The campaign imperative: Election strategies and the material culture of urban electioneering in Hong Kong

Janet Lee Scott*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Elections and campaigns for public office are now common features of life in modern urban settings. A particularly vibrant example set in a Chinese context is that of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), where political reforms have resulted in the increasing importance of elections and election campaigning. Since 1982, political parties and candidates have devised ever more sophisticated techniques of self-presentation to meet the demands of a knowledgeable electorate increasingly involved in the political process. The techniques of traditional electioneering flourish in this urban Chinese context, supported by an extraordinary complement of material culture both creative and individualistic. The Legislative Council elections of 1995 and 2000 have demonstrated the critical importance of these campaign techniques and material supports, providing lessons about elections and democracy from Hong Kong's urban experience. Further, the ongoing development of village self-government and democracy suggest the wider relevance of these lessons for understanding potential future political developments in greater China.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-419
Number of pages37
JournalUrban Anthropology and Studies of Cultural Systems and World Economic Development
Volume33
Issue number2-4
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2004
Externally publishedYes

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Anthropology
  • Urban Studies

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