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postgraduate thesis: The political economy of labor activism in the manufacturing sector of the Pearl River Delta, China

TitleThe political economy of labor activism in the manufacturing sector of the Pearl River Delta, China
Authors
Issue Date2017
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Miller, J. C.. (2017). The political economy of labor activism in the manufacturing sector of the Pearl River Delta, China. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR.
AbstractThis research investigates the political economy of labor activism in Guangdong province with a focus on the Pearl River Delta (PRD). The main research objectives are to understand what kinds of influences within the regional political economy as well as within the labor-state-capital framework contribute to labor activism as it manifests in the form of protests. The improvement of labor rights along with the reduction of labor protests are presented as the end goal of policy construction for regional development. Policy recommendations are formulated as a response to the findings of both the literature review and data analysis, and designed to improve institutional weaknesses, problematic labor-state-capital configurations, and political economic arrangements that foment labor activism. A broad literature review synthesizes topics ranging from the regional economic history of Guangdong, the nature of labor rights and of the labor-state-capital relationship (including state and non-state institutions), and case studies and analyses of labor activism in China. The main body of protest data is gathered from the Hong Kong-based China Labour Bulletin’s Strike Map, which records protests across Guangdong (as well as for all of China) from 2011 to 2016. Data also come from the Guangdong Statistical Yearbooks which contain relevant economic and demographic data at the prefectural level. The literature review and data sections reveal distinct yet complimentary (rather than contradictory) factors in the political economy that can be correlated to protests through either their direct or indirect influence. Based on the information gathered from the literature review and data analysis, primary policy recommendations include: establishing the judicial (or, political) independence of unions and other civil society organizations (CSOs), entailing structural independence from the Party-state; reforming the hukou system as a means of eliminating social and civil discrimination; strengthening the rule of law through the establishment of standards agencies, accountability offices, or auditing commissions; and diversifying the industrial and sectoral composition of prefectures known for high rates of manufacturing protests, a process which includes initiatives to increase human capital through better access to education and training programs. Lack of data and the need for more case studies present areas for further research.
DegreeMaster of Arts in China Development Studies
SubjectPearl River Delta - Labor movement - China
Dept/ProgramChina Development Studies
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/254039

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorMiller, Joseph Colin-
dc.date.accessioned2018-06-05T05:53:00Z-
dc.date.available2018-06-05T05:53:00Z-
dc.date.issued2017-
dc.identifier.citationMiller, J. C.. (2017). The political economy of labor activism in the manufacturing sector of the Pearl River Delta, China. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR.-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/254039-
dc.description.abstractThis research investigates the political economy of labor activism in Guangdong province with a focus on the Pearl River Delta (PRD). The main research objectives are to understand what kinds of influences within the regional political economy as well as within the labor-state-capital framework contribute to labor activism as it manifests in the form of protests. The improvement of labor rights along with the reduction of labor protests are presented as the end goal of policy construction for regional development. Policy recommendations are formulated as a response to the findings of both the literature review and data analysis, and designed to improve institutional weaknesses, problematic labor-state-capital configurations, and political economic arrangements that foment labor activism. A broad literature review synthesizes topics ranging from the regional economic history of Guangdong, the nature of labor rights and of the labor-state-capital relationship (including state and non-state institutions), and case studies and analyses of labor activism in China. The main body of protest data is gathered from the Hong Kong-based China Labour Bulletin’s Strike Map, which records protests across Guangdong (as well as for all of China) from 2011 to 2016. Data also come from the Guangdong Statistical Yearbooks which contain relevant economic and demographic data at the prefectural level. The literature review and data sections reveal distinct yet complimentary (rather than contradictory) factors in the political economy that can be correlated to protests through either their direct or indirect influence. Based on the information gathered from the literature review and data analysis, primary policy recommendations include: establishing the judicial (or, political) independence of unions and other civil society organizations (CSOs), entailing structural independence from the Party-state; reforming the hukou system as a means of eliminating social and civil discrimination; strengthening the rule of law through the establishment of standards agencies, accountability offices, or auditing commissions; and diversifying the industrial and sectoral composition of prefectures known for high rates of manufacturing protests, a process which includes initiatives to increase human capital through better access to education and training programs. Lack of data and the need for more case studies present areas for further research. -
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.-
dc.subject.lcshPearl River Delta - Labor movement - China-
dc.titleThe political economy of labor activism in the manufacturing sector of the Pearl River Delta, China-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.description.thesisnameMaster of Arts in China Development Studies-
dc.description.thesislevelMaster-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineChina Development Studies-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.date.hkucongregation2017-
dc.identifier.mmsid991044010999703414-

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