Hong Kong’s Constructive Identity and Political Participation : Resisting China’s Blind Nationalism

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)306–324
Number of pages19
Journal / PublicationAsian Studies Review
Issue number2
Online published1 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2021


This article argues that in order to understand how national identity and political activism are linked, it is necessary to replace the old dichotomy between civic and ethnic nationalism with a new one that distinguishes between a constructive and a “blind” identity. Hong Kong provides an illustrative case for the problems of having the former while also needing to promote the latter. While the local government seeks to promote active citizenry, it has since 1997 become part of an illiberal nation-state that seeks unconditional support. The 2014 Umbrella Movement was driven by and has shaped the students’ constructive Hong Kong identity because it raised the desire to actively participate as members of the local political community while it reduced interest in the Chinese national identity.

Research Area(s)

  • blind identity, China, Chinese identity, civic nationalism, ethnic nationalism, Hong Kong identity, political participation, Umbrella Movement

Bibliographic Note

Full text of this publication does not contain sufficient affiliation information. With consent from the author(s) concerned, the Research Unit(s) information for this record is based on the existing academic department affiliation of the author(s).