Securitization of the Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong: The Rise of a Patriotocratic System, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Securitization of the Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong

The Rise of a Patriotocratic System, 1st Edition

By Cora Y.T. Hui


168 pages

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Hardback: 9781138370005
pub: 2019-07-29
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In recent years, the city many hoped would help democratize China has instead become a research setting in which to study China’s increasing intolerance of dissent. Since Hong Kong’s return to Chinese sovereignty in 1997, China’s treatment of Hong Kong could be divided into three stages: non-intervention, intervention, and securitization. If the July 1 march in 2003 is a watershed that marked Beijing’s change from non-intervention to intervention, this book suggests that the Umbrella Movement in 2014 is another watershed that marked Beijing’s change from intervention to securitization.

This book is a theoretically driven case study of the Umbrella Movement, a massive sit-in that paralyzed key business and retail districts for 79 days in Hong Kong in 2014. Many Hongkongers believe that they have the right to a fair election of the chief executive, and Beijing’s insistence on vetting candidates prompted the outbreak of the Umbrella Movement. Drawing insights from the securitization theory and fear appeal literature, the book proposes the framework of “security appeal.” It argues that the outbreak of the Umbrella Movement resulted from a premature use of hard repression, that is, before the government convinced the general public that the Umbrella Movement was a threat. The eventual successful securitization entails a general acceptance of the threatening nature of the Umbrella Movement and agreement with its crackdown. This book concludes that one of the consequences of the securitization of the Umbrella Movement is Beijing’s eventual switch to the policy of “patriotocracy” – a system that allocates power and resources based on one’s professed patriotism – in lieu of One Country, Two Systems.

The policy implications and theoretical and methodological contributions of this book will be of interest to scholars and students of security studies, Chinese politics, and various social science disciplines including political science, psychology, criminology, and sociology.

Table of Contents

List of Acronyms

List of Tables

List of Figures


Chapter One – Introduction: “One Country” or “Two Systems”?

Chapter Two – From Political Control to the Outbreak of the Umbrella Movement

Chapter Three – From Securitization to the End of the Umbrella Movement

Chapter Four – Brief Note on Methodology

Chapter Five – Securitization Context: Political Culture of Hong Kong

Chapter Six – Securitizing Act: A Content Analysis of News Reports

Chapter Seven – The Security Appeal’s Audience

Chapter Eight – Patriotocracy: Beijing’s New Policy Towards Hong Kong



About the Author

Cora Y. T. Hui is completed her Ph.D. in the Department of Social and Behavioural Sciences at City University of Hong Kong. She received her MPhil in Criminology from the University of Cambridge and her MA in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York.

About the Series

Routledge Contemporary China Series

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies