Ching Kwan LEE 李靜君
PhD University of California at Berkeley, 1994
Chair Professor / Dr CHUNG Sze-Yuen Professor of Social Science
Director of Global China Center

Tel +852 2358-8432
Fax (852) 2335-0014
Email ckl
Office Room 3386

Full CV

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.

I have published three multiple award-winning 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.

My most recent co-edited volumes are: Take Back Our Future: an Eventful Sociology of the Hong Kong Umbrella Movement (Cornell University Press, 2019) and The Social Question in the 21st Century: A Global View (University of California Press, 2019).

Representative Publications


1. The Specter of Global China: Politics, Labor and Foreign Investment in Africa. U of Chicago Press, 2017. (2019 Joseph Levenson Book Prize, Association for Asian StudiesAlice Amsden Book Award, Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics; 2018 Asia and Transnational Book Award, Asia and Asian American Section, American Sociological Association; 2018 Best Book Award, Labor and Labor Movement Section, ASA; 2018 Best Book Award, Development of Sociology Section 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; 2018 Africa-Asia Book Prize, International Convention of Asia Scholars)

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)


"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


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