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Building Democracy

Creating Good Government for Hong Kong

Christine Loh

Publication Year: 2003

This book offers an analysis of Hong Kong's current political situation within the larger context of its political history and its relationship to Beijing.

Published by: Hong Kong University Press, HKU

Table of Contents

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pp. vii

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pp. viii-xxii

I received the flattering invitation from Christine Loh to write a foreword to this excellent and timely volume as I was presiding over the National Constitutional Conference of Kenya (June 2003).1 This invitation stimulated reflections on the importance of good governance and the general process of...

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pp. 1-11

This volume provides a collection of short essays about democracy and democratic participation written by a group of local experts as part of Civic Exchange's Enhancing Democratic Participation Project and aimed at a general audience. The Project was put together in 2002 at a moment when Hong Kong people appeared...

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1. The Basic Law, Human Rights and Democracy: Theory and Practice

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pp. 12-26

This essay focuses on the issues of constitutionalism and the rule of law and their relationship to the democratisation process in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). Reflections on constitutional theory offer occasions to ask how well things are working and what reform would be helpful. For Hong Kong the basic question of whether to have or not have democracy is not

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2. Legislative-Executive Interface in Hong Kong

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pp. 27-34

Since 1974, a wave of democratisation has swept over different parts of the world, increasing the number of electoral democracies from 39 in 1974 to 121 in 2001.1 This wave started with the toppling of Western Europe's last three dictatorships in Greece, Portugal and Spain and continued in such South American countries as Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile and ...

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3. Accountability and Open Government

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pp. 35-43

In a democratic society, the use of political power is a profound responsibility. Holders of public office exercise authority legitimately only if they do so in accordance with the principles, rules and procedures endorsed by and acceptable to society at large, and it is incumbent upon public officials to justify decisions with...

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4. Election and Voting Systems: Perspectives on Democratic Governance

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pp. 44-60

This paper addresses the issue of elections and voting systems as a key component of the debate on general political reform in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). The central theme of the paper is the importance of democratic governance for the development of a viable and effective voting system...

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5. Political Reform and Political Parties

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pp. 61-70

In modern democracies, political parties are defined by their explicit intention to capture political power via elections. They distinguish themselves from pressure groups or other social movements by their declared aim to transcend particular interests and provide solutions for the general concerns of society by...

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6. The Civil Service and Political Reform

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pp. 71-83

During British rule, Hong Kong was run as an "administrative state," with the senior civil servants doubling as both policy-makers and policy executors and in effect constituting the executive under the command of the colonial Governor. The political transformation following the 1984 Sino- British Joint Declaration triggered...

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7. Constitutional Conventions and Political Reform

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pp. 84-94

The term "constitutional convention" has two meanings in political science. First, it refers to the constitutional meetings in Western democracies such as the United States and Australia where politicians discuss, deliberate and debate amendments to the...

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8. Democratic Development and Business Interests

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pp. 95-103

Since the start of very gradual democratisation in Hong Kong in the 1980s, the local business sector has adopted a conservative attitude towards the pace of democratic development. A number of high profile businessmen appear to be afraid that democratisation may...

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9. The Media and Society in Hong Kong

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pp. 104-116

This chapter looks at the role of the media in society - and, in particular, its role within a well developed society such as Hong Kong. It does this by examining: • The role of the media in society generally; • The rather special position of the media in Hong Kong; • The ways in...

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10. Women and Politics

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pp. 117-126

Politics and policies affect women as well as men, but in political decision making worldwide, women are under-represented. While classical political philosophers equate politics with the public realm, and hence the male sphere, modern conceptions of politics and citizenship would not be complete without including all members...

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11. Civil Society and Democratic Development in Hong Kong

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pp. 127-134

"Civil society" refers to that part of society that is non-governmental. The concept of civil society arose as a response to the 20th century experience of fascism, authoritarianism and totalitarianism, where the state sought to monopolise all social...

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12. Experiencing Democracy- Inclusive Participatory Forums

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pp. 135-146

City Forum was a popular programme hosted by Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) in the 1980s. The programme allowed ordinary people to express their views on key issues and address their questions to government officials and various stakeholders....

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pp. 147-149

On 1 July 2003, a public holiday and the sixth anniversary of the HKSAR, half a million Hong Kong residents joined a protest march against the hasty passage of the HKSAR Government's proposed national security legislation required under Article 23 of the Basic Law that was scheduled for passage in the legislature on 9 July. The...


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pp. 150-153

E-ISBN-13: 9789882200470
Print-ISBN-13: 9789622096677

Page Count: 176
Publication Year: 2003

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Democratization -- China -- Hong Kong.
  • Hong Kong (China) -- Politics and government -- 1997-.
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