Elaine Hui

Elaine Hui

Associate Professor of Labor and Employment Relations and Asian Studies
Director, MPS Program in Labor and Global Workers’ Rights
501C Keller Building
(814) 865-0066

Curriculum Vitae

Elaine Hui SP22


Ph.D.: University of Kassel, Germany, Economics and Social Sciences

Research Interests

Labor resistance, trade unions, labor organizations, civil society, critical state theories, social movements, social welfare, Chinese overseas investment, China, and Vietnam

Professional Bio

Elaine’s research examines the role of the state and laws in labor relations, worker collective actions and their impact on institutional arrangements (e.g. collective bargaining and trade unions), labor-related civil society actors, and social welfare system, with a focus on China. She has also researched on labor relations in Vietnam, including the pension system and strikes, and labor organizations. Recently, she has started to study labor relations in Chinese multinational corporations operating in the US.

She has published in peer-reviewed journals such as Theory and Society, Human Relations, British Journal of Industrial Relations, China Quarterly, Journal of Industrial Relations, and Journal of Contemporary Asia. She published the book, Hegemonic Transformation: The State, Laws, and Labour Relations in Post-Socialist China (

Elaine is the Director of the Master's Program in Labor and Global Workers’ Rights (MPS in LGWR) and she is affiliated with the Center for Global Workers’ Rights (CGWR) at Penn State. She is a member of the Steering Committee of Global Labour University. She is also an associate editor of Critical Sociology, an editorial board member of Labor History and Global Labour Column. Additionally, she served as a council member of the Marxist Sociology Section of American Sociological Association from 2020-2022 and as the acting director of the Center for Global Workers’ Rights from 2021-2022.


Honorable Mention, Distinguished Article Scholarly Award, Labor and Labor Movement Section of American Sociological Association (2021)

Career Development Award, the Center for Global Studies, Penn State (2018)

Citation of Excellence award, Emerald Group Publishing Limited (2015).

Research grant:

China’s Labor NGOs under Xi Jinping” funded by Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange (US$ 16,000, 2018-2022)

“Labor Strategies of Chinese Companies in the US” funded by Center of the Global Workers’ Rights (US$ 7500, 2021-2022) and College of Liberal Arts (US $6,000, 2021-2022), Penn State

“Creating What Types of Jobs? Chinese Multinational Corporations in the US” funded by College of Liberal Arts, Penn State ($8540, 2022-2023)

Recent publications

Hui, E.S.I. (2023). The Development of Labor Policies in China: From passive revolution to eroding hegemony. In Ana Garcia, Christoph Scherrer, Joscha Wullweber (Eds.), Structure of Handbook on Critical Political Economy and Public Policy. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Chris King-Chi Chan & Elaine Sio Ieng Hui (2023) Pension Systems and Labour Resistance in Post-socialist China and Vietnam: A Welfare Regime Analysis, Journal of Contemporary Asia, 53:2, 233-252

Hui, E.S. I. (2022). “Movement-Oriented Labor Organizations in an Authoritarian Regime: The Case of China”, Human Relations, 75(7), 1354-1382.

Hui, E.S. I. (2022). “Bottom-up Unionization in China: A Power Resources Analysis”. British Journal of Industrial Relations 60(1), 99-123.

Hui, E.S.I., and C.K.C Chan. (2022). "From production to reproduction: Pension strikes and changing characteristics of workers’ collective action in China." Journal of Industrial Relations 64(1): 3-25.

Hui, E.S. I. (2020). Understanding the Role of Labor-Related Civil Society Actors in China. Theory and Society. 49: 49–74. [This article was awarded an Honorable Mention for Distinguished Article Scholarly Award by the Labor and Labor Movement Section of American Sociological Association, 2021]

Hui, E. S. I. (2018). Hegemonic Transformation: The State, Laws, and Labour Relations in Post-Socialist China. New York: Palgrave Macmillan (

Chan, C.K.C., & Hui, E. S. I. (2017). Bringing Class Struggles Back: A Marxian analysis of the state and class relations in China. Globalizations, 14(2), 232-244.

Hui, E. S. I. (2017). Putting the Chinese State in Its Place: A March from Passive Revolution to Hegemony. Journal of Contemporary Asia, 47(1), 66-92.

Hui, E. S. I., & Chan, C.K.C. (2016). The influence of Overseas Business Associations on Law-making in China: A Case Study. The China Quarterly(225), 145-168.

Hui, E. S. I. (2016). The Labour Law System, Capitalist Hegemony and Class Politics in China. The China Quarterly (226), 431-455.

Hui, E. S. I., & Chan, C.K.C (2015). Going beyond the Union-Centred Approach: A Critical Evaluation of Recent Trade Union Elections in China. British Journal of Industrial Relations, 53(3), 601-627.

Chan, C. K. C. & Hui, E. S. I. (2014). The Development of Collective Bargaining in China: From ‘Collective Bargaining by Riot’ to ‘Party State-led Wage Bargaining. The China Quarterly (217), 221-242.

Chan, C.K.C. & Hui, E. S. I. (2014). The politics of labour legislation in southern China: How foreign chambers of commerce and government agencies influence collective bargaining laws. International Labour Review, 153(4), 587-607.

Chan, C.K.C & Hui, E. S. I. (2012). The Dynamics and Dilemma of Workplace Trade Union Reform in China: The Case of the Honda Workers' Strike. Journal of Industrial Relations(54), 653-668. (This article won the 2015 Citation of Excellence award by the Emerald Group Publishing Limited)

Hui, E. S. I. & Chan, C.K.C. (2012). The ‘Harmonious Society’ as a Hegemonic Project: Labour Conflicts and Changing Labour Policies in China. Labour, Capital and Society, 44(2), 154-183.