Ching Kwan Lee is a sociologist with wide-ranging interests: work, globalization, political sociology, development of the global south, comparative ethnography, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, and Africa. One of her 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. Another on-going project traces the historical trajectories and contemporary forms of grassroots politics in Hong Kong, Taiwan and China.
Previously, she has 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, University of California Press) 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, University of California Press) 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, University of Chicago Press) follows the footsteps of Chinese state investors to Zambia and compares its relation with African state and labor to other global private investors.