Monday, October 10, 2011


IWS Documented News Service
Institute for Workplace Studies----------------- Professor Samuel B. Bacharach
School of Industrial & Labor Relations-------- Director, Institute for Workplace Studies
Cornell University
16 East 34th Street, 4th floor----------------------
Stuart Basefsky
New York, NY 10016 -------------------------------Director, IWS News Bureau


ILR Press (an imprint of Cornell University Press)


From Iron Rice Bowl to Informalization: Markets, Workers, and the State in a Changing China [2011]

Sarosh Kuruvilla (Editor); Ching Kwan Lee (Editor); Mary E. Gallagher (Editor)

Cloth, 2011 ISBN: 978-0-8014-5024-2

$ 39.95   £24.95




"In the thirty years since the opening of China's economy, China's economic growth has been nothing short of phenomenal. At the same time, however, its employment relations system has undergone a gradual but fundamental transformation from stable and permanent employment with good benefits (often called the iron rice bowl), to a system characterized by highly precarious employment with no benefits for about 40 percent of the population. Similar transitions have occurred in other countries, such as Korea, although perhaps not at such a rapid pace as in China. This shift echoes the move from "breadwinning" careers to contingent employment in the postindustrial United States. In From Iron Rice Bowl to Informalization, an interdisciplinary group of authors examines the nature, causes, and consequences of informal employment in China at a time of major changes in Chinese society. This book provides a guide to the evolving dynamics among workers, unions, NGOs, employers, and the state as they deal with the new landscape of insecure employment. Contributors: Fang Cai, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences; Baohua Dong, East China University of Politics and Law; Mark W. Frazier, University of Oklahoma; Mary E. Gallagher, University of Michigan; Sarosh Kuruvilla, Cornell University; Ching Kwan Lee, UCLA; Kun-Chin Lin, King's College, London; Mingwei Liu, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; Albert Park, University of Oxford; Yuan Shen, Tsinghua University; Sarah Swider, Wayne State University; Lu Zhang, Temple University"


About the Author

Sarosh Kuruvilla is Professor of Comparative Industrial Relations, Asian Studies, and Public Affairs at Cornell University, where he serves as chair of ILR International Programs. Ching Kwan Lee is Professor of Sociology at UCLA and the author of Gender and the South China Miracle and Against the Law: Labor Protests in China's Rustbelt and Sunbelt. Mary E. Gallagher is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Michigan and the author of Contagious Capitalism: Globalization and the Politics of Labor in China.



1. Introduction and Argument

Mary E. Gallagher, Ching Kwan Lee, and Sarosh Kuruvilla


Part I: Informalization and the State


2. The Informalization of the Chinese Labor Market

Albert Park and Fang Cai


3. Legislating Harmony: Labor Law Reform in Contemporary China

Mary E. Gallagher and Baohua Dong


4. Social Policy and Public Opinion in an Age of Insecurity

Mark W. Frazier


Part II: Transformation of Employment Relations in Industries


5. Enterprise Reform and Wage Movements in Chinese Oil Fields and Refineries

Kun-Chin Lin


6. The Paradox of Labor Force Dualism and State-Labor-Capital Relations in the Chinese Automobile Industry

Lu Zhang


7. Permanent Temporariness in the Chinese Construction Industry

Sarah Swider


Part III: Unions, Nongovernmental Organizations, and Workers


8. "Where There Are Workers, There Should Be Trade Unions": Union Organizing in the Era of Growing Informal Employment

Mingwei Liu


9. The Anti-Solidarity Machine?: Labor Nongovernmental Organizations in China

Ching Kwan Lee and Yuan Shen


10. Conclusion

Mary E. Gallagher, Sarosh Kuruvilla, and Ching Kwan Lee




Notes on Contributors



This information is provided to subscribers, friends, faculty, students and alumni of the School of Industrial & Labor Relations (ILR). It is a service of the Institute for Workplace Studies (IWS) in New York City. Stuart Basefsky is responsible for the selection of the contents which is intended to keep researchers, companies, workers, and governments aware of the latest information related to ILR disciplines as it becomes available for the purposes of research, understanding and debate. The content does not reflect the opinions or positions of Cornell University, the School of Industrial & Labor Relations, or that of Mr. Basefsky and should not be construed as such. The service is unique in that it provides the original source documentation, via links, behind the news and research of the day. Use of the information provided is unrestricted. However, it is requested that users acknowledge that the information was found via the IWS Documented News Service.

Stuart Basefsky                   
Director, IWS News Bureau                
Institute for Workplace Studies 
Cornell/ILR School                        
16 E. 34th Street, 4th Floor             
New York, NY 10016                        
Telephone: (607) 262-6041               
Fax: (607) 255-9641                       



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