Manfred Elfstrom is a China Public Policy Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation. He has a doctorate from Cornell University’s Department of Government. Before beginning his doctoral studies, he worked for several years with non-profit organizations supporting worker rights in China.

Counting Contention

In the past few years, a growing number of academics and activists have launched projects aimed at counting contention in the realm of Chinese labour. This essay explores the power and limitations of such efforts, detailing the inevitable data problems involved in any quantitative approach to documenting protests in China. It also examines the ethics involved in how we collect such data and the questions we ask of it.

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