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Street Politics in a Hybrid Regime: The Diffusion of Political Activism in Post-colonial Hong Kong

  • Edmund W. Cheng (a1)

This paper examines the diffusion of activism in post-colonial Hong Kong through the lens of the political regime and eventful analysis. It first reveals the institutional foundations of the hybrid regime that allowed the creation of a nascent movement society. It then explains how the historic 1 July rally in 2003 and a series of critical events since 2006 have led to a shift in scale and the public staging of street politics. A time-series analysis and onsite survey further capture the dynamics that spawned the collective recognition of grievances and reduced participation costs, leading to the Umbrella Movement. While the spontaneous, voluntary and decentralized organizational structure sustained protest momentum, the regime has adopted hybrid strategies to counter-mobilize bottom-up activism. The result is widening contention between the state and civil society and within civil society, or the coexistence of regime instability and regime longevity, a trend that is increasingly common in hybrid regimes encountering mass protests.

本文藉政治体制和历史变迁的视角, 理解香港政治行动在后殖民时期扩散的历程。本文首先揭示混合政体的制度基础是如何产生一个初生社运社会。本文继而分析 2003 年的游行和自 2006 年的一系列关键事件的作用, 在于加剧动员规模并趋生街头政治的公共舞台。透过时间序列和现场民调, 本文更进一步展现这些社运剧目如何降低参与成本、集约不满情绪并促成自发抗争, 最终导致了雨伞运动;与此同时, 政权也完善了相应的策略来应对这一波自下而上的群众动员。其结果是国家与社会之间及公民社会内部的对抗日烈。在遭遇大规模抗议的混合政体, 这种政权不稳和政权坚韧的现象, 将日趋普遍。

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