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Citizen Participation: From Pressure Groups to Political Parties

  • Shiu-hing Lo

Abstract

Apart from the institutional dimension of democratisation in which more elected seats are introduced into the evolving polity, another dimension in the democratising transition is participatory. An increase in citizen participation is not only a hallmark of ‘political development’, but also a concomitant of democratisation. According to O’Donnell and Schmitter, an opening in liberalisation is followed by the emergence of political parties, which belong to those social groups calling for ‘more explicit democratisation’ and bringing about ‘the explosion of a highly repoliticised and angry society’.2 Indeed, the ruling elites may be reluctant to implement further institutional reform without the pressure exerted by opposition parties, which mobilise citizen participation in the democratic transition. O’Donnell and Schmitter assert that political parties can contribute to democratisation by forming pacts, which are negotiated amongst parties to distribute representative positions or cooperate in the policy-making process. In the case of Hong Kong, although the existing political parties do not go so far as to establish any pact that can achieve a breakthrough in democratisation, they play a crucial role in sustaining the momentum of the democracy movement.

Keywords

Political Party Democratic PAR1Y Pressure Group Citizen Participation Political Group 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    Lucian Pye, Aspects of Political Development (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1966), p. 39.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    See Samuel P. Huntington and Joan M. Nelson, No Easy Choice: Political Participation in Developing Countries (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1976), p. 15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 4.
    Samuel P. Huntington, Political Order in Changing Societies (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1968), p. 412.Google Scholar
  4. 9.
    V. O. Key, Jr, Political Parties and Pressure Groups (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1967), p. 18.Google Scholar
  5. For similar definitions of pressure groups, see W. N. Coxall, Parties and Pressure Groups (London: Longman, 1985), p. 17.Google Scholar
  6. 10.
    Joseph Cheng, ed., Hong Kong In Search of a Future, (Hong Kong: Oxford University Press, 1984), p. 125.Google Scholar
  7. 11.
    See Ad-hoc Delegation for the Promotion of Democracy, Toward An Elected Government in Hong Kong (Nottingham: Russell Press, 1984), supplied by Dr. Ding.Google Scholar
  8. 28.
    See Meeting Point, Toward Hong Kong People Democratically Governing Hong Kong (in Chinese) (Hong Kong: Kam Ling, 1987).Google Scholar
  9. 30.
    Joseph Cheng, ed., On the Path of Participation (in Chinese) (Hong Kong: Wide Angle, 1989), p. 16.Google Scholar
  10. 33.
    See Joan M. Nelson; ‘Political Participation’, in Myron Weiner and Samuel P. Huntington, eds., Understanding Political Development (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1987), p. 108.Google Scholar
  11. 98.
    Interview with Lau Kin-chee, December 14, 1989. For Lau Shanching’s arrest, see Amnesty International, China: Violations of Human Rights (London: Amnesty International, 1984), pp. 49–50. Lau Shan-ching was eventually released by mainland Chinese authorities in late 1991.Google Scholar
  12. 99.
    For the story, see Roger Garside, Coming Alive: China After Mao (London: Andre Deutsch, 1981), p. 218.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Lo Shiu-hing 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shiu-hing Lo
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Hong KongChina

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