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

By Ching Kwan Lee

This examine opens a serious viewpoint at the sluggish dying of socialism and the rebirth of capitalism within the world's such a lot dynamic and populous nation. in response to striking fieldwork and huge interviews in chinese language fabric, clothing, equipment, and loved ones equipment factories, Against the legislations finds a emerging tide of work unrest typically hidden from the world's cognizance. supplying a vast political and fiscal research of this exertions fight including fine-grained ethnographic aspect, the booklet portrays the chinese language operating category as workers' tales spread in bankrupt nation 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 approach.

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Additional resources for Against the Law: Labor Protests in China's Rustbelt and Sunbelt

Example text

That is why workers in this study protest with the same conviction and resolve with which they exploit opportunities in the market and relish the modicum of redistributive resources at their disposal. ”62 Or as Harvey notes of contemporary labor struggles under the onslaught of neoliberal globalization, on the one hand, “there is the revolutionary urge to become free of the embeddedness within the circulation of capital that so circumscribes life chances, body politics, and socio-ecological futures.

In the 1990s, Beijing demanded repeatedly, but in vain, that local governments guarantee payments to retirees and laid-off workers. The lack of local response to this legitimation concern often forced the central government to pitch in emergency funds when worker unrest reached a level to cause central consternation about social instability. In old industrial provinces such as Liaoning, which is saddled with a high concentration of retirees and laid-off workers from bankrupt state factories, the central government had no option but to apportion special relief funds to the provincial governments, out of concern for maintaining social stability.

46 Without any countervailing political opposition or competition, this contradiction has resulted in an authoritarian regime of “rule by law,” not a “rule of law” that can restrain the government itself. Central government law and regulation may provide a wide range of rights and entitlements for workers, but when these are in conflict with local government’s procapital interests, the judiciary often succumbs to administrative interference. Poor enforcement of the law is caused by the courts’ lack of institutional autonomy vis-à-vis local government.

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