Fighting the Race to the Bottom: Regulating Chinese Investment in Zambian Mines

Copper mining remains the dominant economic activity in Zambia, a situation that has not changed since 1928 when large-scale mining was introduced in the country. According to a World Bank report released in June 2015, the sector today accounts for more than sixty-five percent of Zambia’s export earnings and eleven percent of its gross domestic […]

Chinese Workers and the Legal System: Bridging the Gap in Representation

In 2007, the Chinese authorities issued the Labour Contract Law to grant new legal protections to workers and the Labour Dispute Mediation and Arbitration Law to make it easier for them to enforce their rights through litigation. In the decade that followed, Chinese workers have increasingly turned to labour arbitration and courts in the hope […]

The Chinese Working Class: Made, Unmade, in Itself, for Itself, or None of the Above?

China’s working class dwarfs those of all other countries. It has undergone several rounds of momentous and wrenching change over the past hundred years—from early industrialisation and urban growth, through the Japanese invasion and the Second World War, to the 1949 Chinese Communist Party (CCP) takeover and Maoist Era mobilisation, the advent of reform and […]

Eli Friedman on China on Strike

A unique contribution to the literature on the resistance of Chinese migrant workers, China on Strike is a collection of stories of collective actions undertaken by migrant workers in the Pearl River Delta since the turn of the century. Authored by Chinese labour activist Hao Ren as part of an activist network and edited in English by […]

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 […]

Interpreting the Rule of Law in China

With its ample resonance both within China and internationally, the ‘rule of law’ (yifa zhiguo) is an expression that can justify the most disparate justice reforms. It is both a political value worth defending and a reason for consternation; it is an ideal that is inherently troubling and troubled by its interlocutors, advocates, and critics. […]

Laying Off Responsibility: Microcredit, Entrepreneurship, and China’s Industrial Retrenchment

When the news broke earlier this year that Chinese state-owned steel and coal companies would be laying off anywhere between 1.8 to 6 million workers over the next two to three years, the government quickly moved to provide assurances that the socioeconomic fallout would be mitigated through 150 million yuan in assistance for the newly […]

The Resistance of Walmart Workers in China: A Breakthrough in the Chinese Labour Movement

On 21 June, the Walmart Chinese Workers’ Association (WCWA) announced in its blog that it and its American counterpart, OUR Walmart (Organisation United for Respect at Walmart), had joined hands in cyberspace to discuss how to move forward in their struggle against Walmart. This marks a new stage in recent Chinese labour history. This time […]

Luigi Tomba Awarded Prestigious Levenson Prize

Luigi Tomba has been awarded the prestigious Levenson Prize for his book The Government Next Door: Neighborhood Politics in Urban China, a study of China’s urban grassroots governing practices and their implication for regime legitimacy published in 2014 by Cornell University Press. Luigi—who now serves as Associate Director at the Australian Centre on China in the […]

A Civil Society Under Assault

In May 2015, the National People’s Congress released the complete text of a draft ‘Overseas NGO Management Law’. According to the draft rules, the main responsibility of supervising foreign NGOs in China should shift from the Ministry of Civil Affairs to the Ministry of Public Security, a step that would make carrying out projects in the country […]

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