Paradoxes of Labour Reform: Chinese Labour Theory and Practice from Socialism to Market
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242pp. July 2002
Paradoxes of Labour Reform: Chinese Labour Theory and Practice from Socialism to Market
Author: Tomba, Luigi;
Labour reform is only one component of the larger process of reforming economy and society experienced by China from the late seventies, and is probably the part of this process where paradoxes emerge most clearly. The book suggests a two-level analysis as labour theory and consequent policy and law making emerging from a rapidly changing ideological environment violently clash with the social and practical contradictions of policy implementation. It is argued that this is accompanied by an increasing resistance by society to the state’s overall policies as well as by an increasing—functional and tolerated—informalization of labour practices.

Tomba borrows historical analytical tools in order to shed light on how policy making takes place in contemporary China and shows it to be an experimental and self-fulfilling process where decisions are taken only long after being introduced into daily practice. This book will be valuable to students of contemporary Chinese society and key to the understanding of 25 years of Chinese labour reform.

For sale in the U.S., its dependencies, Canada, and Mexico


Chinese Worlds Series
“Indispensable ... strongly recommended to all readers interested in labor issues in China” —China Journal 53 (2005)

“A sensitive treatment of the complicated twists and turns that consolidated China’s turn towards a market economy.” —Journal of Chinese Political Science, Spring 2004

Author: Tomba, Luigi;
Luigi Tomba is a Research Fellow at the Australian National University’s Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Contemporary China Centre and Department of Political and Social Change, Canberra.



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