Political Distrust, Governability and Institutional Deadlock in Hong Kong

LO, Sonny Shiu Hing
January 2014
Journal of Youth Studies (10297847);Jan2014, Vol. 17 Issue 1, p15
Academic Journal
Since the reversion of its sovereignty from Britain to China on 1 July 1997, Hong Kong has witnessed a serious crisis of legitimacy in terms of both performance and procedural aspects. In terms of performance, the Hong Kong government has been constantly criticized by an assertive mass media, an active civil society, and the ideology of populism, which sees public opinion as of paramount importance. The problem of governability in Hong Kong reveals deep political distrust and institutional deadlock in the special administrative region. Although the Hong Kong government, with the support of the central government in Beijing, tries to tackle the governability problem by considering and promising political reforms, notably the direct election of the Chief Executive in 2017, citizens' deep political distrust of the government does not bode well for the prospects of governability in Hong Kong. The rise of populism is, arguably, plunging the Hong Kong special administrative region into an unprecedented crisis of legitimacy, which will culminate in 2014 and early 2015, when some democrats vow to mobilize their supporters in the form of a so-called Occupy Central District Movement.


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