Comparative Politics

Total Mobilisation from Below: Abeyance Networks, Threats and Emotions in Hong Kong’s Freedom Summer

Edmund Cheng Author ORCID home | opens in new tab City University of Hong Kong
,
Samson Yuen Hong Kong Baptist University

Abstract

This paper examines the origins and dynamics of an extraordinary wave of protests in Hong Kong in 2019 and 2020. Despite lacking visible political opportunities and organisational resources, the movement drew prolonged, mass participation unparalleled in the city’s history and much of the world. Drawing on onsite and online data, we conceptualise Hong Kong’s Freedom Summer as a form of total mobilisation from below. The totality of mobilisation depended on a set of permissive and productive conditions: abeyant civil society networks concealed after the Umbrella Movement activated by fear over extradition to an authoritarian regime and anger towards unregulated police action. The movement’s characteristics are further examined in regard to protest scale, mobilisation structure, alternative space, and group solidarity. The spasmodic moments of mobilisation are thus explained by the nexus of network building in an unreceptive political environment and participatory experience in conjunctural events.

Content

Thumbnail image of content item
cloud_download

Comments

Log in or register with APSA to comment open_in_new
Comments are not moderated before they are posted, but they can be removed by the site moderators if they are found to be in contravention of our Commenting Policy open_in_new – please read this policy before you post. Comments should be used for scholarly discussion of the content in question. You can find more information about how to use the commenting feature here open_in_new .
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy open_in_new and Terms of Service open_in_new apply.