Lawyers and Hong Kong’s democracy movement: From electoral politics to civil disobedience

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Abstract

Research on Hong Kong lawyers has so far focused on their internal differences and the rise of cause lawyering. Not much has been done on their role in promoting political liberalism. This paper fills a gap by reviewing the history of lawyers’ political activism before and after Hong Kong’s sovereignty shifted from a liberal-colonial to an authoritarian regime in 1997. It argues, first, that Hong Kong’s post-colonial constitutionalized politics and prolonged democratic deficit have given the legal complex—which includes lawyers and also increasingly legal academics—a key role in its pro-democracy movement, and second, critical political junctures have driven activist lawyers to use various means, from electoral politics to civil disobedience, to defend the rule of law and Hong Kong’s tortuous democratization. Copyright © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-108
JournalAsian Journal of Political Science
Volume25
Issue number1
Early online dateApr 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Citation

Lee, M. Y. K. (2017). Lawyers and Hong Kong’s democracy movement: From electoral politics to civil disobedience. Asian Journal of Political Science, 25(1), 89-108.

Keywords

  • Civil disobedience
  • China
  • Democratization
  • Hong Kong
  • Lawyers
  • ‘One Country, Two Systems’
  • Occupy Central

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