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Full-Text Articles in International Economics

Experimentation And Decentralization In China’S Labor Relations, Eli D. Friedman, Sarosh Kuruvilla Oct 2015

Experimentation And Decentralization In China’S Labor Relations, Eli D. Friedman, Sarosh Kuruvilla

Sarosh Kuruvilla

In this introduction to the special issue ‘Changing work, labour and employment relations in China’, we argue that China is taking an experimental and decentralized approach to the development of new labor relations frameworks. Particular political constraints in China prevent interest aggregation among workers, as the central state sees this as posing a risk to social stability. Firms and local governments have been given a degree of space to experiment with different arrangements, as long as the categorical ban on independent unions is not violated. The consequence has been an increasingly differentiated labor relations landscape, with significant variation by region ...


Experimentation And Decentralization In China’S Labor Relations, Eli D. Friedman, Sarosh Kuruvilla Apr 2015

Experimentation And Decentralization In China’S Labor Relations, Eli D. Friedman, Sarosh Kuruvilla

Eli D Friedman

In this introduction to the special issue ‘Changing work, labour and employment relations in China’, we argue that China is taking an experimental and decentralized approach to the development of new labor relations frameworks. Particular political constraints in China prevent interest aggregation among workers, as the central state sees this as posing a risk to social stability. Firms and local governments have been given a degree of space to experiment with different arrangements, as long as the categorical ban on independent unions is not violated. The consequence has been an increasingly differentiated labor relations landscape, with significant variation by region ...


Getting Through The Hard Times Together? Chinese Workers And Unions Respond To The Economic Crisis, Eli D. Friedman Apr 2015

Getting Through The Hard Times Together? Chinese Workers And Unions Respond To The Economic Crisis, Eli D. Friedman

Eli D Friedman

How do post-socialist unions respond to market crisis? And what are the implications of this response for labor representation? Drawing on literature on post-socialist labor and union democracy, I argue that economic crisis affects not just labor – capital and labor – state relations, but also the relationship between union representatives and workers. Such a dynamic is highlighted by an empirical account of the divergent activities of workers and All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) unions in China following the economic crisis of 2008. While the union responded to mass unemployment with an administrative and policy-oriented strategy, workers took to the streets ...


Alienated Politics: Labour Insurgency And The Paternalistic State In China, Eli Friedman Apr 2015

Alienated Politics: Labour Insurgency And The Paternalistic State In China, Eli Friedman

Eli D Friedman

Is there a labour movement in China? This contribution argues that China does not have a labour movement, but that contestation between workers, state and capital is best characterized as a form of ‘alienated politics’. Widespread worker resistance is highly effective at the level of the firm be-cause of its ability to inflict losses on capital and disrupt public order. But authoritarian politics in China prevent workers from formulating political demands. Despite the spectacular repressive capacity of the state, the central government has in fact responded to highly localized resistance by passing generally pro-labour legislation over the past decade. The ...


Insurgency And Institutionalization: The Polanyian Countermovement And Chinese Labor Politics, Eli D. Friedman Apr 2015

Insurgency And Institutionalization: The Polanyian Countermovement And Chinese Labor Politics, Eli D. Friedman

Eli D Friedman

Why is it that in the nearly 10 years since the Chinese central government began making symbolic and material moves towards class compromise that labor unrest has expanded greatly? In this article I reconfigure Karl Polanyi's theory of the countermovement to account for recent developments in Chinese labor politics. Specifically, I argue that countermovements must be broken down into two constituent but intertwined "moments": the insurgent moment that consists of spontaneous resistance to the market, and the institutional moment, when class compromise is established in the economic and political spheres. In China, the transition from insurgency to institutionalization has ...


Experimentation And Decentralization In China’S Labor Relations, Eli D. Friedman, Sarosh Kuruvilla Feb 2015

Experimentation And Decentralization In China’S Labor Relations, Eli D. Friedman, Sarosh Kuruvilla

Articles and Chapters

In this introduction to the special issue ‘Changing work, labour and employment relations in China’, we argue that China is taking an experimental and decentralized approach to the development of new labor relations frameworks. Particular political constraints in China prevent interest aggregation among workers, as the central state sees this as posing a risk to social stability. Firms and local governments have been given a degree of space to experiment with different arrangements, as long as the categorical ban on independent unions is not violated. The consequence has been an increasingly differentiated labor relations landscape, with significant variation by region ...


Alienated Politics: Labour Insurgency And The Paternalistic State In China, Eli D. Friedman Sep 2014

Alienated Politics: Labour Insurgency And The Paternalistic State In China, Eli D. Friedman

Articles and Chapters

Is there a labour movement in China? This contribution argues that China does not have a labour movement, but that contestation between workers, state and capital is best characterized as a form of ‘alienated politics’. Widespread worker resistance is highly effective at the level of the firm be-cause of its ability to inflict losses on capital and disrupt public order. But authoritarian politics in China prevent workers from formulating political demands. Despite the spectacular repressive capacity of the state, the central government has in fact responded to highly localized resistance by passing generally pro-labour legislation over the past decade. The ...


Insurgency And Institutionalization: The Polanyian Countermovement And Chinese Labor Politics, Eli D. Friedman May 2013

Insurgency And Institutionalization: The Polanyian Countermovement And Chinese Labor Politics, Eli D. Friedman

Articles and Chapters

Why is it that in the nearly 10 years since the Chinese central government began making symbolic and material moves towards class compromise that labor unrest has expanded greatly? In this article I reconfigure Karl Polanyi's theory of the countermovement to account for recent developments in Chinese labor politics. Specifically, I argue that countermovements must be broken down into two constituent but intertwined "moments": the insurgent moment that consists of spontaneous resistance to the market, and the institutional moment, when class compromise is established in the economic and political spheres. In China, the transition from insurgency to institutionalization has ...


Getting Through The Hard Times Together? Chinese Workers And Unions Respond To The Economic Crisis, Eli D. Friedman Sep 2012

Getting Through The Hard Times Together? Chinese Workers And Unions Respond To The Economic Crisis, Eli D. Friedman

Articles and Chapters

How do post-socialist unions respond to market crisis? And what are the implications of this response for labor representation? Drawing on literature on post-socialist labor and union democracy, I argue that economic crisis affects not just labor – capital and labor – state relations, but also the relationship between union representatives and workers. Such a dynamic is highlighted by an empirical account of the divergent activities of workers and All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) unions in China following the economic crisis of 2008. While the union responded to mass unemployment with an administrative and policy-oriented strategy, workers took to the streets ...