The Myth of Political Apathy in Hong Kong

Michael E DEGOLYER, Janet Lee Scott

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

    34 Citations (Scopus)


    While Hong Kong people are often characterized as politically apathetic, closer study indicates that such descriptions need to be reconsidered in light of Hong Kong's particular, and peculiar, history and future. The restraints of proximity to a soon-to-be-sovereign China and its position as a listening post, capitalist enclave, and refuge imposed psychological (internalized) and security-based (external) limits on formal democratic political development. Although there have been, and remain, vigorous structures of Chinese political influence and activity, with Chinese Communist Party and Nationalist China partisans estimated at some 60,000 in the early 1980s, political participation in colonial politics remained limited except for the village-based politics of Heung Yee Kuk. In a process beginning in the early 1970s, however, territorywide political structures were erected that encouraged the grassroots activities that laid a foundation for rapid political development in the 1980s and 1990s.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)68-78
    Number of pages11
    JournalAnnals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 1996

    Scopus Subject Areas

    • Sociology and Political Science
    • Social Sciences(all)


    Dive into the research topics of 'The Myth of Political Apathy in Hong Kong'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this