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Title: Social movements and policy capacity in Hong Kong: An alternative perspective
Authors: Ng, Kai Hon
Contributors: 國研中心
Keywords: Hong kong.;New social movements;Policy capacity;Political opportunity structures;Urban re-development
Date: 2013-06
Issue Date: 2015-05-28 17:52:03 (UTC+8)
Abstract: This article critically examines the policy capacity crisis in post1997 Hong Kong. In particular, it provides a framework that allows for a more sophisticated analysis of new social movements (NSMs) and their role in challenging the government in policy making and implementation. A number of studies examining recent campaigns conducted by NSMs reveal that the social activists involved have distinctive goals, organizational structures, and political styles, and that the distinctiveness of NSMs has challenged the traditional ways in which public policy has been made, which emphasized rationality, scientific analysis, and policy coherence. However, this article argues that the policy capacity crisis cannot be explained purely in terms of the rise of NSMs. The form and strength of their challenge to policy capacity can only be fully understood in relation to the prevailing political structures which define the connected set of political opportunities/constraints facing the protest groups. In particular, NSMs only become relevant in mobilizing and intensifying antagonistic forces when their values and actions are mediated by the structure of political opportunities. Moreover, any effect on government policy derived from confrontational action also has to be mediated by the political structures. In short, the structural opportunities/constraints enshrined in particular policy areas are equally, if not more, significant than the internal dynamics ofNSMs in understanding the impact of such movements on public policy. Hence, there is no real reason to assert that the rise of NSMs necessarily poses a considerable challenge to the policy capacity of the Hong Kong government.
Relation: Issues and Studies, 49(2), 179-214
Data Type: article
Appears in Collections:[國際關係研究中心] 期刊論文

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