Politics and International Relations
Previous studies on social movement in western society have examined the impacts of large-scale events that are influential to the movements. Yet, very little attention has been paid to the realm of labor movement, particularly in authoritarian regimes. In this paper, I intend to provide an alternative perspective of critical events to add up to the existing literature, by identifying the role and function of various types of “critical events” in making the issues on labor contention salient and sustainable.
Most of the recent labor protests observed in China now are event-driven, regarding the waves of factory transformation scheme. Under such economic environment, this paper focuses on the emergence and mobilization of union-led protest in the authoritarian governance. It argues that, although the current political space is still narrow for the occurrence of union-led protest, the critical events in different forms could create the chance for the energized workplace unionism, which could be utilized by the unionists to facilitate to the outcomes of labor protests.