Workers’ Inquiry and Global Class Struggle: A Conversation with Robert Ovetz and Jenny Chan

As the Made in China Journal was born as a platform to document labour struggles in China, we always welcome the publication of books and studies that offer novel perspectives on the ‘world of labour’. In this conversation, we discuss two recent additions to the literature: Workers’ Inquiry and Global Class Struggle: Strategies, Tactics, Objectives, […]

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Peddling the Revolution?

How Hong Kong’s Protesters became Online Vendors in Taiwan

Some former Hong Kong protesters who fled to Taiwan have resorted to selling local products online to Hong Kong-based consumers to make a living. This essay argues that these purchases become both an alternative form of financial support from Hong Kong’s politically conscious consumers and business transactions endowed with political meaning. Not without ambivalences, these online vendors sell more than products, but also a lifestyle, an identity, and a commitment—in short, a revolutionary dream at a time when street protests in their home city are no longer feasible.

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Restructuring the Political Society during Autocratisation: The Case of Hong Kong

The case of Hong Kong illustrates a problem not discussed in the literature on democratization. Is it possible to create and have a functioning democratic political subsystem within a nondemocratic state? Can a democratic political subsystem exist within the overall framework of a totalitarian or post-totalitarian state? Politically, probably not—because of the example that it […]

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Why Is Reconciliation Impossible?

On the Clash of Emotions between Hong Kong and Mainland China

This essay presents an affective analysis of the antagonism between Hong Kong and mainland China. It illustrates the contexts in which the conflicts are driven by an accumulation of emotional experiences and imaginaries. The divergent emotional positions should be understood as a consequence of nationalism and nativism. Fear and pride are two opposing emotional structures that have become the material basis of ongoing confrontations. Each side uses its own experience to erase that of the other, making regional reconciliation difficult. We suggest that comparing the two structures of feeling helps identify the psychological mechanisms at work.

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Hong Kong’s Socioeconomic Divide on the Rise

Lessons from the ‘Redevelopment’ of the Graham Street Market

In 2007, Hong Kong’s Urban Renewal Authority declared the 150-year-old Graham Street Market ‘a slum’ and announced ‘redevelopment’ plans that would replace it with four luxury high-rise office buildings and hotels. This essay analyses the market’s historical function and the actions of concerned civil society organisations vis-a-vis government authorities and urban developers in the battle […]

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Mapping the Affective Neighbourhood in Post-Protest Hong Kong

Looking closely at the changing faces and materials of some pedestrian surfaces, this essay shows the transformation of neighbourhood space and culture in Hong Kong during and after the 2019 protests. By showing the movements and sensual encounters of residents walking through their neighbourhoods, the article reveals the affective everyday encounters or an emergent politics of affect in which the ‘intensities of feeling’—sounds, senses, and other non-verbal dynamics—prevail, so deepening an understanding of authoritarian politics as embodied in everyday life.

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Phantom Sounds, Haunting Images

The Afterlife of Hong Kong’s Visual Protest Culture

Before the enactment of the National Security Law, recordings of and artistic productions about the 2019 prodemocracy movement were thriving on Hong Kong’s streets, university campuses, in social media, the press, and the cultural sphere at large. Now that protests have almost disappeared from public space, and symbols and slogans are criminalised, what happens to the profuse and popular visual culture generated by the protests? This essay revisits the rapidly changing landscape of the visual culture of Hong Kong protests and examines how some of its components have been affected by political developments, leading to a shift in its regime of visibility.

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A Feminist Snap: Has Feminism in Hong Kong Been Defeated?

This essay analyses the politics of the Hong Kong protest movement and the displacement of feminism within it. It highlights the emergence of an internal rift between ‘Left in form, Right in essence’ (形左實右) feminists and ‘Leftard’ (左膠) feminists (those who refuse to move to the Right), which, along with the suppression of dissent within the protest movement, ultimately led to the collapse of Hong Kong feminism.

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A New Chapter for Hong Kong’s Labour Movement?

The optimism triggered by the growth of a more powerful independent labour movement in Hong Kong in 2019 has now been replaced with pessimism about the very survival of such a movement. If one chapter has arguably been closed, what will the next chapter look like for Hong Kong’s labour movement? This essay looks at […]

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The Annihilation of Hong Kong’s Civil Society

Implications and Weaknesses

Since the passage of the National Security Law in July 2020, a relentless purge has been going on in Hong Kong, targeting political opposition parties, large and small trade unions, student associations, nongovernmental organisations, churches and their affiliates, and media. This essay takes stock of the implications of this crackdown for civil society in both Hong Kong and mainland China and looks into the tactics employed by Hong Kong political activists to cope with the changed reality.

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