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Interpreting Constitutionalism and Democratization in Hong Kong

  • Michael C. Davis
Chapter

Abstract

Hong Kong’s status as a Special Administrative Region of China has engendered considerable interest in its political development. Outside observers and Hong Kong people alike generally consider that greater democratization will mean greater autonomy and less democracy will mean more control by Beijing. This observation is founded on an appreciation of the fundamental role democratization plays in constitutionalism. Understanding the Hong Kong political reform debate is therefore important to understanding the emerging status of both Hong Kong and China. The Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Hong Kong Basic Law appear to require liberal human rights protection, the rule of law, and democratic rule in Hong Kong.1 This chapter considers the politics of constitutional interpretation in Hong Kong and its relationship to developing democracy and sustaining Hong Kong’s highly regarded rule of law.

Keywords

Chief Executive Special Administrative Region National People Task Force Report Democratic Reform 
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Notes

  1. 2.
    See Michael C. Davis, “Constitutionalism under Chinese Rule: Hong Kong after the Handover,” Denver Journal of International Law and Policy 27 no. 2 (1999): 275–312;Google Scholar
  2. Hsin-chi Kuan and Siu-Kai Lau, “Political Attitudes in a Changing Context,” in Social Development and Political Change in Hong Kong, ed. Siu-kai Lau (Hong Kong: Chinese University Press, 2000);Google Scholar
  3. Ming Sing, Hong Kong’s Tortuous Democratization: A Comparative Analysis (London: Routledge Curzon, 2004).Google Scholar
  4. 3.
    See Michael C. Davis, Constitutional Confrontation in Hong Kong (London: Macmillan Press, 1990).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    See Johannes Chan and Lison Harris, eds., Hong Kong’s Constitutional Debates (Hong Kong: University of Hong Kong Centre for Comparative and Public Law, 2005).Google Scholar
  6. 14.
    See Hualing Fu, Carole J. Petersen, and Simon N. M. Young, National Security and Fundamental Freedoms: Hong Kong’s Article 23 under Scrutiny (Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2005).Google Scholar
  7. 29.
    Stephen Holmes, “Precommitment and the Paradox of Democracy,” in Constitutionalism and Democracy, ed. Jon Elster and Rune Slagstad (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988), 195–240;CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bruce Ackerman, We the People: Foundations (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1991);Google Scholar
  9. Alexander M. Bickel, The Least Dangerous Branch, The Supreme Court at the Bar of Politics, 2nd ed. (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1986).Google Scholar
  10. 35.
    Jon Elster, “Constitution-Making in Eastern Europe: Rebuilding the Boat in the Open Sea,” Public Administration 71 (1993): 169–201, at 173.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 40.
    See Michael C. Davis, “Adopting International Standards of Human Rights in Hong Kong,” in Human Rights and Chinese Values, ed. Michael C. Davis (Oxford University Press, 1995); see also Petersen, Chapter 2 of this volume.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Hualing Fu, Lison Harris, and Simon N. M. Young, eds. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael C. Davis

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