Made in China Specials

The Made in China Specials are a series of volumes dedicated to exploring specific facets of Chinese politics and society.

Xinjiang Year Zero

Edited by Darren Byler, Ivan Franceschini, and Nicholas Loubere

Since 2017, the Chinese authorities have detained hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other Muslim minorities in ‘reeducation camps’ in China’s northwestern Xinjiang autonomous region. While the official reason for this mass detention was to prevent terrorism, the campaign has since become a wholesale attempt to remould the ways of life of these peoples—an experiment in social engineering aimed at erasing their cultures and traditions in order to transform them into ‘civilised’ citizens as construed by the Chinese state. Through a collection of essays penned by scholars who have conducted extensive research in the region, this volume sets itself three goals: first, to document the reality of the emerging surveillance state and coercive assimilation unfolding in Xinjiang in recent years and continuing today; second, to describe the workings and analyse the causes of these policies, highlighting how these developments insert themselves not only in domestic Chinese trends, but also in broader global dynamics; and, third, to propose action, to heed the progressive Left’s call since Marx to change the world and not just analyse it.

The book is available open access with ANU Press.


Proletarian China: A Century of Chinese Labour

Edited by Ivan Franceschini and Christian Sorace

In 2021, the Chinese Communist Party celebrated a century of existence. Since its humble beginnings in the Marxist groups of the Republican era to its current global ambitions, one thing has not changed for the Party: its claim to represent the vanguard of the Chinese working class. History, however, tells a more complex story. Spanning from the night classes for workers organised by student activists in Beijing in the 1910s to the labour struggles during the 1920s and 1930s; from the turmoil of the Cultural Revolution to the social convulsions of the reform era to China’s global reach today, Proletarian China reconstructs the contentious history of labour in China from the late imperial era. Each chapter revolves around a specific historical event, making the volume a mosaic of different voices, perspectives, and interpretations of what being a worker meant, and how it was experienced, in China over the past century.

The book, co-edited by Ivan Franceschini and Christian Sorace, is available for purchase from Verso Books or for free download from our website.


Global China as Method

By Ivan Franceschini and Nicholas Loubere

Is China part of the world? Based on much of the political, media, and popular discourse in the West the answer is seemingly no. Even after four decades of integration into the global socioeconomic system, discussions of China continue to be underpinned, bound, and framed by a core assumption—that the country represents a fundamentally different ‘other’ that somehow exists outside the ‘real’ world. Either implicitly or explicitly, China is generally depicted as something that can be understood in isolation—an external force with the potential to impact on the ‘normal’ functioning of things. This core assumption, of China as an orientalised, externalised, and separate ‘other’ ultimately produces a distorted image of both China and the world. By examining five key issues that frequently arise in current discussions about China, this book seeks to illuminate the ways in which the country and people form an integral part of the global capitalist system.

The book will be published open access by Cambridge University Press in August 2022.


Afterlives of Chinese Communism

Edited by Christian Sorace, Ivan Franceschini, and Nicholas Loubere

Afterlives of Chinese Communism includes essays from over 50 scholars in the China field from different disciplines and continents. It provides an indispensable guide for understanding how the intellectual legacies of the Mao era shape Chinese politics today. Each chapter discusses a concept or practice from the Mao era, what it meant in its historical context, and what has become of it since. The authors respond to the legacy of Maoism each in their own way, to consider what lessons Chinese communism offers today and whether there is a future for the egalitarian politics that communism once promised.

Available with ANU Press and Verso Books.

View the Table of contents.

Download and print the high resolution cover artwork by Marc Verdugo!

Made in China Notebooks

The Made in China Notebooks are collections of thought-provoking short essays on issues at the centre of global discussions on China.

Shades of Green: Notes on China's Eco-civilisation

Edited by Olivier Krischer and Luigi Tomba

Is China the new champion of environmentalism? Are democratic models becoming obsolete? Is efficiency all we need to tackle this environmental crisis? Believing such questions to be flattening the debate and obscuring as much as they reveal, Shades of Green offers short reflections from the perspectives of 14 young scholars addressing the problem in compelling and original ways. They are exploring issues of language and policy interpretation, the complex nexus of social and environmental justice, case studies in rural revitalisation, precarious urban housing and hygiene impacts of city development, as well as the potential to address spiritual or indigenous questions to ecological challenges in the context of China today. 

Made in China Yearbook Series (Discontinued)

The Made in China Yearbook series—published open access in collaboration with ANU Press—offers original articles in which scholars and activists analyse the latest trends in Chinese labour and civil society. With their unique blend of in-depth scholarship written in a direct, accessible style, these books allow readers to situate current events and policies in a wider context, and therefore serve as an indispensable reference for academics, international activists, practitioners, and policy-makers.

2018: Dog Days

Edited by Ivan Franceschini and Nicholas Loubere
According to the Chinese zodiac, 2018 was the year of the ‘earthly dog’. In the middle of the long, hot, and feverish dog days of the summer of 2018, some workers at Shenzhen Jasic Technology took their chances and attempted to form an independent union. While this action was met by the harshest repression, it also led to extraordinary demonstrations of solidarity from small groups of radical students from all over the country, which in turn were immediately and severely suppressed. China’s year of the dog was also imbued with the spirit of another canine, Cerberus—the three-headed hound of Hades—with the ravenous advance of the surveillance state and the increasing securitisation of Chinese society, starting from the northwestern region of Xinjiang. This Yearbook traces these latest developments in Chinese society through a collection of 50 original essays on labour, civil society, and human rights in China and beyond, penned by leading scholars and practitioners from around the world.

2017: Gilded Age

Edited by Ivan Franceschini and Nicholas Loubere
According to the Chinese zodiac, 2017 was the year of the ‘fire rooster’, an animal often associated with the mythical fenghuang, a magnificently beautiful bird whose appearance is believed to mark the beginning of a new era of peaceful flourishing. Considering the auspicious symbolism surrounding the fenghuang, it is fitting that on 18 October 2017, President Xi Jinping took to the stage of the Nineteenth Party Congress to proclaim the beginning of a ‘new era’ for Chinese socialism. However, in spite of such ecumenical proclamations, it became immediately evident that not all in China would be welcome to reap the rewards promised by the authorities. Migrant workers, for one, remain disposable. Lawyers, activists, and even ordinary citizens who dare to express critical views also hardly find a place in Xi’s brave new world. This Yearbook traces the stark new ‘gilded age’ inaugurated by the Chinese Communist Party. It does so through a collection of more than forty original essays on labour, civil society, and human rights in China and beyond penned by leading scholars and practitioners from around the world.

2016: Disturbances in Heaven

Edited by Ivan Franceschini, Kevin Lin, and Nicholas Loubere
According to the Chinese zodiac, 2016 was the year of the fire monkey. What better character than Sun Wukong to inspire this inaugural volume of the Made in China Yearbook? In this past year, Chinese workers and activists from all walks of life have struggled under heightened repression by the Chinese party-state, showing remarkable endurance even under these dire circumstances. Through their battles, however small or short-lived, they repeatedly challenged the message of ‘harmony’ put forward by the Chinese authorities, creating ‘disturbances’ in the imaginary heaven engineered by the party-state. All of this is nothing other than proof of the survival of the monkey spirit in Chinese society. Even when trapped under a mountain of repression, or in terrible pain due to the curse of the magic headband of state control, the monkey still manages to briefly wriggle free, reminding us that not all is well, that not everything is predictable.

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