Civil Society and NGOs

Lam Wai-man and Irene L. K. Tong

in Contemporary Hong Kong Politics

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print February 2007 | ISBN: 9789622098299
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882206779 | DOI:
Civil Society and NGOs

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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This chapter evaluates the characteristics of civil society and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Hong Kong, and explores the challenges of making Hong Kong's civil society into a more effective watchdog of the government. It first provides an examination of the confusing array of meanings of “civil society.” Having offered a brief historical account of the development of civil society in Hong Kong, the chapter then elaborates the vibrancy of civil society since 1997 in terms of its scale, goals, roles, and functions; extent of participation in public affairs and politics; capability of mobilization; and extent of political influence. It is observed that civil society is sizable and vibrant in terms of the number of associations and the extent of participation of actors. Nevertheless, new forms of social mobilization, such as cyber political mobilisation and Internet radio broadcasting, continue to flourish, indicating that civil society in Hong Kong is going to maintain its vitality.

Keywords: Hong Kong; civil society; non-governmental organizations; public affairs; politics; mobilization

Chapter.  8699 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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