Understanding contentious collective action by Chinese laid-off workers: The importance of regional political economy

William Hurst*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

63 Scopus citations


Episodes of contentious collective action involving laid-off workers have erupted throughout China in recent years. With few exceptions, studies of Chinese laid-off workers' contention have attempted to generalize from field research in very few or even single - localities. This limitation has led to several debates that cala frequently be addressed by examining differences in political economy among China's industrial regions. Based on 19 months of fieldwork and over 100 in-depth interviews with workers, managers, and officials in nine Chinese cities, this article offers a systematic, sub-national comparative analysis of laid-off workers' contenfion. The article also addresses broader issues in the analysis of social movements and contentious politics, a field that has too often failed to take such regional differences into account.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)94-120
Number of pages27
JournalStudies in Comparative International Development
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations

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