Made in China Yearbook Series

The Made in China Yearbook series—published in collaboration with ANU Press—offers original articles in which scholars and activists analyse the latest trends in Chinese labour and civil society. With their unique blend of in-depth scholarly work written in a direct, accessible style, these books allow readers to situate current events and policies in a wider context, and therefore serve as an indispensable reference for international activists, practitioners, and policy-makers.

2017: Gilded Age

Edited by Ivan Franceschini and Nicholas Loubere

According to the Chinese zodiac, 2017 was the year of the ‘fire rooster’, an animal often associated with the mythical fenghuang, a magnificently beautiful bird whose appearance is believed to mark the beginning of a new era of peaceful flourishing. Considering the auspicious symbolism surrounding the fenghuang, it is fitting that on 18 October 2017, President Xi Jinping took to the stage of the Nineteenth Party Congress to proclaim the beginning of a ‘new era’ for Chinese socialism. However, in spite of such ecumenical proclamations, it became immediately evident that not all in China would be welcome to reap the rewards promised by the authorities. Migrant workers, for one, remain disposable. Lawyers, activists, and even ordinary citizens who dare to express critical views also hardly find a place in Xi’s brave new world. This Yearbook traces the stark new ‘gilded age’ inaugurated by the Chinese Communist Party. It does so through a collection of more than forty original essays on labour, civil society, and human rights in China and beyond penned by leading scholars and practitioners from around the world.

 

2016: Disturbances in Heaven

Edited by Ivan Franceschini, Kevin Lin, and Nicholas Loubere

According to the Chinese zodiac, 2016 was the year of the fire monkey. What better character than Sun Wukong to inspire this inaugural volume of the Made in China Yearbook? In this past year, Chinese workers and activists from all walks of life have struggled under heightened repression by the Chinese party-state, showing remarkable endurance even under these dire circumstances. Through their battles, however small or short-lived, they repeatedly challenged the message of ‘harmony’ put forward by the Chinese authorities, creating ‘disturbances’ in the imaginary heaven engineered by the party-state. All of this is nothing other than proof of the survival of the monkey spirit in Chinese society. Even when trapped under a mountain of repression, or in terrible pain due to the curse of the magic headband of state control, the monkey still manages to briefly wriggle free, reminding us that not all is well, that not everything is predictable.

 

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