This article examines the changes in ethnic and class politics before and after the handover of Macao in 1999. Even though the domination of Macao politics has largely transferred from the Portuguese and Macanese to the Chinese, the former two groups still retain much power in the legal arena. The Chinese upper class played an instrumental role in Macao politics before the handover and became fully dominant after 1999. For example, they have maintained a large presence on the Executive Committee and in the Legislative Assembly, successfully prevented further democratisation, and protected their interests by delaying the legislation of a minimum wage and barring the collective bargaining power of workers. The working class’ main interests fall in the area of wage increases and protecting their jobs from imported labour. However, they would occasionally join forces with the middle-class movement for democratisation. This article uses statistical data from various sources and applies the critical approach in sociology, namely, historical-comparative analysis, to the study of ethnic and class politics. This analysis will shed light on a scarcely studied issue in Macao and its future prospects of democratisation.


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pp. 66-92
Launched on MUSE
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