Democratization as institutional change: Hong Kong 1992–2015

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The limited democratization in Hong Kong has been on-going for more than three decades. Unlike typical democratizations as the abrupt breakdown of authoritarian regimes, the case of Hong Kong is characterized by gradual and incremental changes under a constitutional framework. The process, involving actors such as the Chinese government, colonial government, and local democratic forces, provides a wide variety of forms of institutional changes. By utilizing concepts from the literature on institutional change, namely path dependence, layering, and conversion, important junctures of democratization in Hong Kong are analyzed. It is found that the case can be suitably explained by the framework of institutional change. This research carries implications for the study of central-regional interactions, democratization, and Hong Kong politics. Copyright © 2019 The Author(s).
Original languageEnglish
JournalAsian Journal of Comparative Politics
Early online dateDec 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Dec 2019


Wong, M. Y. H. (2019). Democratization as institutional change: Hong Kong 1992–2015. Asian Journal of Comparative Politics. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/2057891119896424


  • China
  • Democratization
  • Hong Kong
  • Institutional change
  • Institutions

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