In the past decade, Hong Kong has undergone various large-scale protests, such as the 2014 Occupy Central and the 2019 Anti-Extradition Protests. One of the reasons for such popular grievance was that the government could not grasp the change in public sentiment and opinion. Before the handover, although the governor held the centralized power, the colonial authorities still had ways to collect public opinions to avoid departing from the citizens’ views. The model was called the ‘administrative absorption of politics’. The Chinese authorities attempted to preserve the original advisory system to depoliticize the policy-making process after the handover. This article contributes to the understanding of the development of the cooptation system in Hong Kong and its failure in the 2010s based on the insights of legislators. It also highlights the importance of participation and salient control in the cooptation system to balance public views in a semi-authoritarian society.
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The author(s) received no financial support for the research, authorship and/or publication of this article.
© The Author(s) 2021.
- administrative absorption of politics
- advisory bodies
- authoritarian state
- political cooptation
- social movement