Associate Professor, Deputy Head of School, Contemporary Chinese Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences
Dr. Jackie Sheehan lectured in the History departments of Keele and Nottingham Universities before joining the Institute of Contemporary Chinese Studies in January 2003. She served as Deputy Director of the Institute, and is now Deputy Head of the School of Contemporary Chinese Studies.
Her research interests include China's contemporary labour and political history, particularly the Cultural Revolution and the democracy movement, and the reform of state-owned enterprises, work for which she has had two ESRC grants for fieldwork in China, and which culminated in the publication of the co-authored book China's State Enterprise Reform (Routledge, 2007). She is the author of Chinese Workers: A New History (Routledge, 1998) and author or co-author of a number of journal articles and book chapters on labour, management, and employment in China in the reform period, and also researches on Chinese migrant labour in the UK and human trafficking between the UK and China.
In addition to her published work, she also regularly acts as an expert witness on human-rights issues and the legal system in the PRC in immigration and asylum cases.
Click here for the full CV of Dr. Sheehan.
Dr Sheehan's research covers both contemporary China (1978-present) and the Mao Zedong era (1949-77). Her work in contemporary history has focused on Chinese labour, particularly the ruling Chinese Communist Party's (CCP'S) relationship with the urban working class since 1949, the role of the official trade unions, and pressures for better representation of workers' interests in the PRC, including demands for and attempts to set up independent trade unions.
She has published extensively on state-enterprise reform in the Chinese steel industry, with a particular focus on the lay-offs and employment restructuring carried out from the mid-1990s and their effects on workers' relations with management and government.
In the past two years, Dr Sheehan has also begun researching Chinese migrant labour in the UK and Europe, and particularly on forms of coerced or unfree labour among migrant workers and human trafficking.
She is also working on human trafficking both within China and between China and the UK, including the legal and institutional frameworks for victim identification and support in both countries and how trafficking functions as a transnational business.
Contemporary Chinese labour and political history, particularly the Cultural Revolution, the democracy movement, independent workers' organizations, and state-enterprise reform.
Current projects: book on the Red Guard movement in the Cultural Revolution
Articles on Chinese migrant labour in the UK and Europe, looking at employment, working conditions, and instances of coreced labour by migrants
Article on weaknesses of the anti-trafficking programmes of China and the UK and how human trafficking is organized between China and the UK
Article on the educational benefits to students of short study-trips to China
SHEEHAN, J., 2013. Hidden in plain sight: Chinese victims of transnational trafficking to the UK. In: WU, B., YAO, S. and CHEN, J., eds., China's development and harmonization: towards a balance with nature, society and the international community Routledge. (In Press.)
SHEEHAN, J., 2011. Labor representation and organization under state capitalism in China. In: POLLARD, V.K., ed., State capitalism, contentious politics and large-scale social change Brill.
Reform of state-owned enterprises in China
The Chinese steel industry under reform
The 1989 Democracy Movement
Comparative work on trafficking prevention/detection and victim identification/support in East and Southeast Asia, possibly including Taiwan, Malaysia, China, and others