January 2018

Focussing on the conceptual evolution of precarious labour over the past three decades, this essay provides a genealogy of the notion of precarity. On the eve of the fourth industrial revolution, when precarity has become the norm and fears of a jobless society have alimented...

The 2015 documentary The Chinese Mayor by Zhou Hao documents the story of Datong, Shanxi province, as its leaders embark on an ambitious plan to transform the city into a tourist destination. Still, although the filmmakers devote sustained attention to the relocated residents and their...

In the past few years, a growing number of academics and activists have launched projects aimed at counting contention in the realm of Chinese labour. This essay explores the power and limitations of such efforts, detailing the inevitable data problems involved in any quantitative approach...

Over the past decade, China’s increasing presence on the African continent has been a source of global debate, excitement, and anxiety. In her new book The Specter of Global China: Politics, Labor, and Foreign Investment in Africa (Chicago University Press, 2017), Ching Kwan Lee draws...

Lu Xun today lives a new life in his homeland as well as abroad. However, given the vastness and unevenness of his oeuvre, not all his works receive the same attention. In particular, one collection of short stories stands out for their neglect: Old Tales...

Xi Jinping's Chinese Dream has a dark side exemplified by the emergence of villages specialising in a single type of crime, from 'hand-cutting' pickpockets to 'cake-uncles' expert in accounting fraud. Officially, China boasts one of the lowest murder rates in the world, claiming a forty-three...