In the Name of the Law: Legal Frames and the Ending of the Occupy Movement in Hong Kong

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Hong Kong government made tactical use of legal instruments to end the Occupy Movement in 2014, yet there were divergent responses to the injunctions at the two main protest sites. Through a within-case comparison, this study argues that diverging legal frames explain the different reactions at the two sites. Law, as a constitutive symbol of certain collective action frames, constructs the boundaries of a movement and creates expectations among protesters regarding how to address legal instruments. The protesters in Admiralty tended to adhere to a law-abiding frame that required them to respect and obey the law when confronted with legal tactics. In contrast, the framing contest and self-selection of participants made activists in Mongkok susceptible to a law-defying frame that disposed them to resist the actions of law enforcement authorities. This study sheds light on the conditions under which protesters will obey the law.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)468-490
Number of pages23
JournalLaw and Social Inquiry
Volume44
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2019
Externally publishedYes

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