"Social Movements and the Law: The Case of Hong Kong"
in Michael Ng and John Wong (eds), Civil Unrest and Governance in Hong Kong: Law and Order from Historical and Cultural Perspectives (Routledge, 2017), pp 117-140
Introduction: The relationship between social movements and the law in the Western world has been well studied. With regard to social movements in America, it has been pointed out that ‘legal norms, discourses, and practices in each case were an important constitutive element of evolving movement understandings, aspirations and strategic action. In Hong Kong, particularly since the handover in 1997, social movements have flourished, and the law has become an increasingly social movements and the law in post-colonial Hong Kong? Are theories developed in the West useful in understanding social movements and the law in Hong Kong? It is the purpose of this chapter to explore these questions.
Our inquiry will proceed in the following stages. The first section of the chapter introduces theories developed in the Western world on social movements and their relationship with the law in order to provide a general theoretical foundation for the subsequent parts. The second section reviews the development of social movements in Hong Kong since the colonial era. The third section considers the development of Hong Kong’s legal system, and discuss several dimensions of law and social movements in post-colonial Hong Kong. Finally, the fourth section provides some concluding reflections.