Anti-sweatshop Campaigns between China and Hong Kong

A new paper by Yi Xu of Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou and Chris King-Chi Chan of the City University of Hong Kong is now available at the JCA publisher’s webpage. Conductive Activism: Anti-Sweatshop Campaigns across Hong Kong and Mainland China (DOI: 10.1080/00472336.2017.1359651) is an attempt to look at how anti-sweatshop campaigns have adapted activism for China, moving the centre of that activism from the international to the domestic arena.

The abstract states:

This study looks at trans-border, anti-sweatshop campaigns and the transformation of  cross-border activism between Hong Kong and mainland China. Examining two cases, it demonstrates the mechanism and processes of trans-border, anti-sweatshop campaigns and networks involving non-governmental agencies, student groups and workers. The study suggests that anti-sweatshop activism has been conductive and transferrable from Hong Kong to China in a way that has mobilised local civil society power, cultivated mainland activists and nurtured localised pro-labour activism. With Hong Kong activists acting as movement conveyers and mainland activists acting as adapters, anti-sweatshop activism has evolved. Once centred on marketplaces and consumers, it is now centred on production sites, and has moved domestic actors (including workers, students, scholars, media and consumers) from the margins to the centre. Anti-sweatshop activism has moulded itself to local contexts by rebuilding its strategies and tactics while coalescing with overseas networks to integrate strengths across the Hong Kong-Chinese border. Although the anti-sweatshop movement in China has its weaknesses, its evolution has the potential to gradually alter the power asymmetries between domestic and overseas activists.

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