Does Government Pay Attention to the Public? The Dynamics of Public Opinion and Government Attention in Posthandover Hong Kong

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)641-658
Journal / PublicationInternational Journal of Public Opinion Research
Issue number4
Online published16 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2020


Government response to public opinion is essential to democratic theory and practice. However, previous research on the relationship between public opinion and government attention predominantly focuses on western societies. Little is known about such relationship in nonwestern or nondemocratic societies. Drawing upon time-series data of public opinion polls and government press releases, this study examines the dynamic relationships between public opinion and government attention in posthandover Hong Kong. The findings reveal that the responsiveness of the Hong Kong government to public opinion varies across issue domains and is constrained by the political power from the central government in Beijing.