Chris Smith is Professor of Organisation Studies and Comparative Management at Royal Holloway, University of London. His research interests are in labour process theory, work and employment transfer through the transnational firm, comparative analysis of work and employment, and professional labour.
The increasing precariousness of labour forces globally has prompted some to argue that a new ‘precariat’ is emerging to challenge the privileges of the securely employed ‘salariat’. This divergence within the working class has been depicted as more significant than the traditional conflict between labour and capital. This essay examines these discussions in China, where precarity is increasingly being employed as a theoretical tool to explain the fragmentation of labour in the country.
The arrival of Chinese firms in Europe has elicited both excitement and anxiety. New investors with funding from the Chinese state present a challenge to an open market in crisis and to Europe’s faltering welfare capitalism model. A typical narrative depicts Chinese multinational corporations (MNCs) as exploiting institutional loopholes, and undermining local laws, regulations, and […]