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Territorial Autonomy, Nationalisms, and Women’s Equality and Rights: The Case of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

  • Susan J. Henders
Chapter

Abstract

The chapter advances understanding of how nationalist-infused formal, meso-level autonomy arrangements affect women’s rights and equality by analyzing the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The case affirms comparative findings that meso-level devolution can both advance and hinder women’s progress, depending on structural, institutional, and ideational factors as well as timing. It also underlines the importance of the political economy of devolution. Specifically, in Hong Kong, feminist concerns did not impel devolution. However, feminists used a political legitimacy crisis and constitutional reforms during preparations for devolution, successfully promoting pro-women laws and policies. Nevertheless, once set up, the autonomy institutions entrenched the power of conservative elites and laissez-faire capitalist norms that blocked progress on women’s rights and equality, legitimated by nationalist politics and racialized and ethnicized othering.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan J. Henders
    • 1
  1. 1.York UniversityTorontoCanada

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