Different Demands, Varying Responses: Local Government Responses to Workers' Collective Actions in South China

Yujeong Yang, Wei Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

While Chinese local governments remain extremely wary of workers' collective actions, they do not always suppress them; sometimes, they tolerate such actions and even seek to placate workers. What accounts for these different government responses to workers' collective actions? Based on a sample of over 1,491 collective action cases that took place in Guangdong between 2011 and 2016, we find that the types of demands raised by workers during collective actions affect how local governments respond. Local governments are likely to forcefully intervene in collective actions in which workers make defensive claims concerning issues of payment. In contrast, local governments are likely to use non-forceful approaches in response to actions in which workers make defensive claims regarding social security.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)839-854
Number of pages16
JournalChina Quarterly
Volume243
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • mediation
  • south China
  • strike
  • suppression
  • worker demands
  • workers' collective actions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Political Science and International Relations

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