Youth political agency in Hong Kong’s 2019 antiauthoritarian protests

Wing Chung Ho, Choi Man Hung


The Anti-Extradition Law Amendment Bill (Anti-ELAB) protests have witnessed unprecedented levels, both in terms of size and violence expressed by the young protesters of Hong Kong. The outbreak of the revolt against Beijing has surprised many because it was widely believed that Hong Kongers had lost the heart to fight for freedom and democracy after the failure of the Umbrella Movement in 2014. The Anti-ELAB protests constitute a paradoxical phenomenon that leads one to question what has caused disillusionment and low political engagement of young people since 2014, and their violent comeback in 2019. This essay endeavors to unravel possible sources of anger, fear, and despair that have prompted so many young people to act collectively and violently in the current antiauthoritarian protests.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1086/709530