Department of Government and International Studies
“Mediate First”: The revival of mediation in labour dispute resolution in China
© 2015 The China Quarterly. The past few years have witnessed the revival of mediation as a chief method of labour dispute settlement in China. While the central government's campaign has reinvigorated the use of mediation in order to control social conflicts and maintain stability, its expansion and extensive deployment have also been driven by local authorities, as mediation can better serve their policy priorities and bureaucratic interests. Not only does the extension of mediation provide local bureaucratic agencies with flexibility and discretionary power to resolve conflicts without having to comply with legal minimums, it also legitimizes the courts' "non-legalistic approach" to settling dispute cases. The extensive employment of mediation by local authorities has chipped away at the role of legal procedures in settling labour disputes. The revival of mediation embodies a tension between the rule of law the government has promoted since the reform and the extrajudicial methods it needs for controlling conflicts.
China, dispute resolution, grand mediation, judicialization, labour dispute, mediation
Source Publication Title
Cambridge University Press
Link to Publisher's Edition
Zhuang, W., & Chen, F. (2015). “Mediate First”: The revival of mediation in labour dispute resolution in China. China Quarterly, 222, 380-402. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0305741015000739