Download Against the Law: Labor Protests in China's Rustbelt and by Ching Kwan Lee PDF

By Ching Kwan Lee

This examine opens a severe standpoint at the sluggish loss of life of socialism and the rebirth of capitalism within the world's so much dynamic and populous kingdom. according to notable fieldwork and huge interviews in chinese language cloth, clothing, equipment, and loved ones equipment factories, Against the legislations finds a emerging tide of work unrest ordinarily hidden from the world's cognizance. offering a wide political and monetary research of this hard work fight including fine-grained ethnographic aspect, the booklet portrays the chinese language operating classification as workers' tales spread in bankrupt country factories and international sweatshops, in crowded dormitories and distant villages, at road protests in addition to in quiet disenchantment with the corrupt officialdom and the fledgling felony method.

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Extra info for Against the Law: Labor Protests in China's Rustbelt and Sunbelt

Example text

It has proven to be a tumultuous process not only because many workers have been stripped of their time-honored entitlements and have become the new urban poor. The new system has also witnessed many gaps and ineffective implementations, depriving many workers of their legal rights conferred by new laws and policies. This stalled transition is a hotbed for the informalization of employment practices heavily biased against workers’ interests, especially for the most vulnerable and marginalized groups.

The emphasis has been on economic decentralization or the state strategy of local accumulation, enhancing incentives among provincial and local communist leaders to liberalize the economy. ”33 The positive economic effects of decentralization are captured by several theoretical formulations. 37 A palpable celebratory metaphysics undergirds this literature, whose focal concern is with explaining “successful” market reform via state initiatives and which sees the Chinese state as developmental. Only recently, with rising social unrest, have a few scholars attended to the dark side of economic reform, or the rise of the “predatory state” in China.

Yet the pressure to make a living and the fluidity of the labor market do not lead easily to collective organizing of any kind. In short, Chinese workers’ class consciousness exists as a fading relic from the past, and the persistent weakness of workers’ class capacity is not likely to nourish or sustain its development. The most empowering identity workers have found is grounded in one variation of citizenship—citizens’ right to legal justice (gongmin de hefaquanyi). Workers enthusiastically embrace the regime’s project of legal reform and the construction of a law-based, corruption-free government.

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