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Book Talk: Workers and Change in China: Resistance, Repression, Responsiveness by Manfred Elfstrom

June 8, 2023 | 1:00PM - 2:00PM
Munk School, Asian Institute

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This event will take place online via Zoom.
Join us on Thursday, June 8 at 1 PM ET as Manfred Elfstrom, Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of British Columbia, discusses his book Workers and Change in China: Resistance, Repression, Responsiveness with the Munk School's Professor Lynette Ong.
About The Book:
Strikes, protests, and riots by Chinese workers have been rising over the past decade. The state has addressed a number of grievances, yet has also come down increasingly hard on civil society groups pushing for reform. Why are these two seemingly clashing developments occurring simultaneously? Manfred Elfstrom uses extensive fieldwork and statistical analysis to examine both the causes and consequences of protest. The book adopts a holistic approach, encompassing national trends in worker–state relations, local policymaking processes and the dilemmas of individual officials and activists. Instead of taking sides in the old debate over whether non-democracies like China's are on the verge of collapse or have instead found ways of maintaining their power indefinitely, it explores the daily evolution of autocratic rule. While providing a uniquely comprehensive picture of change in China, this important study proposes a new model of bottom-up change within authoritarian systems more generally.
About The Speaker:
Manfred Elfstrom is an Assistant Professor of Political Science in the Department of Economics, Philosophy, and Political Science at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan. His work has appeared in Comparative Politics, China Quarterly, Journal of Contemporary China, Industrial & Labor Relations Review, and elsewhere. Before entering academia, Dr. Elfstrom worked in the non-profit world, supporting workers’ rights and improved grassroots governance in China.
Munk School, Asian Institute


headshot of Manfred Elfstrom
Manfred Elfstrom

Author; Assistant Professor, Political Science,
University of British Columbia, Okanagan

Lynette Ong headshot
Lynette Ong

Professor, Political Science and Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy