Street Politics in a Hybrid Regime : The Diffusion of Political Activism in Post-colonial Hong Kong

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-406
Journal / PublicationChina Quarterly
Online published26 May 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes


This paper examines the diffusion of activism in post-colonial Hong Kong through the lens of the political regime and eventful analysis. It first reveals the institutional foundations of the hybrid regime that allowed the creation of a nascent movement society. It then explains how the historic 1 July rally in 2003 and a series of critical events since 2006 have led to a shift in scale and the public staging of street politics. A time-series analysis and onsite survey further capture the dynamics that spawned the collective recognition of grievances and reduced participation costs, leading to the Umbrella Movement. While the spontaneous, voluntary and decentralized organizational structure sustained protest momentum, the regime has adopted hybrid strategies to counter-mobilize bottom-up activism. The result is widening contention between the state and civil society and within civil society, or the coexistence of regime instability and regime longevity, a trend that is increasingly common in hybrid regimes encountering mass protests.
本文藉政治體制和歷史變遷的視角, 理解香港政治行動在後殖民時期擴散的歷程。本文首先揭示混合政體的制度基礎是如何產生一個初生社運社會。本文繼而分析2003 年的遊行和自2006 年的一系列關鍵事件的作用, 在於加劇動員規模並趨生街頭政治的公共舞臺。透過時間序列和現場民調, 本文更進一步展現這些社運劇碼如何降低參與成本、集約不滿情緒並促成自發抗爭, 最終導致了雨傘運動;與此同時, 政權也完善了相應的策略來應對這一波自下而上的群眾動員。其結果是國家與社會之間及公民社會內部的對抗日烈。在遭遇大規模抗議的混合政體, 這種政權不穩和政權堅韌的現象, 將日趨普遍。

Research Area(s)

  • civil society, contentious politics, Hong Kong, hybrid regime, mass mobilization, Umbrella Movement, 公民社会, 抗争政治, 混合政体, 群众动员, 雨伞运动, 占领, 香港