From Repression to Attrition State Responses towards the Umbrella Movement

Samson YUEN

Research output: Book Chapters | Papers in Conference ProceedingsBook ChapterResearchpeer-review


The Umbrella Movement displayed an unprecedented spectacle of resistance and brought Hong Kong under worldwide attention. This chapter demonstrates how the city’s hybrid regime adaptively switched its response to this protest from repression to attrition, after police repression catalyzed heightened mobilization. This strategy of attrition entailed an array of defensive and offensive tactics that extended beyond ignoring protests. By switching to this strategy, the regime actively sought to maintain elite cohesion and block political opportunities while leveraging countermovements and legal interventions to increase the participation cost of the protests and mobilize public discontent. Despite resistance from protesters, the success of attrition suggests its potential use by hybrid regimes as an effective regime response and a flexible holder of tactics.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Umbrella Movement : Civil Resistance and Contentious Space in Hong Kong
EditorsNgok MA, Edmund W. CHENG
PublisherAmsterdam University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9789048535248
ISBN (Print)9789462984561
Publication statusPublished - 24 May 2019

Publication series

NameGlobal Asia
PublisherAmsterdam University Press


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