Posts Tagged

Hong Kong

Protest in an age of globalization relies on performance. From Hong Kong to La Paz and Santiago to Khartoum, global attention is increasingly captured by mass movements of people, demonstrating strength in numbers against prevailing political and economic systems.  Modern protests, however, only work some of the time. Drawing on current events, scholars might consider a protest’s success hinging upon which audience they choose to target and the power of that audience to act. We see differences, for example, between Hong Kong — where protesters engaged the global community with limited effect thus far on Beijing — and protests in Sudan earlier this year — which targeted an old, autocratic leader’s military cadre, but did in fact precipitate a military coup.  Has globalization changed protesting? Today’s global stage is nothing new — consider the nationalist movements …

As protests in Hong Kong have become more violent, have the demographics of the protesters changed? Political scientists have argued that a shift toward more violent protest action can alienate moderate protesters. Moderates, in this definition, are those who may share common cause with radicals (or those who embrace violent tactics) but reject those tactics. Once alienated, such moderate protesters tend to withdraw their support from a movement and may refrain from participating in protest action in the future. Hong Kong’s protests seem to have defied this trend. My surveys of protest participants find that the demographic profile of protesters has remained relatively constant even as violence has escalated in the demonstrations. Certain types of protesters who might be expected …

What could Hong Kong, Liberia, and Kosovo teach us? Perhaps, rather unexpectedly, about successful ways of dealing with public corruption. Corruption is effectively a hidden tax on living and doing business in many emerging democracies and, as a result, is one of the most serious obstacles to deepening democracy and economic development. It is particularly dangerous when corruption turns into a culturally accepted practice.

This weekend, Hong Kong, the newly declared “best city in the world”, celebrated the 15th anniversary of its return to China, and swore in its new leader, Beijing-backed Leung Chun-ying, the third Hong Kong Premier since its re-joining of the mainland. However, events that took place on Saturday and Sunday have indicated that the public mood within Hong Kong is far from universally jubilant. While the official media has been full to the brim of Chinese nationalism-oriented elation, on the Saturday evening many residents of Hong Kong displayed their increasing anger with the actions and dictates of the parent state by protesting outside of the Convention centre where Hu Jintao was due to inaugurate Leung. Protests continued throughout the Saturday …