Political de-institutionalization and the rise of right-wing nativism

Iam Chong IP

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3 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter is about the new surge of right-wing nativism, public sentiment, political agitation and campaigns against China. The activists’ yearning for their homeland largely comes from frustration over the increasingly blurred distinction with their “intimate other” and the anguish about the “death” of Hong Kong, a city overwhelmed by the fear of China. Most interpret it as an immediate response to a wide variety of “China factors”, such as Beijing’s political interventions into Hong Kong’s democratic reform, closer economic ties of Chinese economy to the city and their social and cultural consequences. But I will focus on the distinctive qualities provided by the recent rise of nativism for Hong Kong’s local consciousness: sense of crisis, skepticism of liberalism, rejection of political pluralism, insistence on sovereign imaginary and political belligerence. I argue that nativism serves less as a resistance against the authoritarian regime of China than as a challenge to Hong Kong’s political culture nurtured in the late colonial times and the post-handover era. This phenomenon echoes with two tendencies in the late-modern societies: political de-institutionalization and the increasingly discontinuous, ephemeral and partial guidelines for political action.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook of Contemporary Hong Kong
EditorsTai-lok LUI, Stephen W. K. CHIU, Ray YEP
ISBN (Electronic)9781315660530
ISBN (Print)9781138959934
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018


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