Confucianism, the rise of worker activism and labour law in China

Document Type


Publication details

Shen, W & Price, R 2014, 'Confucianism, the rise of worker activism and labour law in China', China: An International Journal, vol. 12, no. 3, pp. 115-135.

Peer Reviewed



The recent outbreak of strikes at foreign-invested enterprises (FIEs) in some Chinese coastal cities brought China and its labour law into the spotlight and raised questions about the future of China’s workforce and labour protection. The core question seems to surround the inherent conflict between, on the one hand, the Party-state’s priority to maintain social stability and “harmony”, and on the other, the growing demands at the grassroots level by China’s workers struggling for better conditions and treatment amid China’s economic growth. This article attempts to take a positive approach in its analysis of the increasing worker activism in China by referring to Confucianism and Chinese labour law.

Find in your library