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Take Back Our FutureAn Eventful Sociology of the Hong Kong Umbrella Movement$
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Ching Kwan Lee and Ming Sing

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781501740916

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501740916.001.0001

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How Students Took Leadership of the Umbrella Movement

How Students Took Leadership of the Umbrella Movement

Marginalization of Prodemocracy Parties

Chapter:
(p.144) 7 How Students Took Leadership of the Umbrella Movement
Source:
Take Back Our Future
Author(s):

Ming Sing

Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9781501740916.003.0007

This chapter assesses why the prodemocracy parties were sidelined by student leaders during the Umbrella Movement. It also investigates the conflicts between the leaders of student bodies and the prodemocracy parties, which affected the trajectory of the Umbrella Movement. One factor accounting for the sidelining of the prodemocracy parties was that Beijing had largely enervated the prodemocracy parties' capacity in the legislature to shape policies via institutional and noninstitutional components of the nonsovereign, hybrid regime of Hong Kong. The debilitation made the parties irrelevant in addressing public needs and thereby eroded the public's trust in the parties and contributed to their decline, as has been found in many Western democracies. Beijing's engineering alone, however, cannot fully explain the decline of those parties. The parties' conscious choices with regard to positioning and tactics, amid an increasingly divided public, were also relevant to their decline. Indeed, the students' tactics contrasted sharply with those of the party leaders, who mostly preferred to halt the prolonged occupation in order to shorten the street inconvenience and diminish the risk of voters' backlash in impending elections.

Keywords:   prodemocracy parties, student leaders, Umbrella Movement, Beijing, Hong Kong, public trust, party leaders

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