Book Talk -- Workers and Change in China: Resistance, Repression, and Responsiveness

Date: 

Thursday, October 28, 2021, 8:00pm to 9:00pm

Location: 

Virtual event, registration required

The Ash Center and Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies invite you to a book talk with Manfred Elfstrom, author of Workers and Change in China: Resistance, Repression,& Responsiveness (2021, Cambridge University Press) and Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of British Columbia. Elfstrom will be joined by Yao Li, Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminology and Law at the University of Florida and author of Playing by the Informal Rules— Why the Chinese Regime Remains Stable despite Rising Protests (2019, Cambridge University Press). Edward Cunningham, Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy and Director of Ash Center China Programs, will moderate the conversation. 

Register here 

About the Speakers 

Manfred Elfstrom is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics, Philosophy, and Political Science at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan. He studies China, social movements, labor, and authoritarianism. His research has appeared in China Quarterly, Journal of Contemporary China, Industrial and Labor Relations Review, British Journal of Industrial Relations, and China Information. He has a PhD from Cornell University’s Department of Government and was a China Public Policy Postdoctoral Fellow at the Ash Center. 

Yao Li is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminology & Law at the University of Florida. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from Johns Hopkins University. She was a China Public Policy Postdoctoral Fellow at the Ash Center. She is the author of Playing by the Informal Rules—Why the Chinese Regime Remains Stable despite Rising Protests (Cambridge 2019; Cambridge Studies in Contentious Politics). Her research combines quantitative and qualitative methods to address debates in the fields of social movements, environmental studies, political sociology, and development.

About the Book 

Strikes, protests, and riots by Chinese workers have been rising over the past decade. The state has addressed a number of grievances, yet has also come down increasingly hard on civil society groups pushing for reform. Why are these two seemingly clashing developments occurring simultaneously? Manfred Elfstrom uses extensive fieldwork and statistical analysis to examine both the causes and consequences of protest. The book adopts a holistic approach, encompassing national trends in worker–state relations, local policymaking processes and the dilemmas of individual officials and activists. Instead of taking sides in the old debate over whether non-democracies like China's are on the verge of collapse or have instead found ways of maintaining their power indefinitely, it explores the daily evolution of autocratic rule. While providing a uniquely comprehensive picture of change in China, this important study proposes a new model of bottom-up change within authoritarian systems more generally.

Virtual Event Details

Registration is required for this event. Please register using the link above to receive details via email for how to join the virtual discussion. This event will be recorded and a link to the recording will be sent out afterward to all who register.

You can submit questions to the panelists in advance during the registration process. A live Q&A will also be available during the event with an option to submit questions in real-time. 

The Ash Center encourages individuals with disabilities to participate in its events. Should you wish to enquire about an accommodation, please contact our events team at info@ash.harvard.edu prior to the event. 

Additional questions? Email the Ash Center events team at info@ash.harvard.edu.