Chinese Workers in Comparative Perspective

Chinese Workers in Comparative Perspective

by Anita Chan (Editor)

Paperback(New Edition)

View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Monday, August 26


As the "world’s factory" China exerts an enormous pressure on workers around the world. Many nations have had to adjust to a new global political and economic reality, and so has China. Its workers and its official trade union federation have had to contend with rapid changes in industrial relations. Anita Chan argues that Chinese labor is too often viewed from a prism of exceptionalism and too rarely examined comparatively, even though valuable insights can be derived by analyzing China’s workforce and labor relations side by side with the systems of other nations.

The contributors to Chinese Workers in Comparative Perspective compare labor issues in China with those in the United States, Australia, Japan, India, Pakistan, Germany, Russia, Vietnam, and Taiwan. They also draw contrasts among different types of workplaces within China. The chapters address labor regimes and standards, describe efforts to reshape industrial relations to improve the circumstances of workers, and compare historical and structural developments in China and other industrial relations systems.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780801479939
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Publication date: 05/21/2015
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 296
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Anita Chan is a Research Professor at the Australia-China Relations Institute of the University of Technology, Sydney, and a visiting fellow at the Australian National University. She is the editor of Walmart in China, also from Cornell, the author of China’s Workers under Assault: The Exploitation of Labor in a Globalizing Economy, and has published seven other books.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Fallacy of Chinese Exceptionalism
by Anita ChanPart I. Historical and Structural Developments1. Exporting Corporatism? German and Japanese Transnationals' Regimes of Production in China
by Boy Lüthje2. Globalization and Labor in China and the United States: Convergence and Divergence
by Mingwei Liu, Frederick Scott Bentley, Mary Huong Thi Evans, and Susan J. SchurmanPart II. Labor Standards3. Recomposing Chinese Migrant and State-Sector Workers
by Kevin Lin4. Industrial Upgrading and Work: The Impact of Industrial Transformation on Labor in Guangdong’s Garment and IT Industries
by Florian Butollo5. The Working and Living Conditions of Garment Workers in China and Vietnam: A Comparative Study
by Kaxton Siu6. Race to the Bottom: The Soccer Ball Industry in China, Pakistan, and India
by Anita Chan, Hong Xue, Peter Lund-Thomsen, Khalid Nadvi, and Navjote KharaPart III. Trade Unions, Collective Bargaining, and the Right to Strike7. Labor NGOs under State Corporatism: Comparing China since the 1990s with Taiwan in the 1980s
by Chris King-chi Chan and Yu-bin Chiu8. One Step Forward: Collective Bargaining Experiments in Vietnam and China
by Katie Quan9. Creating a Right to Strike in China: Some Lessons from the Australian Experience
by Thomas Nice and Sean Cooney10. Trade Union Reform in Russia and China: Harmony, Partnership, and Power from Below
by Tim PringleNotes

What People are Saying About This

Chris Smith

"Countries are not islands! Globalizing forces continue to integrate and competitively align economies to emerging world standards. Workers in countries display national and systemic traits, and authoritarian capitalism in China presents a distinctive identity but also a model and multidimensional template. This book provides a much-needed comparative perspective, simultaneously bringing out key points of difference and commonality between Chinese and other workers."

Changhee Lee

"China's extraordinary size and speed of change, compounded by its unique political economy, often defies comparison. By questioning the prevailing notion of 'Chinese exceptionalism,’ the authors of the book challenge students of labor relations and also policymakers to rethink their approaches to the challenge of labor in the factory of the world."

Richard P. Appelbaum

"Anita Chan is one of the world's leading scholars on Chinese labor issues, and this book builds on her interest in framing labor in China in a comparative way. This book avoids the many binaries that place China—for better or worse—in the 'exceptional’ category and instead evaluates the changing Chinese labor regime in light of other countries’ experiences. The approach is nuanced—the contributors note differences within China, over time, regionally, and by sector, and they also situate China within the context of larger issues reflecting the globalization of supply chains and production."

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews