Ivan Franceschini is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Political and Social Change, Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs, The Australian National University. He has been working on Chinese labour activism for over a decade and his current research mainly focuses on China's presence in Cambodia.

Meet the State Security: Chinese Labour Activists and Their Controllers

Chinese labour NGOs have to deal with several state bodies. Still, given their reliance on foreign funding and the political sensitivity of labour issues in China, the agency they have the most dealings with is probably State Security, a secretive branch of the public security apparatus charged with protecting the country from domestic political threats. How do labour activists manage to navigate this challenging terrain?

Chinese Workers and the Law: Misplaced Trust?

One fascinating question concerning labour activism in contemporary China regards the attitude of Chinese migrant workers towards the law. In recent years, much has been written about the ‘rights awakening’ (quanli de juexing) of Chinese workers. But what kind of rights are we talking about? Do they respond to an entirely subjective concept of justice […]

The Foreign NGOs Management Law: A Compendium

Recently, people from the State Security who had summoned me to ‘have a tea’ said to me: ‘Us from the State Security are still quite civilised, but with this coming law that will regulate NGOs you will have to deal with the Public Security [i.e. the police]. You have to understand that their work methods […]

Revisiting Chinese Labour NGOs: Some Grounds for Hope?

In the past decade scholars have put forward several scathing criticisms of Chinese labour NGOs that go well beyond the usual concerns about the lack of transparency and internal democracy. Some have criticised them for being nothing less than ‘anti-solidarity machines‘ that, by putting too much emphasis on an individualistic view of rights, hinder the […]

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