Sticky Side of Globalisation: China's Industrial Relations System under International Scrutiny

Project: Research

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Although China's trade and economic liberalization has received increasing praise from western business, government and academic circles, labour practices continue to attract widespread criticism. Whilst human rights discourses may be seen as mainly political issues, industrial relations have a stronger cutting edge of economic concerns. This research will focus on how foreign and international institutions and advocates seek to influence China's industrial relations, and how some key stakeholders in China are reacting to such pressures. Whilst isolation of the official unions remains from outside China, and entrenched autonomy is the official line domestically, the backroom manoeuvrings and official statements in China's renewed attempt (but failure) to join the ILO governing body illustrates that a more complex picture exists. This research will examine the official positions and strategies of unions, governments NGOs and CSR businesses concerned with labour issues, and their activities directed at either protecting their position or active engagement with China/foreign actors at the macro and micro levels.


Project number9041192
Grant typeGRF
Effective start/end date1/01/0729/03/10