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Reports on death in custody of the Nobel Peace Prize winner, who was prominent in the 1989 Tiananmen Square demonstration and continued to defy the regime. He was serving an 11-year sentence for his role in promoting Charter 08 in 2008, calling for multi-party democracy. The report elaborates on his life and the responses to his death.
Issue focusing on climate change: Contains an analysis of rising carbon dioxide emissions, articles on the role of China and Russia, forest fires in Indonesia, flood prevention plans in low lying Asian cities, and the climate diplomacy of small island states.
This article notes the disproportionate impact on women of climate change in many parts of the world and the recognition of this fact in the UN Paris Agreement, which called for empowerment of women in climate talks. It also points to the prominence of women in the struggle to limit climate change, and selects 15 women from round the world playing varied roles, including Greta Thunberg.
Interview with indigenous human rights defender, Virginia Pinares, from Peru, who came to London to represent communities in the Andes actively resisting - for example by blockades - mining for copper concentrates and molybdenum, which is controlled by the Chinese company MMG. Pinares argues that her community is not against all mining, but against the environmentally reckless way operations are conducted and the minerals transported, and they also demand a stop to the violence used against environmental and human rights activists. She stressed the need for environmentally protected zones, which could be used f or sustainable tourism.
This book provides a study of the genesis, growth, gains, and dilemmas of women's movements in countries throughout the world. Its focus is on Brazil, China, India, Pakistan, Russia, South Africa, USA, as well as more generally covering Europe and Latina America. The authors argue that women's movements have engaged in complex negotiations with national and international forces, and challenge widely held assumptions about the Western origins and character of local feminisms. They locate women's movements within their context by exploring their relationships with the state, civil society, and other social movements.
In this paper Juliana Batista discusses the interconnection between Confucianism and Feminism and their inherent conflict. However, she reaches the conclusion that they are not mutually incompatible.
The author notes that forced labour is a sensitive and rarely publicized topic, although it has existed in China for decades, for example in construction work. It sometimes surfaces, as in the 2007 scandal about children, the elderly and adults with disabilities who were kidnapped in Zhanxi province, often with the collusion of local authorities, and forced to work in brick kilns. Later similar stories in other provinces came to light. The article also covers other forms of exploitation, such as students forced to work cheaply as interns in order to graduate - a practice that received global attention in 2012 in relation to electronic supply chains. The author notes the role of local NGOs and sometimes the local media in exposing abuses.
See also: Bengsten, Peter, 'Hidden in Plain Sight: Forced Labour Constructing China', openDemocracy, (16 Feb, 2018), https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/beyond-trafficking-and-slavery/hidden-in-plain-sight-forced-labour-constructing-china/
The article provides a detailed analysis of the immediate and longer term results of a protest over loss of village land in Wukan, Guangdon, to reveal government responses designed to pacify protesters, and the impact on individuals, the local protest group and broader society. The aim is to shed light on the widespread phenomenon of protests over land.
Review of the reasons behind the choice by the Chinese publishing company People’s Cultural Publishing House to translate Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s book with the title ‘The Rights of Women’ rather than ‘We Should All Be Feminists’. Critics argue that the problem with the word ‘feminist’ lies in its organising for the cause, while the word ‘right’ reproduces the contemporary governmental discourse that emphasizes the rights conceded and the rule of law imposed from above, thus reproducing a patriarchal scheme on the portrayal of the book.
This wide-ranging collection analyzes the status and progress of women both in a national context and collectively on a global scale, as a powerful social force in a rapidly evolving world. The countries studied―China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Egypt, Cameroon, South Africa, Italy, France, Brazil, Belize, Mexico, and the United States―represent a cross-section of economic conditions, cultural and religious traditions, political realities, and social contexts that shape women’s lives, challenges, and opportunities. Psychological and human rights perspectives highlight worldwide goals for equality and empowerment, with implications for today’s girls as they become the next generation of women. Women’s lived experience is compared and contrasted in such critical areas as: home and work; physical, medical, and psychological issues; safety and violence; sexual and reproductive concerns; political participation and status under the law; impact of technology and globalism; country-specific topics.
This book was published soon after December 1997, when over 120 states (excluding the USA, Russia, China, India and Pakistan) signed the Ottawa Convention to ban production, stockpiling and use of anti-personnel mines. It provides a wide ranging survey of both the global campaign and the diplomatic moves culminating in the 'Ottawa process', which, under Canadian government leadership, resulted in the treaty. There are contributions from leading campaigners, diplomats and academics.
Critical assessment of today's 'military industrial complex' and also the role of drones in the US wars in Afghanistan and in targeting 'terrorists'. Cockburn documents the technological failings of drones, often unable to distinguish targeted individuals from others nearby, and the 'trigger-happy' attitudes of some soldiers using them. Both led to numerous mistaken deaths.
See also: Frew, Joanna, 'Drone Wars: the next generation', Peace News , 2618-2619, June-July 2018, p. 4.
Frew summarizes a new report, issued by Drone Wars UK, on development and use of armed drones by a 'second generation' of nine states (including China, Iran and Turkey) and several non-state actors developing and using armed drones. (The first group was the US, UK and Israel.) The report also estimates that a further 11 states would soon be deploying drones, and that China was increasing export of them. Frew stresses the urgent need for international controls, and queries whether existing controls on exports (already being undermined in the US) were adequate.
It considers past, present and future prospects of female activism in China and how it is thriving despite the current political leadership in the country, predominantly patriarchal and directed at maintaining social stability, thus suppressing all forms of activism.
Interview with a former railway worker involved in trade union activity at time of Tiananmen, who now directs the China Labour Bulletin and broadcasts from Hong Kong to promote independent union activity in China.
This is Doolin’s translation of a Beijing Student Union pamphlet, together with his own introduction.
Eyewitness account from May 19 by Chinese-speaking American professor.
Elfstrom analyzes data from 2003-2012 on strikes and other worker protests, and concludes that the state has responded both with greater repression (illustrated by higher spending on the People's Armed Police) and greater responsiveness (illustrated by pro-worker or split decisions in mediation, arbitration and court judgements). The article concludes by analyzing the implications of changes in policy since the accession of Xi Jinping.
See also: Elfstrom, Manfred, 'A Tale of Two Deltas: Labour Politics in Jiangsu and Guangdong', British Journal of Industrial Relations, vol.57 no.2 (2019), pp.247-74. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/bjir.12467
Professor of Chinese Studies Harriet Evans analyses the development of feminist activism in comparison with feminism in the UK. Drawing on the idea of sexual and gender rights, she also makes a comparison with the LGBTQ community and its global organisational activism since the 1990s.
Study of Shanghai home owners’ resistance that suggests that fragmentation of state power at local level provides opportunities for resistance, and that its success may be helped by social networks between participants in collective action and officials or media workers. See also Fayong, Shi , Social Capital and Collective Resistance in Urban China Neighborhoods: a comunity movement in Shanghai Singapore, Dept of Sociology, National University of Singapore, , 2004, pp. 43 , online.
Discusses how, despite having a well-educated female workforce, the high level of employment in China is imbued with patriarchal gender norms.
Feng outlines difficulties of Chinese women’s experience for organising mass protests. However, she sheds light on the mass initiatives that happen behind the scenes, such as the WeChat group named “Walking with women from all over the world” from which Chinese feminists attending the march can broadcast live video and photos. It also reports on the sexist campaigns led by the Chinese government that portray women as submissive to patriarchal ideologies and stereotypes.
Covers women’s political rights across all major regions of the world, focusing both on women’s right to vote and women’s right to run for political office. The countries explored are Afghanistan, Armenia, Australia, Bolivia, Canada, Cameroon, Chile, China, Colombia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Israel, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, New Zealand, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, Poland, Russia, Rwanda, Slovenia, Sri Lanka, Sweden, South Korea, Slovenia, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tunisia, Turkey, the United States, Uganda, Uruguay, and Zimbabwe.
The author, drawing on fieldwork in unofficial labour organizations, examines how, rather than stage risky collective protests, these groups quite often assist individuals to demand their rights by appealing to officials. She concludes that 'disguised collective action' can secure concessions for participants and enable activists to find 'a middle ground between challenging authorities and organizational survival'.
The author’s research spans the period 1998 -2012 to chart the impact of the economic reforms on rural women drawn into urban areas, often employed in domestic service or in hotels and office cleaning. She notes how this migration of cheap and flexible labour from the countryside has underpinned high levels of urban consumption, and both helped to empower the women migrants and to perpetuate gendered forms of difference and inequality.
See also: Chang, Leslie T., Factory Girls: From Village to City in a Changing China, New York, Penguin Random House, 2009, pp. 448 (pb).
Chang, who was a journalist for the Wall Street Journal inside China, revealed the lives of migrant women working on assembly lines in an industrial city, primarily by focusing on the experiences of two young women for three years. Her book which won awards in the USA, threw light on a previously unknown area, and illustrated the very mixed impact of the economic reforms and migration from the countryside on women’s opportunities.
Articles based on a major leak of Chinese Communist Party documents from 2017 revealing the all-embracing surveillance system in the Xinjiang region and the mass incarceration of the Uighurs. Publication in November 2019 was part of an internationally coordinated release of the leaked papers through the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).
See also: https://www.icij.org/investigations/china-cables/china-cables-who-are-the-uighurs-and-why-mass-detention/ and https://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/latestnews/2019/panorama-china-cables, which also reveals how Australian citizens from Muslim minorities in Xinjiang were targeted for surveillance by the Chinese authorities as part of a policy involving deportation or detention of foreign passport holders.
See also: Kuo, Lily, 'How Beijing is Quietly Razing the Mosques of Xinjiang', Guardian Weekly, 17 May, 2019, pp.26-27.
Reports on a Guardian and Bellingcat investigation that discovered the systematic destruction of mosques and shrines since 2016.
Compares the evolution of the role of women in the Japanese and Chinese society from the 19th Century to today.
Following the decision by Sweden to declare an official feminist foreign policy, this report investigates China’s prospects of including feminism – or adopting it fully – in its own foreign policy.
Analyzes conflicts over land in terms of its role as territory (leading to inter-state claims or wars), its status as property, and ways in which its use is regulated. The book examines the attempts of NGOs to protect property rights and environments in the Global South and the land grabs by corporations and governments, drawing on wide range of examples, including China and Honduras.
Collection of materials from the protest movement.
This book discusses the popular myth that women have fared well as a result of post-socialist China's economic reforms and breakneck growth. It lays out the structural discrimination against women in China and speaks of the broader problems within China's economy, politics, and development.
See also ‘Talking policy: Leta Hong Fincher on feminism in China’, World Policy, 2 June 2017, https://worldpolicy.org/2017/06/02/talking-policy-leta-hong-fincher-on-feminism-in-china/ where Leta Hong discusses her book Leftover Women: The Resurgence of Gender Inequality in China and the development of feminism in china from the post-socialist era up to these days.
Describing China’s feminist activists in relation to their political and historical circumstances, the author elucidates the development of China’s feminist movement and discusses China’s history from a feminist perspective.
Story of the 'Feminist Five' who were jailed in 2015 for a protest against sexual harassment, and the art and activism of their supporters. The book also examines the official gender equality policy of the Communist Party since 1949, and the recent suppression of dissidence and bans on foreign support for NGOs.
See also ‘Talking policy: Leta Hong Fincher on feminism in China’, World Policy, 2 June 2017: https://worldpolicy.org/2017/06/02/talking-policy-leta-hong-fincher-on-feminism-in-china/
Leta Hong discusses her book Leftover Women: The Resurgence of gender Inequality in China and the development of feminism in China from the post- socialist era up to today.
To read the first-hand account on the arrest of one activist of the ‘Feminist Five’ and other initiatives to free them, see this comprehensive article https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/mar/08/feminist-stickers-china-backash-women-activists
This issue is largely dedicated to dissent in China.
By demolishing the myth that feminism originated in the West, Kumari Jayawardena presents feminism as it originated in the Third World, erupting from the specific struggles of women fighting against colonial power, for education or the vote, for safety, and against poverty and inequality. Gives particular attention to Afghanistan, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Turkey, and Vietnam.
To look at a brief extract of the book see also https://www.versobooks.com/blogs/4018-feminism-and-nationalism-in-the-third-world
Study of women’s rights movements in Middle East and Asia from 19th century to 1980s, covering Egypt and Turkey, China, India, Indonesia, Korea and the Philippines. Argues feminism was not an alien ideology but indigenous to these countries.
Explains how Chinese women understand their identities and feminism in the new media age and how, as Jiang argues, they present and shape ideas about feminism and gender issues in the current socio-political context.
Discusses protest through letters, petitions, law suits and sometimes demonstrations and sabotage, against pollution, soil erosion, contaminated water, etc.
Focused particularly on the controversy over the major Narmada River dam projects, but also provides comparative perspective by considering dam projects in Brazil, China, Indonesia, South Africa and Lesotho, where the World Bank and other lenders were persuaded to withdraw funding.
Secret Party papers leaked to the west provide details of the meetings, negotiations and communications between the top leaders about how to deal with the protests, and the triumph of the hardliners over Zhao Ziyang, General Secretary of the Party, who wished to be conciliatory. Western scholars generally accepted the papers as authentic.
Fang Lizhi, a prominent astrophysicist, became an increasingly vocal critic of the regime in the 1980s and was linked to the 1986 student protests.
Reports on the shutting down by the government on the occasion of International Women’s Day of Feminist Voices account, a micro-blogging platform in China similar to Twitter, which is predominantly used for causes related to sexual harassment and gender discrimination in a way that attempts to bypass censorship.
Highly respected scholarly analysis.
It explores the development of feminism in different historical periods: during the New Socialist China (1949-1965); feminism in the Cultural Revolution (1966- 1999); and feminism in contemporary China (2000-2017).
Discusses the evolution of the idea of feminism over the centuries in China and what may be called a “proto-feminism” concept, known as the Daodejing. Classical Chinese philosophy has influenced and helped shape what feminism is today in China. Dessie Miller analyzed the use of language in the Daodejing to demonstrate the feminine imagery throughout the text. She also deconstructed the characters that bear significance for feminist interpretations for the Dao and Yin-Yang in order to analyse their deeper meaning. Finally, she compared Confucianism and Daoism in order to provide a broader context and to show how they differ from each other. Lastly, she used contemporary feminist figures—such as Li Ruzhen, Qiu Jin, and the “Beijing Five”—as examples to show how Daoism was a precursor to and how it helped shape feminism in what is today’s China.
Collection of documents from participants in demonstrations.
Compares ‘unsuccessful’ and ‘successful’ movements against Socialist regimes (Tiananmen and East Germany 1989), against military regimes (Panama and Chile in the 1980s) and against personal dictators (Kenyan opposition to Moi and the Philippines struggle against Marcos). Draws some fairly brief general conclusions.
Designed as a textbook, it covers history, theoretical developments and debates about the results of nonviolent movements. It categorizes nine types of nonviolent action, which are illustrated by case studies. A separate chapter explores key issues of why and when sections of the armed services defect from a regime challenged by a nonviolent movement.
The editors, two professors of government in Hong Kong, argue that although the Occupy Central movement did not achieve immediate specific results it did alter the nature of Hong Kong politics through the emergence of a new movement and repertoire of protest, and also changed Hong Kong's relations with China and its perceived identity internationally. Scholarly contributors from different disciplines assess the origins of the movement, discuss new participants and forms of protest, and the Hong Kong government's response. The book includes perspectives from China, Taiwan and Macau.
See also: Cheng, Edmund W.; Chan, Wai-Yin , Explaining Spontaneous Occupation: Antecedents, Contingencies and Spaces in the Umbrella Movement Social Movement Studies, 2017, pp. 222-239
Based on fieldwork since 1994 on local instances of rights-based opposition. Chapter 4, ‘Tactical Escalation’, pp. 67-94, is especially rich in examples
After experiencing the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in August 1945, Chinese-ink painter Iri Maruki and oil painter Toshi Maruki began their collaboration on the Hiroshima Panels in 1950. During the Allied occupation of Japan when reporting on the atomic bombing was strictly prohibited, the panels made known the hidden nuclear sufferings through a nationwide tour. In 1953, the panels began a ten-year tour of about 20 countries, mainly in East Asia and Europe, and disseminated the Hiroshima stories in the age of the US-Soviet arms race. The Marukis embarked on a new direction in the 1970s, with their emphasis on complex realities of war in which the victim/perpetrator dichotomy was not clear-cut, and explored other forms of violence such as pollution and discrimination.
Collection of documents from official perspective.
The spread of contemporary roller derby presents an opportunity to examine the ways sport can act as a form of feminist intervention. This article draws on a qualitative case study of a roller derby league in China, made up predominantly of expatriate workers, to explore some of the possibilities roller derby presents in activating global forms of feminist participatory action.
Looks at little known worker unrest accompanying intellectual dissent.
Analyses reactions to government reforms, including both covert and open resistance. Distinguishes between intellectual dissidents and popular rebellion. See especially ‘Rights and resistance: The changing context of the dissident movement’ (pp. 20-38); ‘Pathways of labour insurgency’ (pp. 41-61); and ‘Environmental protest in rural China’ (pp. 143-59) which includes reference to direct action against a factory polluting water. Second edition has added chapters on Falun Gong, Christianity and land struggles.
Popovic, an activist against the Milosevic regime in Serbia in the 1990s, went on to find CANVAS, which has offered advice and nonviolent training to activists in former Soviet states and other parts of the world, including Egypt before Tahrir Square and Syria. The book emphasizes the role of CANVAS (but does not address criticism of its role) and foregrounds the author's own experiences and interpretation of nonviolent action. It covers many varied campaigns with examples of how to mobilize successfully and use humour and imaginative forms of protest. It also addresses how to make oppression 'backfire' and the need to persevere in one's effort after apparent success. Written for activists rather than for scholars of nonviolence.
This article studies post-2000 Chinese feminist activism from a generational perspective. It operationalises three notions of generation - 1) generation as an age cohort; 2) generation as a historical cohort; and 3) "political generation" - to shed light on the question of generation and generational change in post-socialist Chinese feminism. The study shows how the younger generation of women have come to the forefront of feminist protest in China and how the historical conditions they live in have shaped their feminist outlook. In parallel, it examines how a "political generation" emerges when feminists of different ages are drawn together by a shared political awakening and collaborate across age.
A critical assessment of Chinese society by a Chinese social scientist, widely discussed within China, indicating the context for unrest. Inset is an article describing a pensioner campaign led by a former Party official (pp. 82-83).
Includes both an account of the protests and the authorities’ response, and scholarly essays interpreting the context. Extensive bibliography.
Includes material on 1976-79 and 1986-87.
Seeks to address the lack of explicitly comparative analysis of how nonviolent methods promote political transformation. Examines success of the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa (1983-90), and pro-democracy movements in the Philippines (1983-86), Nepal (1990) and Thailand (1991-92), and explores failure of such as movements in China (1989) and Burma (1988). Lists major actions in each movement. Includes analysis and criticism of ‘consent’ theory of power.
This study looks at feminism in China over the last century and reveals that feminist movements and arguments at most times have been linked to the nation’s development. Independent and mass feminist movements like those in the West never developed in China. By taking a look at the realities of women and their images in contemporary China, the study shows that feminism in the People’s Republic of China has still plenty of room for development.
See also Menke Augustine, (2017) ‘The development of feminism in China’, Undergraduate Thesis and Professional Papers, pp. 20.
Covers campaigns in Argentina, Chicago (USA), France, Ukraine, Turkey, Egypt, South Korea and China.
The article focuses on the relationship between the Catholic Church and the Chinese state since 1980 through the prism of 'institutional theory', and charts developments in Wenzhou. It identifies four phases in state policy: religious restoration, tighter control, 'management' of religion, and limiting religious influence. The Church has responded in the past by 'accommodation, negotiation, confrontation and resistance', but in recent years tended towards greater resistance.
Reports on how more than 20 other Chinese feminists who live in the United States and belong to the Chinese Feminism Collective, a nongovernmental organization supporting feminists that face sustained political pressure in China, carry on with their activities in support of women in China such as Global Leaders’ Meeting on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in collaboration with the UN; photography exhibition ‘Aboveground: 40 Moments of Transformation’, art performance ‘Our Vaginas, Ourselves’ and others.
See also https://nuvoices.com/2018/11/18/100-attend-nuvoices-nyc-launch-and-discussion-on-chinese-feminism/ for a more recent discussion on Chinese contemporary feminism at a New York City conference.
By BBC reporter; includes a chapter on Romania.
Discusses the new theoretical strand within Chinese feminism that has been forming since 2010 up to 2018, which, for lack of a programmatic label, the author calls “socialist feminism.”
Seeks to explain why in 1989 there was a massacre in Beijing but not in Berlin or Prague. Similar discussion in Thompson, Democratic Revolutions: Asia and Eastern Europe (A. 1.b. Strategic Theory, Dynamics, Methods and Movements) .
Discusses 1999 student demonstrations against the NATO bombing of Chinese Embassy in Belgrade, comparing them with earlier 1919 and June 1989 protests. Argues that, despite official support and encouragement, the 1999 protests did reflect significant degree of student autonomy and included allusion to 1989.
Wei, a prominent advocate of ‘the fifth modernization’ – democracy, was arrested and jailed in 1979.
Comparative examination of student-led protest challenging governments in Asia since the Second World War, with a focus on Burma, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines
Wright's survey of protest covers the whole of the post-Mao period, examining the range of different types of protest by farmers, workers and urban homeowners, as well as environmentalists, dissidents, and ethnic minorities. She notes that popular protest has often achieved some positive response, though protesters also often suffer. The book includes consideration of Xi Jinping's more repressive policy and suggests this could lead to much greater tensions that might threaten regime stability. Wright also covers protest in Hong Kong in the rather different political context there.
Wright, Teresa, (ed.) (2019), Handbook of Protest and Resistance in China, Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishers, pp. 480.
Survey of various forms of protest in China since 1989 by a range of social groups (for example urban, rural, workers, religious minorities and ethnic minorities), with 29 chapters by experts in the field. The book begins with two overviews of the prospects for regime survival, and the whole gamut of social unrest. It includes sections on environmental protest, information and communication technologies, and also on Hong Kong.
Wu, a university teacher of English educated in the US, returned to China in 1951. This is a personal account of his experiences. The Hundred Flowers campaign is covered pp. 47-72.
Gives examples of strikes and sit-ins and role of unofficial trade unions.
Argues environmental NGOs becoming more visible in Chinese environmental politics and seizing opportunities offered by the media, internet and international NGOs. Author concludes environmental NGOs both sites and agents of democratic change.
The author draws on a data set of 1,418 protests in China to argue that the state does allow a limited space for protest and that most protesters operate within these limits. Therefore 'contention' in China is a non-zero sum game, as opposed to the extremes of revolt and repression often studied in the past.
The author examines why the Chinese Communist regime has been able to retain control despite the period of rapid economic change and growth that have often elsewhere promoted strong pressure for democratization. The article suggests that one major reason is that the CCP 'has successfully strengthened the state's ’coercive capacity', in particular increased funding for the police. This article primarily covers the period before Xi decided to increase repression, but illuminates the context for his policy.
The author examines the context surrounding the #MeToo movement in China, how hashtags were used to circumvent censorship, and the role that Chinese diasporic communities played in the process. The results demonstrate the practice of disguised collective action, and the choices made by different actors in attempting to circumvent censorship.
A Guide to Civil Resistance
The online version of Vol. 1 of the bibliography was made possible due to the generous support of the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC). ICNC is an independent, non-profit educational foundation that develops and encourages the study and use of civilian-based, nonmilitary strategies aimed at establishing and defending human rights, democratic self-rule and justice worldwide.
For more information about ICNC, please see their website.
The online version of Vol. 2 of the bibliography was made possible due to the generous support of The Network for Social Change. The Network for Social Change is a group of individuals providing funding for progressive social change, particularly in the areas of justice, peace and the environment.
For more information about The Network for Social Change, please visit their website.