Hong Kong's Embattled Democracy: A Societal Analysis

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9780801861451: Hong Kong's Embattled Democracy: A Societal Analysis
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In July 1997, as the British government handed Hong Kong back to China, the world wondered whether the building blocks of democracy that had been hastily laid down in Hong Kong over the previous two decades were sturdy enough to withstand the change. While many scholars of democratization focus on outside forces and legal change, political sociologist Alvin So argues that--in the case of Hong Kong--the societal dimension reveals more clearly the issues and difficulties of establishing a viable democracy. He shows how Hong Kong moved from being a nondemocracy in the 1970s, to a restricted democracy in the 1980s, to a contested democracy in the 1990s, and how Hong Kong now negotiates a democratic compromise under Chinese rule.

The change in the speed and direction of Hong Kong democratization, argues So, arises from the clash of interests between service professionals (such as teachers, journalists, and lawyers) and the business sector. So highlights the crucial role played by Hong Kong's business-entrepreneurial class, which rose in power and influence, developed an alliance with the Chinese government, and slowed down democratization before the handover.

By analyzing the shifting interests and alliances of the populace, So explains why democracy in Hong Kong under Beijing's rule resembles the limited democracy of the Hong Kong of the 1980s.

"The process of democratization in Hong Kong has been highly dynamic, going from empowerment to alienation at short notice... One of the most interesting aspects of Hong Kong democracy is the constant shifting of political alliances since the early 1980s. Antidemocracy alliances regularly dissolved, realigned, and reconstructed themselves, and so did prodemocracy alliances. The aim of this book is to explain how shifting political alliances led to the rise and transformation of the democratization project in Hong Kong." -- from the Preface

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Book Description:

Traces the origins and development of democratization in Hong Kong and why its democracy is so restricted and contested.

About the Author:

Alvin Y. So is a professor of sociology, head of the Division of Social Science, and associate dean of the School of Humanities and Social Science at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. His previous works include Asia's Environmental Movements (edited with Yok-Shiu Lee), East Asia and the World-Economy (with Stephen Chiu), The Hong Kong-Guangdong Link (edited with Reginald Kwok), Social Change and Development, and The South China Silk District.

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Professor Alvin Y. So PhD
Published by The Johns Hopkins University Press (1999)
ISBN 10: 0801861454 ISBN 13: 9780801861451
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Book Description The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0801861454

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