Deliberative Democracy in Hong Kong
Excerpt from Separation of Powers and Deliberative Democracy, in Ron Levy, Hoi Kong, Graeme Orr and Jeff King (eds.) "The Cambridge Handbook of Deliberative Constitutionalism" (Cambridge University Press, 2018) at pages 113-124
6 Pages Posted: 25 Jul 2018
Date Written: July 8, 2017
This paper argues that deliberative democracy in Hong Kong faces a number of structural and political obstacles, which impede both inter-branch dialogue between the executive and legislature and the role that political parties commonly play in fostering public deliberation on a wide range of policy issues.
Nonetheless it argues that a well established process of deliberation through official advisory committees does satisfy at least some of the generally recognised criteria for deliberative democracy. That process has numerous shortcomings, especially the process of "elite co-option" which sees these bodies dominated by appointees from a narrow pool of friendly business figures and other professionals.
The Hong Kong experience thus suggests that some form of deliberative process, capable of reaching consensus on at least some decisions of importance to the community as a whole, can survive even under the most adverse circumstances.
Keywords: Deliberation, Democracy, Non-Democratic Regimes, Political Parties
JEL Classification: K
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation