Introduction : remaking citizenship in Hong Kong

Agnes S. KU*, Ngai PUN

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book Chapters | Papers in Conference ProceedingsForeword / Postscript

15 Citations (SciVal)


The formation of citizenship in Hong Kong embodied a distinctive colonial history of more than one hundred and fifty years under British rule. The colonial years, in different stages, were marked by continual tensions and struggles between the state and civil society over the questions of rights, belonging, and participation. With the handover in July 1997, the reconfiguration of Hong Kong as the Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China is steering a project of remaking citizenship in the city. Politically, the SAR government has sought to produce a nationalistic civic subject, as signifying a change from British colonial rule to Chinese sovereignty. This is to be achieved through new legislations, through a soft-authoritarian way of regulating political order, 1 and through a programmatic project of civic and patriotic education. Economically, the government has projected strategic visions of enterprising Hong Kong as a global city amidst increasing economic competition world-wide (Jessop and Sum 2000; Pun and Lee 2002). It has, moreover, put forward proposals to address the issue of social participation in the context of global economic restructuring, regional financial turmoil, and growing domestic unemployment. These include new urban governance projects, education reform, the provision of employment retraining, and welfare and community programs. The slogans of Asia’s world city, lifelong learning, and the welfare-to-work scheme are examples of such new initiatives. What lies behind the new political project is the construction of a citizen-subject who is required to acquire a specific ethic of self: the enterprising individual.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRemaking citizenship in Hong Kong : community, nation and the global city
EditorsAgnes S. KU, Ngai PUN
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9780203400333
ISBN (Print)9780415396721
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


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