Article

Worker Politics in China

Marc Blecher

in Political Science

ISBN: 9780199756223
Published online November 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199756223-0054
Worker Politics in China

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  • Politics
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Workers’ politics in China has attracted a great deal of academic attention since the country’s structural reforms went into high gear in the mid-1990s, producing a drumbeat of protest that could potentially threaten to derail not just the country’s breathless development but also, conceivably, the very future of the state. By contrast, in scholarship on Chinese popular politics before the founding of the People’s Republic in 1949 and during the Maoist period ending in 1976, workers attracted less scholarly attention than farmers—a product of the rural basis of the revolution and the country’s predominantly rural character for four decades thereafter. Yet workers have been politically active ever since the country’s proletariat was born in the early 20th century, tracked by a small but significant literature. The burst of new scholarship, while not always locating its subject historically, is nonetheless broad in disciplinary, thematic, and geographic terms, and has grown deeper and more nuanced as the political constraints on research on workers have begun gradually to soften. And, in a most encouraging development, as comparative politics has become more theoretically sophisticated, scholarship on Chinese workers has followed suit with a still small number of studies that systematically tease out differences within China and that compare it with other countries.

Article.  5754 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Comparative Politics ; Political Institutions ; Political Methodology ; Political Theory

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