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Making of modern HK

IMG_1024The 1989 Tiananmen bloody crackdown occurred during the first school year Professor Michael DeGolyer taught in Hong Kong. Occupy Central came during his last year of teaching.

When DeGolyer came to Hong Kong, the accepted view was Hong Kong people cared little and knew less about politics. Five years of qualitative research, including interviews with then-surveyor C.Y. Leung and then-school principal Tsang Yok Tsing, convinced him that Hong Kong people had never really been apathetic about politics. They reacted in political ways – such as marches, petitions, strikes and Occupy – when other methods failed to achieve policy changes.


As director of the Hong Kong Transition Project, DeGolyer led a multi-national, multi-disciplinary team in closely studying and forecasting the political development of Hong Kong, treating Hong Kong as a test bed for Chinese political reform. Transition survey research first pinpointed the dangerous “wealth gap”, “age gap” and deep sense of unfairness that have riven Hong Kong.

DeGolyer’s also spoke about recent Hong Kong policy, described dangers that lurk ahead, and offered ideas and options for the future.

DeGolyer is professor of government and tnternational studies at Hong Kong Baptist University.

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