A New Deal for Chinas Workers? (inbunden)
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A New Deal for Chinas Workers?

Inbunden,  Engelska, 2017-01-02
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Chinas labor landscape is changing, and it is transforming the global economy in ways that we cannot afford to ignore. Once-silent workers have found their voice, organizing momentous protests, such as the 2010 Honda strikes, and demanding a better deal. Chinas leaders have responded not only with repression but with reforms. Are Chinas workers on the verge of a breakthrough in industrial relations and labor law reminiscent of the American New Deal? In A New Deal for Chinas Workers? Cynthia Estlund views this changing landscape through the comparative lens of Americas twentieth-century experience with industrial unrest. Chinas leaders hope to replicate the widely shared prosperity, political legitimacy, and stability that flowed from Americas New Deal, but they are irrevocably opposed to the independent trade unions and mass mobilization that were central to bringing it about. Estlund argues that the specter of an independent labor movement, seen as an existential threat to Chinas one-party regime, is both driving and constraining every facet of its response to restless workers. Chinas leaders draw on an increasingly sophisticated toolkit in their effort to contain worker activism. The result is a surprising mix of repression and concession, confrontation and cooptation, flaws and functionality, rigidity and pragmatism. If Chinas laborers achieve a New Deal, it will be a New Deal with Chinese characteristics, very unlike what workers in the West achieved in the last century. Estlunds sharp observations and crisp comparative analysis make Chinas labor unrest and reform legible to Western readers.
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This highly readable story of the recent struggle of Chinas workers for a better life, and the Communist Partys complex responses to their demands, will surely meet the urgent need for greater understanding of this dynamic, non-transparent nation. Cynthia Estlund, a leading expert on American labor, has given us a balanced and sophisticated picture of Chinas vastly different, rapidly changing labor scene. Like all great comparative studies, it also moves us to reconsider the accomplishments and drawbacks of our own government and even suggests what we might learn from the Chinese. -- Jerome A. Cohen, New York University School of Law This eloquent account of the fundamental issues facing Chinas workers, employers, and officials is an accessible but highly nuanced entre to the world-historical drama unfolding in the PRC. Estlund has masterfully identified the essential economic, political, and legal dynamics that will determine the fate of the worlds largest and most restive working class. -- Eli Friedman, Cornell University For those who want to know more about the current status of labor in China, A New Deal for Chinas Workers? is a must-read. Addressing labor issues in the United States and China, Estlund goes beyond the common view that workplaces in China are all sweatshops even as she questions Chinas prospects for controlled liberalization of trade unions and labor NGOs. The results are enlightening and provocative. -- Mary Gallagher, University of Michigan This is a terrific, eye-opening book. Cynthia Estlund uses her expert knowledge of American labor history and law as a lens through which to examine the turbulent politically and economically fraught world in which hundreds of millions of Chinese workers press for dignity, democracy, and a better material life. From the most exploitative sweatshop to the highest levels of Chinese government and industry, Estlund offers superb guidance to all those puzzled by the near-insurrectionary struggles of the Chinese working class and by the regimes capacity to channel, accommodate, and suppress this industrial revolt. -- Nelson Lichtenstein, University of California, Santa Barbara Cynthia Estlund provides the most sophisticated and in-depth look ever at China and Chinese workers and their race to the rising bottom. Her analysis demonstrates that the Chinese leaderships fear of an independent organized labor movement as a greater threat than organized capital or capitalism has actually motivated positive change for Chinese workers. The revealing comparisons of labor law, workplace democracy, and the role of unions between the U.S. and China is stunningly insightful, and will shatter your conventional ideas. -- Andy Stern, Columbia University

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Cynthia Estlund is Catherine A. Rein Professor of Law at New York University School of Law.