Advertisement

Labour Inspection in Contemporary China: Like the Anglo-Saxon Model, but Different

  • Wenjia Zhuang
  • Kinglun Ngok
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter examines the lack of enforcement of China’s increasing body of labour legislation, showing how, since the 1980s, the country’s labour inspection system has evolved into a system resembling the Anglo-Saxon model—characterized by fragmentation and reactive regulatory practices—but with highly selective and non-coercive state enforcement. This “hybrid” labour inspection model stems from the combination of neoliberal reforms with the Leninist legacy of the authoritarian regime. More effective enforcement of labour law would, the authors suggest, require greater tripartite cooperation and social dialogue in the regulatory process and the involvement of an independently organized industrial force.

References

  1. Amengual, M. 2010. Complementary labor regulation: the uncoordinated combination of state and private regulators in the Dominican republic. World Development 38(3):405–414.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Andrews, R., and Boyne, G. A. 2010. Capacity, leadership, and organizational performance: testing the black box model of public management. Public Administration Review 70(3):443–454.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Baets, P. D. 2003. The labour inspection of Belgium, the United Kingdom and Sweden in a comparative perspective. International Journal of the Sociology of Law 31(1):35–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Burell, M. 2001. The rule-governed state: China’s labor market policy, 1978–1998. Statsvetenskapliga Institutionen.Google Scholar
  5. Cao, X.H. 2006a. “An analysis of grass roots labour supervision in China”, in Journal of China Institute of Industrial Relations (in Chinese) 20(6): 59–62.Google Scholar
  6. Cao, Y.L. 2006b. “Why the trade unions fail to supervise in enterprises”, in Modern Miner (in Chinese) (9): 47.Google Scholar
  7. Cao, H.T. 2007. “Assistant inspector, to ‘assist’ or to ‘inspect’?”, in People’s Daily (in Chinese), 1 November 2007.Google Scholar
  8. Chan, A. 1993. Revolution or corporatism? Workers and trade unions in post-mao China. Australian Journal of Chinese Affairs 29(29): 31–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Chen, F. 2003. Between the state and labour: the conflict of Chinese trade unions’ double identity in market reform. China Quarterly 176(176):1006–1028.Google Scholar
  10. Chen, F. 2007. Individual rights and collective rights: labor’s predicament in China. Communist and Post-Communist Studies 40(1):59–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Chen, F. 2010. Trade unions and the quadripartite interactions in strike settlement in China. China Quarterly 201(201):104–124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cheng, J. Y. S., Ngok, K., and Zhuang, W. 2010. The survival and development space for China’s labor NGOs: informal politics and its uncertainty. Asian Survey 50(6):1082–1106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cooney, S., Biddulph, S., and Zhu, Y. 2012. Law and fair work in China. Social Science Electronic Publishing.Google Scholar
  14. Deakin, S., and Wilkinson, F. 2005. The Law of the Labour Market: Industrialization, Employment, and Legal Evolution. Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Department of Exchequer and Department of Budget in the Ministry of Finance. 1995–2007. Statistics of local finance (1995–2007). Beijing, China Financial & Economic Publishing House.Google Scholar
  16. Department of Human Resources and Social Security, Fujian Province. 2011. “Outline of labour security inspections in 2011”, available at: http://www.fjlss.gov.cn/action/xxgk/xxgk_article_content.action?aid=29588&flag=infoRoot [accessed 20 May 2011].
  17. Estlund, C. 2005. Rebuilding the law of the workplace in an era of self-regulation. Columbia Law Review 105(2):319–404.Google Scholar
  18. He, D., and Li, W.F. 2014. “Workers continue strike over unpaid welfare benefits” in China Daily, 23 April 2014. Available at http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2014-04/23/content_17455846.htm [accessed 29 September 2014].
  19. Heckman, A. C. 2007. Does management matter? Testing models of government performance.Google Scholar
  20. Honadle, B. W. 1981. A capacity-building framework: a search for concept and purpose. Public Administration Review 41(5):575–580.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. ILO. 2006. Strategies and practice for labour inspection. Document GB.297/ESP/3. Governing Body, 297th Session, Geneva.Google Scholar
  22. Ingraham, P. W., Joyce, P., and Donahue, A. K. 2003. Government performance: why management matters. Policy Sciences 38(4):293–298.Google Scholar
  23. Karkkainen, B. C. 2004. New governance in legal thought and in the world: some splitting as antidote to overzealous lumping. Minnesota Law Review 89(2):471–497.Google Scholar
  24. Lai, X. 2014. “How difficult to make ‘criminal punishment on wage arrears’ into enforcement?” in Xinhua News (in Chinese), 16 January 2014. Available at: http://news.xinhuanet.com/legal/2014-01/16/c_118996191.htm [accessed 21 January 2014].
  25. Lan, Z. 1999. The 1998 administrative reform in China: issues, challenges and prospects. Asian Journal of Public Administration 21(1): 29–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Lee, C. K. 1995. Production politics and labour identities: migrant workers in South China. China Review 15.1–15.28.Google Scholar
  27. Lee, C. K. 2007. Against the Law: Labor Protests in China’s Rustbelt and Sunbelt. University of California Press.Google Scholar
  28. Li, H., and Zhou, L. A. 2005. Political turnover and economic performance: the incentive role of personnel control in China. Journal of Public Economics 89(9–10): 1743–1762.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Liu, J.Q. 2011. “Resources, Incentives and Sectoral Interests: A Longitudinal Study of Collecting Systems of Social Insurance Contributions in Urban China (1999–2008)”, Social Sciences in China (in Chinese) (3): 139–156.Google Scholar
  30. Ma, J. 2009a. “The dilemma of developing financial accountability without election”, in Australia Journal of Public Administration 68(1):62–72.Google Scholar
  31. Ma, J. 2009b. “‘If you cannot budget, how can you govern?’ A study of the state capacity of China”, in Public Administration & Development 29:9–20.Google Scholar
  32. Ma, J., and Hou, Y. 2009. Budgeting for accountability: a comparative study of budget reforms in the United States during the progressive era and in contemporary China. Public Administration Review 69(s1):S53–S59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Ma, J., and Ni, X. 2008. Toward a clean government in China: does the budget reform provide a hope? Crime Law & Social Change 49(2):119–138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Ma, J., and Zhang, Z. 2009. Remaking the Chinese administrative state since 1978: the double-movements perspective. Graduate School of Public Administration Seoul National University, 23.Google Scholar
  35. Ma, J., and Hou, Y. 2005. “From budgetary process to policy process: A case study of two Chinese provinces”, in Comparative Economic and Social Systems (in Chinese), (5):64–72.Google Scholar
  36. Ministry of Finance. 2006. “Scheme on Reforming the Classification of Governmental Revenue and Expenditure,” Available at: http://www.fjlss.gov.cn/action/xxgk/xxgk_article_content.action?aid=29588&flag=infoRoot [accessed 21 January 2014].
  37. Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security. 2008a–2012a. Annual Report of Labour Affairs 2008–2012.Google Scholar
  38. Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security. 2008c–2012c. China Labour Statistical Yearbook 2008–2012. Beijing, China statistics press.Google Scholar
  39. Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security. 2009. “Notice of Conducting Experiment in Building Double-Networks of Labour Inspection”.Google Scholar
  40. Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security. 2011. The Twelfth Five-Year Plan of Human Resources and Social Security 2011–2015.Google Scholar
  41. Ministry of Labour and Social Security. 1997a–2007a. Annual Report of Labour Affairs 1997–2007.Google Scholar
  42. Ministry of Labour and Social Security. 1997c–2007c. China Labour Statistical Yearbook 1997–2007. Beijing, China Statistics Press.Google Scholar
  43. Ministry of Labour and Social Security. 2005a. Report on institution building of local labour inspectorates.Google Scholar
  44. Ministry of Labour and Social Security. 2005b. The Tenth Five-Year Plan of Labour and Social Security 2001–2005.Google Scholar
  45. Ministry of Labour and Social Security. 2006. The Eleventh Five-Year Plan of Labour and Social Security 2006–2010.Google Scholar
  46. Nathan, A. J. 2003. Authoritarian resilience. Journal of Democracy 14(1):6–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Ngok, K. 2006. “Marketization and governance transformation: A case study of the central labour administration”, in Jun M. and Hou, Y.L. (eds): Public Management Research, Shanghai, Shanghai People’s Press 4: 63–83.Google Scholar
  48. Ngok, K. 2008. The changes of Chinese labor policy and labor legislation in the context of market transition. International Labor & Working Class History 73(1): 45–64.Google Scholar
  49. Pearson, M. M. 2005. The business of governing business in China: institutions and norms of the emerging regulatory state. World Politics 57(2): 296–322.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Pearson, M. M. 2007. Governing the Chinese economy: regulatory reform in the service of the state. Public Administration Review 67(4): 718–730.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Piore, M. J., and Schrank, A. 2010. Toward managed flexibility: the revival of labour inspection in the latin world. International Labour Review 147(1): 1–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Piore, M.J. 2005. Looking for flexible workplace regulation in Latin America and the United States. Paper presented at conference on Labour Standards Application, Buenos Aires, Nov.Google Scholar
  53. Pires, R. 2008. Promoting sustainable compliance: styles of labour inspection and compliance outcomes in Brazil. International Labour Review 147(2–3): 199–229.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Qian, Y., Roland, G., and Xu, C. 2006. Coordination and experimentation in m-form and u-form organizations. Journal of Political Economy 114(2): 366–402.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Schrank, A. 2009. Professionalization and probity in a patrimonial state: labor inspectors in the Dominican republic. Latin American Politics & Society 51(2): 91–115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Schrank, A., and Piore, M. J. 2007. Norms, regulations and labor standards in Central America. Apoptosis An International Journal on Programmed Cell Death 15(1): 71–82.Google Scholar
  57. Shao, F., and Li, X.Y. 2006. “The formation, development and improvement of labour inspection institution in China”, in The Journal of Finance and Economy in Yunnan (in Chinese) 21(1): 96–99.Google Scholar
  58. Solinger, D. J. 1995. The Chinese work unit and transient labor in the transition from socialism. Modern China 21(2): 155–183.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. State Commission Office for Public Sector Reform. 1990. The Chinese governmental institutions. Beijing, China Economic Publishing House.Google Scholar
  60. Teague, P. 2009. Reforming the Anglo-Saxon model of labour inspection: the case of the Republic of Ireland. European Journal of Industrial Relations 15(2): 207–225.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Tian, P., Zuo, L., and Hu M. 2013. “Fight Between Two Ministries Intensifies”, in Caijing (in Chinese), 4 June 2013. Available at: http://english.caijing.com.cn/2013-06-04/112867819.html [accessed 1 October 2014].
  62. Von Richthofen, W. 2002. Labour inspection: a guide to the profession.Google Scholar
  63. Weil, D. 2008. A strategic approach to labour inspection. International Labour Review 147(4):349–375.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Xin, S.J. 2006. “The problems of and solutions to trade unions’ supervision in labour protection at the enterprise level”, in Trade Union’s Tribune (in Chinese) 12(6): 34–35.Google Scholar
  65. Yang, D.L. 2001. “Rationalizing the Chinese state: The political economy of government reform”, in Chao C.M. and Bruce D. (eds): Remaking the Chinese state: Strategies, society, and security. London, Routledge 19–45.Google Scholar
  66. Yang, D.L. 2004. Remaking the Chinese leviathan: Market transition and the politics of governance in China. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  67. Zhao, D.C. 2010. “The dilemma of ‘a big cart pulled by a small horse’ in regulation”, in Magazine Oriental Outlook (in Chinese), 26 February 2010. Available at: http://news.sohu.com/20110226/n279543248_1.shtml [accessed 20 May 2011].
  68. Zhao, X.K. 2013. “Harmonious and stable in general, the long-term mechanism takes shape—a midyear report on national industrial relation and migrant workers,” in China Labour And Social Security News (in Chinese), 21 August 2013. Available at: http://www.MOHRSS.gov.cn/SYrlzyhshbzb/dongtaixinwen/shizhengyaowen/201308/t20130821_111042.htm [accessed 21 January 2014].
  69. Zheng, Y.N. 2004. Globalization and state transformation in China. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  70. Zhu, G., and Ngok, K. 2007. Marketization, globalization and administrative reform in China: a zigzag road to a promising future. Social Science Electronic Publishing 73(2): 217–233.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wenjia Zhuang
    • 1
  • Kinglun Ngok
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Chinese Public Administration Research, School of GovernmentSun Yat-sen UniversityGuangzhouChina

Personalised recommendations