Migrant Labour and the Sustainability of China’s Welfare System

Social welfare in China has emerged in recent years as a major cause of migrant workers’ discontent and collective action. Reforms of the social welfare system in China since 2002 have expanded coverage and protection of vulnerable populations, but structural problems remain for migrant workers to access and receive the full benefits of the social […]

The Neglected Side of the Coin: Legal Hegemony, Class Consciousness, and Labour Politics in China

Since China’s opening up in 1978, the Chinese party-state has put great effort into reforming the labour law system. During the 1990s, the 1992 Trade Union Law, 1994 Labour Law, and the 1995 Arbitration Law were enacted. In 2001 and 2004, the revised Trade Union Law and Provisions on Minimum Wage were promulgated respectively. In […]

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 […]

Paradise under Construction

Zhao Liang’s recent film Behemoth (beixi moshou) is a cinematic meditation on the Anthropocene—the current geological epoch marking ‘a new phase in the history of the Earth, when natural forces and human forces become intertwined, so that the fate of one determines the fate of the other.’ Composed from documentary footage of natural and human […]

Elisa Nesossi on Legal Reforms and Deprivation of Liberty in Contemporary China

Edited by Elisa Nesossi, Sarah Biddulph, Flora Sapio, and Susan Trevaskes, Legal Reforms and Deprivation of Liberty in Contemporary China offers a series of analyses by prominent legal scholars on the complexities inherent in the process of reforming detention institutions in China. It also discusses at length the development and subsequent abolition of the re-education through labour […]

Zhao Liang’s recent film Behemoth (beixi moshou) is a cinematic meditation on the Anthropocene—the current geological epoch marking ‘a new phase in the history of the Earth, when natural forces and human forces become intertwined, so that the fate of one determines the fate of the other.’ Composed from documentary footage of natural and human […]

A Chinese Empire in the Making? Questioning Myths from the Agri-Food Sector in Ghana

Western media and research often frame China’s expanding presence in African countries as a new project in empire building on the continent. The Chinese government, on the contrary, espouses a very different narrative—one which depicts Chinese companies and migrants as promoting development through beneficial South-South cooperation resulting in mechanisation and advanced techniques. In this way, […]

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