Anita Chan

Dr Anita Chan


Research activity per year

Personal profile


Anita Chan was born and educated in Hong Kong. She received her first degree at the University of Hong Kong and Masters degrees at York University (Toronto) and the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. In 1980 she was awarded a doctorate in Sociology by the University of Sussex.

In past years she had been associated in various capacities with the University of Kansas, University of Washington, University of California at Berkeley, Leiden University and Harvard University.

She publishes mainly in English. Some of her works have been translated into Chinese and published in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Other works have variously been translated into French, German, Danish, Italian and Japanese.

She served for 6 years, until her formal retirment in 2015, as a Research Professor at the China Research Centre of the University of Technology, Sydney. She continues to work fulltime on her research and writing as a Visiting Fellow of the Political and Social Change Department, ANU. She also currently is Co-editor of The China Journal, one of the two internationally pre-eminent journals on modern China. In total, she has served as one of the two Co-editors of The China Journal for close to two decades.

Professor Chan has been awarded a number of research fellowships during her career. In 1984-5 she was awarded a Post-Doctoral Fellowship by the University of California, Berkeley, and in 1988 was awarded a one-year Research Fellowship granted by the American Council of Learned Societies and the US Social Science Research Council. In 1993 she was awarded a five-year Australian Research Council Research Fellowship, and in 1998 a five-year Australian Research Council Professorial Research Fellowship, both of which she held at the ANU.

She currently sits on the board of a number of academic institutions and journals and also on the boards of several international labour NGOS around the world.

The Australia-China Council of the Australian government awarded her the Alice Tay Memorial Award in the Area of Human Rights for 2004.

Research interests

Anita Chan began her academic career with publications examining the political socialization of the Red Guard generation, Chinese rural society, mass protest movements, Chinese dissidents and human rights issues.

Her current research focuses on Chinese labor issues. She has published widely on Chinese workers' conditions, the Chinese trade union and labor rights issues. She is committed to campaigning for labor rights to be recognized as human rights.


PUBLICATIONS: To view a list of Professor Chan's academic publications, and to read many of her published papers, click here:


Researcher's projects

  • Work conditions in China’s automotive industry under globalization
  • Chinese industrial relations
  • Foreign direct investment and labour conditions in China and in Vietnam
  • The changing nature of Chinese enterprise culture
  • Global production chain and corporate social responsibility   


BA (HKU), MA (York University, Toronto), MA (SOAS, University of London), PhD (Sussex University)

Expertise Areas

  • Industrial Relations
  • Social Change


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