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The Emerging Industrial Relations of China

William Brown, and
Chang Kai

978 1 107 11441 8
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Publication date:
17 August 2017

Short description: 

An authoritative and accessible account by insiders of the tumultuous changes in the contemporary labour relations of China.

Full description: 

Labour relations are at the heart of China's extraordinary economic rise. This growth, accompanied by internal migration, urbanisation and rising income have brought a dramatic increase in the aspirations of workers, forcing the Chinese government to restructure its relationships with both employers and workers. In order to resolve disputes and manage workplace militancy, the once monolithic official trade union is becoming more flexible, internally. No longer able to rely on government support in dealing with worker unrest, employers are rapidly forming organisations of their own. In this book, a new generation of Chinese scholars provide analyses of six distinct aspects of these developments. They are set in the broader context by the leading authority on Chinese labour law and two western specialists in comparative labour relations. The result is a comprehensive study for scholars and graduate students working in Chinese industrial relations, comparative labour law, human resource management, NGOs and international labour organisations.

Table of contents: 

1. What should we be looking for in industrial relations in China? William Brown; 2. The transition to collective labour relations Chang Kai and William Brown; 3. The two forms of labour movement Chang Kai; 4. The response of trade unions to market pressures Chang Cheng; 5. Employer strategies in collective labour relations Wen Xiaoyi; 6. The changing role of government towards labour Tu Wei; 7. The development of collective consultation Lei Xiaotian; 8. The challenges faced by employee participation Zhan Jing; 9. Strikes: rights and resolution Meng Quan; 10. Going to market: comparing labour relations reform in China, Russia and Vietnam Tim Pringle; 11. Conclusion William Brown and Chang Kai.


William Brown is Emeritus Professor of Industrial Relations and Emeritus Master of Darwin College at the University of Cambridge. He was previously Director of the Industrial Relations Research Unit at the University of Warwick. He is the author and editor of six books on Industrial Relations, including The Evolution of the Modern Workplace (Cambridge, 2009), as well as countless contributions to books and journals.

Chang Kai is Director of the Institute of Industrial Relations and Professor of the School of Labour and Human Resources in Renmin University of China, Beijing. He is also Adjunct Professor of the Chinese Academy of Governance and of Capital University of Economics and Business, Beijing. He is the Chair of the Labour Relations Branch of the China Human Resource Development Association and serves on the Consultative Council of China's Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security.




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