Deliberation about the 2014 Umbrella Movement in a Hong Kong elite newspaper: A quantitative study of the Hong Kong Economic Journal

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)


Deliberative democratic theorists have argued that effective deliberation is central to democracy. Does Hong Kong possess a viable public sphere for deliberating important public issues, as the city has been striving for a full democracy since the 1980s? This article addresses this significant question by examining the quality of deliberation on the 2014 Umbrella Movement by the editorials and commentaries in an elite print Chinese newspaper – the Hong Kong Economic Journal – based on the “Discourse Quality Index” and other criteria used by major works on mediated deliberation. This article argues that the Journal has served as a viable public sphere for deliberating important public concerns in Hong Kong. The Journal’s editorials and commentaries performed well in terms of offering reasoned arguments and engaging in dialogue with opposing viewpoints. Regarding respect for the actors which were involved in the Umbrella Movement, the Journal as a whole had maintained a civilized tone. However, there was an indication that commentary authors had less tolerance toward actors from the opposite camps.
Original languageEnglish
Article number205789111989852
Number of pages13
JournalAsian Journal of Comparative Politics
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Jan 2020


Bibliographical note

This research was funded by a Direct Grant from Faculty of Social Sciences, Lingnan University. Grant number DR17B3.


  • Umbrella Movement
  • democracy in Hong Kong
  • mediated deliberation
  • political conversation
  • quality of deliberation

Cite this