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Political Culture and Policy Making in British Hong Kong, c. 1970-80

Mok, Yan Wing Florence (2019) Political Culture and Policy Making in British Hong Kong, c. 1970-80. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

This thesis examines state-society relations in the long 1970s, a pivotal period for Hong Kong. Using under-exploited archival evidence, it overcomes the limitations in the existing literature written mainly by political scientists and sociologists, which is primarily theoretically driven and relies on published sources. It explores how a reformist colonial administration investigated changing political culture of the Chinese society, and how political activism and shifting public opinions impacted on policy making. It analyses five case studies: the Chinese as the official language movement, the anti-corruption campaign, the campaign against telephone rate increases, the Precious Blood Golden Jubilee Secondary School disputes and immigration from mainland China. It shows how the colonial administration possessed organizational capacity to monitor the movement of opinion direction in the society closely through covert opinion polling exercises, Town Talk and MOOD. These constructed ‘public opinions’ were circulated and discussed among high ranked civil servants, including the Governor and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. They affected policy formulation. Hong Kong people had extremely limited democratic rights but the public was involved in the policy making process. The thesis also highlights how ‘public opinion’ was a construction. Political cultures in Hong Kong varied in accordance with class and age, and changed in significant ways, with Chinese communities demonstrating increased readiness to engage in political movements and discourses.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of York > History (York)
Depositing User: Miss Yan Wing Florence Mok
Date Deposited: 04 Jun 2019 13:44
Last Modified: 27 Jun 2019 08:38
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/23889

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