This article reviews how Beijing’s design of a liberal autocracy constrains party development in Hong Kong. It shows how the governing philosophy and the institutional design and mechanics of the electoral system disallow a strong governing party and suppress political participation. This situation brings about a weakened state capacity and a fragmented ruling coalition with elites working on contrasting incentives. It also leads to legislative fragmentation and declining public confidence in legislative and party politics. Unable to contain political participation, radical street actions arose to challenge the government. The 2019 Anti-Extradition Movement best exemplifies the weakness of the ruling coalition and the radicalization of street politics posing major challenges to the governance of Hong Kong.

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