Hong Kong's Global Standing: From Blowing Our Trumpet to Addressing Capabilities-Expectations Gap

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingConference proceedingpeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Conference on Cultural Governance in Asia 2019: Soft Power, Place Re-making and Civility
Publication statusPublished - 11 May 2019
EventInternational Conference on Cultural Governance in Asia 2019: Soft Power, Place Re-making and Civility - City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Shue Yan University, Hong Kong, China
Duration: 10 May 201911 May 2019

Conference

ConferenceInternational Conference on Cultural Governance in Asia 2019
Abbreviated titleICCGA 2019
Country/TerritoryChina
CityHong Kong
Period10/05/1911/05/19
OtherAsia is a region of diverse cultures and peoples. Through processes of colonization and imperialism, many Asian places have redefined their national boundaries and cultural make-up. The reshuffles of power regimes and the transformation of social and economic structures since the second half of the last century have brought about new cultural faces in Asia and uneven development. While colonialism is a common experience amongst Asian countries, decolonization brings extremely different social, economic and political processes and meanings to the Asians. Since the late 20th century, culture has intrinsically intertwined with economic development as many countries used culture as development strategies. At the same time, culture, traditions, heritage are often part of the ingredients for the cooking of place identity, and the upholding of national pride. The maintenance, management, and creation of cultural resources requires creative and responsive policies. Cultural governance has been a catchphrase since the 2000s. It entails myriad strategies for the re-making of cultures as well as national and sub-regional identity, which often faces challenges from within and beyond national boundaries. Policies related to creating cultural patchwork and the infrastructure for cultural management can be both cohesive and divisive forces. Post-Cold War Asia has witnessed the reopening of borders and the escalation of cross-border connections and exchanges. Instead of using the encompassing concept of globalization, we situate the cultural development in Asia in the contexts of the transformation of the regional political economy and cross-border relations. With the rise of China as a regional and global power, such changes have been particularly salient in terms of China’s growing soft power, often backed by economic power and forceful diplomacy. This conference aims to examine the different aspects of cultural changes and cultural governance since the late 20th century. It will begin with such simple questions as what are those cultures that are fading and arising and who are responsible for the changes. It will continue with discussions of more complex connectivity and divides. It seeks to interrogate the colonial legacies, momentum and powers that have been shaping Asia’s cultural tapestry. We believe cities, nations and people alike aspire to build their unique identity and dene their own civility (the spirit and ethos of a place in relation to others). But such processes inevitably encounter challenges both from within and without.

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