Rise of New Social Movement and Its Impact on Governance in Hong Kong: The Case of Spatial Movement


Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

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  • Bixian ZHENG

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Awarding Institution
Award date23 Feb 2016


The movement of Occupy Central in Hong Kong has received tremendous attentions from the world. In fact, there are hints of new forms of political participations in Hong Kong in past few years after its reunion with mainland China. Specifically, there have been growing concerns with the challenges to community life imposed by the urban reorganization process and development in Hong Kong. The social responses and resistance against these encroachments have expressed in forms that are different from the conventional approach. A movement that is more confrontational and creative in style with more ideological agenda is on the horizon. The New Social Movement is a testament to the dissatisfaction and distrust with the prevailing political institutions. The tension unleashed in the various confrontations also uncovers the limitations of the prevailing order in accommodating and responding to these new challenges.
However, there are limited and insufficient academic discussions on the rise of new social movement in Hong Kong so far. This research devotes itself to find out whether Hong Kong society is experiencing a rise of new social movement and its implications on governance.
To this end, this research placed special concern on three spatial movements: preserve Lee Tung Street Movement, preserve Star Ferry pier and Queen’s pier movement as well as preserve Choi Yuen village and Anti-High Speed Railway movement. The similarities in ideology, agenda setting, participants, organizational structure and mobilization strategies in these three movements are elaborated. Relevantly, this research presents dual-track comparisons. On one hand, it attempts to find out the newness of these three spatial movement after comparing with “old” social movement in Hong Kong. On the other hand, it also tries to reveal the similarities between these three spatial movements and new social movements in western democratics. After these comparisons, this research could give us a better understanding of the rise of new social movement in Hong Kong from a spatial perspective and its impacts on governance.