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, […]

There and Back Again: Conceptualising the Chinese Gold Rush in Ghana

On 15 May 2013, Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama announced the establishment of an Inter-Ministerial Task Force aimed at bringing ‘sanity’ to the country’s rapidly (and chaotically) expanding small-scale mining sector. Over the course of the next month, the army and police proceeded to ‘flush out’ and deport nearly 5,000 foreign nationals who were illegally […]

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 […]

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