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China-Africa and an Economic Transformation$
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Arkebe Oqubay and Justin Yifu Lin

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198830504

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198830504.001.0001

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Labour Regimes and Workplace Encounters between China and Africa

Labour Regimes and Workplace Encounters between China and Africa

(p.239) Chapter 12 Labour Regimes and Workplace Encounters between China and Africa
China-Africa and an Economic Transformation

Carlos Oya

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores labour outcomes and dynamics for Chinese FDI and infrastructure contractors through their encounters with workers, states, and labour institutions in Africa. The chapter critically assesses the most popular claims about job creation and working conditions in Chinese firms in Africa and offers an alternative and more empirically nuanced view of the employment realities and dynamics in construction and industrial Chinese firms across Africa. The chapter questions claims of ‘Chinese exceptionalism’ in labour relations, and proposes a labour regime analysis to grasp the power of global capitalist forces, national political economy, and micro-level workplace processes to better understand labour relations in China as well as in Africa, in the sectors where Chinese firms are particularly present. This framework is deployed to illustrate the variation, diversity, and changes in labour regimes in China and among Chinese firms in Africa, and the key factors that drive such variations.

Keywords:   labour regimes, employment, FDI, China, sub-Saharan Africa, manufacturing, construction

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