Hong Kong's `Umbrella Revolution' has been widely regarded as a watershed moment in the polity's post-1997 history. While public protest has long been a routine part of Hong Kong's political culture, the preparedness of large numbers of citizens to participate in civil disobedience represented a new moment for Hong Kong society, reflecting both a very high level of politicisation and a deteriorating relationship with Beijing. The transformative processes underpinning the dramatic events of autumn 2014 have a wide relevance to scholarly debates on Hong Kong, China and the changing contours of world politics today. This book provides an accessible entry point into the political and social cleavages that underpinned, and were expressed through, the Umbrella Movement. A key focus is the societal context and issues that have led to growth in a Hong Kong identity and how this became highly politically charged during the Umbrella Movement. It is widely recognised that political and ethnic identity has become a key cleavage in Hong Kong society. But there is little agreement amongst citizens about what it means to `be Hong Konger' today or whether this identity is compatible or conflicting with `being Chinese'. The book locates these identity cleavages within their historical context and uses a range of theories to understand these processes, including theories of nationalism, social identity, ethnic conflict, nativism and cosmopolitanism. This theoretical plurality allows the reader to see the new localism in its full diversity and complexity and to reflect on the evolving nature of Hong Kong's relationship with Mainland China.
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