From Unorganised Street Protests to Organising Unions

The Birth of a New Trade Union Movement in Hong Kong

For several months in 2019, the world’s news media was front-paging the Hong Kong anti-extradition bill movement almost on a daily basis. However, towards the end of the year, with the street violence subsiding and the fierce battles at two universities ending in the defeat of the students and their supporters, the international media seemed […]

What about Whataboutism?

Viral Loads and Hyperactive Immune Responses in the China Debate

‘If people actually cared about slavery they would be holding demonstrations out the front of their local Chinese Embassy demanding that the Falun Gong and Uyghurs be set free.’ Tweet by an Australian journalist, 15 June 2020   ‘Forget about #StandWithHK. It’s time to stand with #Minneapolis.’ Tweet by a Chinese journalist, 29 May 2020 […]

Asian Reservoirs: A Conversation with Frédéric Keck

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought the whole world to its knees. Yet, this coronavirus is only the latest in a number of zoonosis events originating in different parts of the globe, and especially within Asia, over the last 20 years. For this reason virologists commonly refer to places like China, Hong Kong, or Singapore as […]

Leninists in a Chinese Factory

Reflections on the Jasic Labour Organising Strategy

This summer marks the second anniversary of the failed unionisation drive at the Shenzhen Jasic Technology factory, an episode in China’s recent history of labour activism that has drawn massive attention from China observers, leftist circles, and media pundits around the world. Compared to other influential instances of contentious labour action in recent years, the […]

Scholars and Spies

Experiences from the Soviet Union, Communist Romania, and China

In response to the renewed emphasis of the central government on national security, in November 2015 the authorities of Jilin province, in northeast China, introduced a hotline to report possible spies. The dilemma was how to recognise a spy. Local officials instructed concerned citizens to look out for eight revealing signs (Yang 2015). First, spies […]

Counterterrorism or Cultural Genocide?

Theory and Normativity in Knowledge Production About China’s ‘Xinjiang Strategy’

‘Wake up! There is something for us to learn here. What they’re saying applies to us, even if it was not meant for us.’          Friedrich Nietzsche, Anti-Education (1872)   Since 2017, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has embarked on a rapid and intense securitisation of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. This has included mass […]

Zombies of Capital

On Reading Ling Ma's Severance

Capital is dead labour, that, vampire-like, only lives by sucking living labour, and lives the more, the more labour it sucks. The time during which the labourer works, is the time during which the capitalist consumes the labour-power he has purchased of him. Karl Marx, Capital Volume One (1867)   As a true man of […]

Gratitude: The Ideology of Sovereignty in Crisis

In the midst of the pandemic, expressions of gratitude are everywhere. The appreciation of frontline workers can be heard from the singing balconies of Northern Italy to the nightly applause across New York City rooftops. Even the wolves of my own state of Colorado seem to be contributing their evening howls (Gruenauer 2020). Meanwhile, mental […]

Covid-19 in China: From ‘Chernobyl Moment’ to Impetus for Nationalism

When Dr Li Wenliang died from Covid-19 on 7 February, the Chinese Internet saw an unprecedented outpouring of grief and anger. The universal mourning for the reprimanded doctor, who had warned his colleagues about a potentially infectious coronavirus in late December and had been silenced by authorities, was also an expression of the public anxiety […]

Living Politics: An Exhibition

This Exhibition was part of the Australian Research Council Laureate Project ‘Informal Life Politics in the Remaking of Northeast Asia: From Cold War to Post-Cold War’. As major political changes reshape East Asia, groups of ordinary people across the region have been developing alternative, self-help ways to address the profound social, economic, and environmental challenges […]

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