“Living in truth” versus realpolitik : limitations and potentials of the Umbrella Movement

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)

28 Citations (Scopus)


This paper is concerned with the social context in which the Umbrella Movement emerged in Hong Kong in 2014. It aims to analyze its limitation and transformative potential for Hong Kong. It attempts to review the changing socio-cultural dynamics in the past few years, with a focus on the notion of realpolitik that has significantly disrupted the processes of developing a public vision of an alternative society, as well as undermined people's mutual trust and right to non-conformity. In presenting our analysis, the authors attempt to think through the transformative potential of civil disobedience, drawing on Vaclav Havel's notion of “living in truth,” as a long-term project aimed at changing the predominant colonial mentality and cynical culture in the contemporary Hong Kong social context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)348-366
Number of pages19
JournalInter-Asia Cultural Studies
Issue number3
Early online date30 Sep 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015



  • Umbrella Movement
  • living in truth
  • localism
  • realpolitik

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