Political distrust, governability and institutional deadlock in Hong Kong

Shiu Hing Sonny LO

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Since the reversion of its sovereignty from Britain to China on 1 July 1997, Hong Kong has witnessed a serious crisis of legitimacy in terms of both performance and procedural aspects. In terms of performance, the Hong Kong government has been constantly criticized by an assertive mass media, an active civil society, and the ideology of populism, which sees public opinion as of paramount importance. The problem of governability in Hong Kong reveals deep political distrust and institutional deadlock in the special administrative region. Although the Hong Kong government, with the support of the central government in Beijing, tries to tackle the governability problem by considering and promising political reforms, notably the direct election of the Chief Executive in 2017, citizens’ deep political distrust of the government does not bode well for the prospects of governability in Hong Kong. The rise of populism is, arguably, plunging the Hong Kong special administrative region into an unprecedented crisis of legitimacy, which will culminate in 2014 and early 2015, when some democrats vow to mobilize their supporters in the form of a so-called Occupy Central District Movement.
自從香港特別行政區成立後,特區的市民對政府漸漸產生政治不信任,主要是因為政策上的爭議和失誤。政治不信任直接導致管治能力的削弱。雖然「弱勢」政府在民生方面實施很多積極政策,但支持民主制度的市民和政治活躍份子挾民意之重要性來推動民粹主義。民粹主義抬頭使政府處於更「弱勢」,再加上政治改革不能朝向全面西化(即特首全面普選而沒有篩選,及立法會全面直選),政改的死結使特區管治受到空前的政治挑戰。假如部份市民以「佔領中環」運動推動政改的話,特區未來的管治將面臨政治不明朗及動盪,使管治危機持續下去。 Copyright © 2014 The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-28
JournalJournal of Youth Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014


Lo, S. S. H. (2014):Political distrust, governability and institutional deadlock in Hong Kong. Journal of Youth Studies,17(1), 15-28.


  • Populism
  • Governance
  • Political reform
  • Legitimacy crisis
  • Political trust
  • 政治信任
  • 民粹主義
  • 管治
  • 政治改革
  • 認受性危機
  • Alt. title: 香港的政治不信任、管治能力和政改死結


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