Elfstrom, Manfred. Forthcoming. Workers and Change in China: Resistance, Repression, Responsiveness. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Li, Yao, and Manfred Elfstrom. Forthcoming. “Does Greater Coercive Capacity Increase Overt Repression? Evidence from China.” Journal of Contemporary China.

Elfstrom, Manfred, and Yao Li. 2019. “Contentious Politics in China: Causes, Dynamics, and Consequences.” Brill Research Perspectives in Governance and Public Policy in China 4(1): 1-90.

Elfstrom, Manfred. 2019. “Two Steps Forward, One Step Back: Chinese State Reactions to Labour Unrest.” China Quarterly 240: 855-879. (Winner of Gordon White Prize)

Elfstrom, Manfred. 2019. “A Tale of Two Deltas: Labour Politics in Jiangsu and Guangdong.” British Journal of Industrial Relations 57(2): 247–274.

Wang, Kan, and Manfred Elfstrom. 2017. “Worker Unrest and Institutional Change: Perceptions of Local Union Leaders in China.” China Information 31(1): 84-106.

Elfstrom, Manfred, and Sarosh Kuruvilla. 2014. “The Changing Nature of Labor Unrest in China.” Industrial and Labor Relations Review 67(2): 453–80.

Chapters in Edited Volumes

Elfstrom, Manfred. 2020. “Holding the Government’s Attention: State Sector Workers in China.” In Valerie Bunce, Karrie Koesel, and Jessica Chen Weiss, eds., Citizens & the State in Authoritarian Regimes: Comparing Russia & China. New York: Oxford University Press.

Elfstrom, Manfred. 2019. “Labor Issues in China.” In Sarah Biddulph and Joshua Rosenzweig, eds., Handbook on Human Rights in China. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Elfstrom, Manfred. 2019. “China’s Contentious Cab Drivers.” In Teresa Wright, ed., Handbook of Protest and Resistance in China. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Tapia, Maite, Manfred Elfstrom, and Denisse Roca-Servat. 2018. “Bridging Social Movement and Industrial Relations Theory: An Analysis of Worker Organizing Campaigns in the U.S. and China.” In Forrest Briscoe, Brayden King, and Jocelyn M. Leitzinger eds., Social Movements, Stakeholders, and Non-Market Strategy. Bingley, UK: Emerald Publishing.


Elfstrom, Manfred. 2019. “Inside China: Xi’s Risky Power Play.” Democracy Journal 52: 40-48.

Elfstrom, Manfred. 2017. “Counting Contention.” Made in China: A Quarterly on Chinese Labour, Civil Society, and Rights 2(4):  16-19.

Book Reviews

Elfstrom, Manfred. 2016. “Review of Police Reform in China by Kam C. Wong.” Journal of Chinese Political Science 21(2): 263-264.

Elfstrom, Manfred. 2012. “Power in Coalition: Strategies for Strong Unions and Social Change by Amanda Tattersall.” Industrial and Labor Relations Review 65(4): 1000–1001.


Becker, Jeffrey, and Manfred Elfstrom. 2010. The Impact of China’s Labor Contract Law on Workers. Washington, D.C.: International Labor Rights Forum.

Daily Beast piece  Screenshot 2019-03-04 12.28.39  CPI Piece

Media and Blogs

Contributing to debates outside academia is important to me. I recently discussed the case of several detained Chinese labor activists in a South China Morning Post op-ed and argued for greater solidarity between American and Chinese workers in the face of rising trade tensions in an article for The Daily Beast. In addition, I have spoken about Chinese labor issues on Illinois Public Radio, WMNF 88.5 in Tampa, and Rising Up with Sonali, and I have been quoted by the South China Morning PostCNN (here and here), and the Wall Street Journal.  In a post at the China Policy Institute Blog, I discuss the growth of labor NGOs and trade union reforms in “the workshop of the world.” And I address the opportunities—and challenges—of data sets like China Strikes and of the spatial analysis of politics more generally in a piece in Dissertation Reviews.

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