restricted access Réforme du droit et contestation sociale sans État de droit : le laboratoire chinois

Over the past 30 years of reform and opening-up, China has gradually implemented a modern legal system, which essentially guarantees a number of fundamental rights. This significant transformation of the regime underlies social relations in today's China. Chinese workers' demands, whether over wages, restructuring plans, relocations or unpaid overtime, are formulated in a "language of rights" that is based on a set of rules and laws known to the workers. At the centre of these new and complex dynamics between the acknowledgement of new rights and the absence of a rule of law, two phenomena deserve particular attention: on the one hand, the emergence of a sinicised "Public Interest Litigation" system, and the gradual establishment of an original form of collective negotiation on the other. The present article addresses these two forms of mobilisation by replacing them in their context: the authoritarian Chinese state has no choice but to implement some reforms, yet is not ready to question the very foundations of its existence. Accordingly, the advancements and limitations of Chinese law appear in the light of the contradictions and hesitations of the Beijing regime.