Chinese neostatist thinkers and the restructuring of Hong Kong

Key information

1:00 PM to 2:30 PM
Virtual Event

About this event

Prof. Sebastian Veg (EHESS)



As pointed out by observers, the recent changes to Hong Kong’s constitutional framework, including the 2020 National Security Law and the 2021 Electoral Reform, are not simply an adjustment, but can be seen as a comprehensive “restructuring” (Jiang Shigong) that began with the 2014 White Paper on “The Practice of One Country Two Systems.” What are the ideas underpinning these changes and do they hold significance beyond Hong Kong?

Over the last decade, a group of scholars and thinkers in China have articulated a systematic critique of liberalism. They argue for the superiority of political sovereignty over the rule of law, and the need to “repoliticize” the state, often echoing the views of the legal theorist Carl Schmitt. It can be argued that Hong Kong’s system of rule of law under Chinese sovereignty represented a challenge to neostatist views. In this context, the restructuring of Hong Kong since 2014 takes on a broader significance as a central component of the new leading ideology emerging in preparation for the Centenary of the CCP in 2021 and the 20th Congress in 2022.

About the speaker

Sebastian Veg is a professor of intellectual history of modern and contemporary China at EHESS (School of Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences), Paris and an Honorary Professor at the University of Hong Kong, with an interest in the history of intellectuals, social movements, and the public sphere, as well as in the recent history of Hong Kong. His latest book is Minjian: The Rise of China’s Grassroots Intellectuals (Columbia UP, 2019).


This webinar will take place online via Zoom. Click here to register .

This webinar will not be live-streamed onto Facebook or recorded.

Chair: Professor Steve Tsang (Director, SOAS China Institute)

Organiser: SOAS China Institute

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