Faculty

Ching Kwan Lee


Professor


 Website

Contact Information

Email    cklee@soc.ucla.edu
Office  270 Haines Hall
Phone  310-206-2691
I am a sociologist interested in global and comparative issues

work, globalization, political sociology, development of the global south, comparative ethnography, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, and Africa. One of my current research projects examines the rise of “platform capitalism” in China and its impact on state-capital relation, employment, and workers’ new imaginations of work and working lives.

Previously, I have published three monographs on China, forming a trilogy of Chinese capitalism through the lens of labor and working class experiences. Gender and the South China Miracle: Two Worlds of Factory Women (1998) documents the organization of gender and work in factory regimes in Hong Kong and Shenzhen when South China first emerged as the workshop of the world. Against the Law: Labor Protests in China’s Rustbelt and Sunbelt (2007) chronicles the unmaking and making of the Chinese working class in two regional economies experiencing the death of socialism and the rise of capitalism respectively in one country. The Specter of Global China: Politics, Labor, and Foreign Investment in Africa (2017) follows the footsteps of Chinese state investors to Zambia and compares its relation with African state and labor to other global private investors.

 

Degrees

PhD, University of California at Berkeley

Awards

2018 Asia Book Award, Asia and Asian American Section, American Sociological Association (for The Specter of Global China)

2018 Best Book Award, Labor and Labor Movement Section, American Sociological Association (for The Specter of Global China)

2018 Sociology of Development Section Book Award, co-winner, American Sociological Association (for The Specter of Global China)

2018 Distinguished Book Award, Political Economy and World System Section, American Sociological Association, Honorable Mention (for The Specter of Global China)

2018 Distinguished Book Award, Global and Transnational Sociology Section, American Sociological Association, Honorable Mention (for The Specter of Global China)

National Science Foundation Grant 2018-2021 (Work Under Platform Capitalism)

Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University, 2013-14

National Science Foundation Grant, 2010-2013

2008 Sociology of Labor Book Award, American Sociological Association, Labor and Labor Movement Section (for Against the Law)

Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, Member, 2006-7

Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, Fellow 2003-4

Best Book Award, American Sociological Association, Asia and Asian American Section, 1999 (for Gender and the South China Miracle)

Selected Publications

Books

1. The Specter of Global China: Politics, Labor and Foreign Investment in Africa. U of Chicago Press, 2017. (2018 Aisa Book Award, Asia and Asian American Section, American Sociological Association; 2018 Best Book Award, Labor and Labor Movement Section, ASA; 2018 Development of Sociology Section Book Award co-winner; 2018 Distinguished Book Award, Political Economy and World System Section, ASA, Honorable Mention; 2018 Distinguished Book Award, Global and Transnational Sociology Section, ASA, Honorable Mention)

2. Against the Law: Labor Protests in China's Rustbelt and Sunbelt (UC Press, 2007) (Sociology of Labor Book Award 2008, American Sociological Association; finalist for the C. Wright Mills Award, SSSP)

3. Gender and the South China Miracle: Two Worlds of Factory Women (UC Press 1998) : (American Sociological Association, Asia and Asian American Section Best Book Award 2000; Best Book Award, Labor Section of the Society for the Study of Social Problems, 1999)

4. Re-envisioning the Chinese Revolution: Politics and Poetics of Collective Memory in Reform China (Stanford U Press, 2007, edited with Guobin Yang):

5. Working in China: Ethnographies of Labor and Workplace Transformation (Routledge 2007, edited)

6. Reclaiming Chinese Society: the New Social Activism. London: Routledge (Co-edited with You-tien Hsing, 2009)

7. From Iron Rice Bowls to Informalization: Markets, State and Workers in a Changing China. Cornell University Press (Co-edited with Sarosh Kuruvilla and Mary Gallagher, 2011)

Articles

"Precarization or Empowerment? Reflections on Recent Labor Unrest in China," Journal of Asian Studies, 75(2): 317-333, 2016.

"The Specter of Global China" New Left Review no. 89, Sept-Oct 2014, pp.29-65.

"State and Social Protest in China" Daedalus 143(2), Spring 2014, pp. 124-134.

"The Power of Instability: Unraveling the Microfoundations of Bargained Authoritarianism in China" American Journal of Sociology 118(6): 1476-1508, 2013.

"The Politics of Precarity: Views Beyond the United States" Work and Occupations 39(4): 388-408, 2012 (co-authored with Yelizavetta Kofman)

"Remaking the World of Chinese Labor: A Thirty Year Retrospective" British Journal of Industrial Relations, September. (co-authored with Eli Friedman) vol. 48 (3), September, 2010, pp. 3-17.

"Raw Encounters: Chinese Managers, African Workers and the Politics of Casualization in Africa's Chinese Enclaves" The China Quarterly 199, September 2009, pp. 647-666.

"Engendering the Worlds of Labor: Women Workers, Labor Markets and Production Politics in the South China Economic Miracle," American Sociological Review vol. 60(3): 378-397, 1995