore the similarities and differences between two similar one-party states which have both embarked on a process of economic liberalization under Communist parties. The two countries have both experienced the growing rule of non-governmental organizations in politics. This has been greatly supported by international organizations and to different degrees also embraced by the two governments. At the same time, there has also been a rise in protests against various issues including corruption, land confiscation and environmental degradation. This has raised hopes for the process of political change and democratization in both countries. A number of scholars have, however, argued that the ability to co-opt and effectively deal with societal discontent has strengthened authoritarian rule. Specific case studies from different fields will be used to explore these developments and seek to assess their current situation. Students will develop a comparative case study, present their ideas to class and write a research paper.