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The Emergence of Radical Politics in Hong Kong: Causes and Impact


This article reviews the literature on the radicalization of politics in Hong Kong, with an emphasis on its causes and impact. Evidence on the deteriorating living standards and the widening of the gap between the rich and the poor has been substantial. People naturally blame the government under such circumstances. They have been especially angry with government policies favoring the business community, and the “greed” and corruption of the Donald Tsang and C. Y. Leung administrations. The consensus on the origins, characteristics, modes of operation, and so on of the new social movements is strong; and the same applies to the failure of the government to anticipate and absorb their challenges. Confidence in the maintenance of social stability remains high, but there is little optimism that the performance of the government will soon improve.