Skip to main content

Please note: this event has passed

Author Ralf Ruckus will present his book, The Left in China: A Political Cartography, with Tim Pringle (SOAS) as discussant.

All over the world, the left debates the nature of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). While some still consider today’s People's Republic to be socialist, others recognize the capitalist exploitation and the suppression of social struggles by the CCP government. Yet these debates tend to pay less attention to existing left-wing oppositional movements, which have existed since the foundation of the PRC. To be sure, at the heart of the revolutionary upheaval of the 1950s was the CCP’s attempt to build a socialist system. But this led to new class divisions and, as a result, waves of social protests by workers, migrants, and women, and to the emergence of a leftwing opposition. In his book, Ralf Ruckus traces this dialectic of social struggles and left-wing oppositional movements, a dialectic that shaped the history of the PRC in the socialist 1950s to 1970s, throughout the transitional 1980s and 1990s, and in the capitalist period since.


Ralf Ruckus has been studying the social, economic, and political situ­ation in the People’s Republic of China for almost 20 years. He co-founded the collective that investigates and documents social unrest and movements in China with a focus on the struggles of workers, migrants, and women.

Tim Pringle is a Reader in Development Studies at SOAS and editor of The China Quarterly. His research focuses on labour movements, industrial relations and trade union reform in China and Vietnam.

Here is the Pluto Press-site of the book and the page dedicated to it on

You can find a book review here and a recent interview with the author here.


This will be an hybrid event.

To attend in-person, please book a free ticket here through EventBrite.
To attend online, please register using this link

Event details

Lecture Theatre 1
Bush House
Strand campus, 30 Aldwych, London, WC2B 4BG