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Insurgency TrapLabor Politics in Postsocialist China$
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Eli Friedman

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780801452697

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801452697.001.0001

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Labor Politics and Capitalist Industrialization

Labor Politics and Capitalist Industrialization

(p.1) 1 Labor Politics and Capitalist Industrialization
Insurgency Trap

Eli Friedman

Cornell University Press

This chapter sets out the book's purpose, which is to address a problem of the political economy of early twenty-first-century China: Why is it that in the more than ten years since the central government began to shift away from full-fledged marketization, migrant worker unrest has continued to grow apace? Why have the efforts of certain segments of the state to promote class compromise largely failed? Why is it that labor is strong enough to win concessions at the national and sometimes provincial or municipal level but not strong enough to allow migrant workers to significantly benefit from these victories or gain their recognition? The book's central argument is that the dynamics of working class representation in postsocialist China have confounded institutionalization of class compromise. The remainder of the chapter discusses the features of China's labor politics.

Keywords:   China, labor relations, migrant workers, labor unrest, labor conflict, worker class representation, labor policy

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