The Trajectories of Industrial Relations: China and India

  • Sarosh Kuruvilla


This essay compares the industrial relations trajectories of China and India through different periods of evolution of their industrial relations systems. The basic argument is that, from a functional equivalence point of view, the two systems exhibited considerable convergence in the early periods. However, they have been diverging in later periods. In the current period, I argue that the two IR systems evidence converging divergences. Specifically, they are converging in terms of the objective of constraining the space for labour activism and contention while diverging in the methods used to achieve this objective. In terms of the argument undergirding the chapters in this volume, both countries evidence a transition from strongly regulated and state-dominated labour market institutions to a more marketized model of regulation that increasingly draws upon the discourse of neoliberalism to articulate deregulatory policies. Whether labour is able to challenge this discourse remains an open question in both countries.


Industrial relations systems Industrial conflict Trade union Collective bargaining India China 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sarosh Kuruvilla
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Cornell UniversityIthacaUSA
  2. 2.London School of EconomicsLondonUK

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