The Assault on Liberal Values and Institutions in Hong Kong
by Michael C. Davis
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Pub Date 27 Feb 2024 | Archive Date 30 Apr 2024
What happens when liberal constitutional institutions are undone? Can Freedom survive the loss of separation of powers with the associated legal and political accountability? The Chinese Communist Party has been at the forefront in its disdain for liberal institutions and promoting illiberal alternatives. This disdain placed Hong Kong people on the frontlines of the global struggle for freedom. Since its handover from Britain, Hong Kong has felt the brunt of China’s illiberal agenda, recently with increased intensity since the crackdown in 2019 and Beijing’s imposition of a National Security Law in 2020. Thousands have been jailed and a city famous for vigorous protests has been silenced. Professor Michael Davis, a close observer who taught human rights and development in the city for three decades, takes us on the constitutional journey of both the city’s vigorous defense of freedom and its repressive undoing—a painful loss for Hong Kong and a lesson for the world.
Michael C. Davis, long a professor at the University of Hong Kong, where he taught courses on human rights and constitutional development until the fall of 2020, is currently a Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, a Senior Research Scholar at the Weatherhead East Asia Institute at Columbia University, and a Professor of Law and International Affairs at O.P. Jindal Global University in India.