What’s in a name? “Riot” versus “Disturbance”

  • Kam C. Wong
Part of the Palgrave Advances in Criminology and Criminal Justice in Asia book series (PACCJA)


This chapter discusses how the Mongkok Riot (MKR) should be labeled as a “riot” verses a "disturbance". After a brief "Introduction", Section I : “Varieties of Definitions” takes issue with how various Hong Kong people (e.g. radical protestors and establishment politicians) came to perceive and later define the MKR.

 Section II: “On Defining and Labeling” takes up the challenge of defining and labeling MKR by first inquiring into the purpose, function and typologies of definition. This raises issues about whether West and East (China) look at these subjects in the same way. Section III: “Debate Over Riot versus Disturbance: West versus East” compares and contrasts how West and East (China—old and new) define riot as opposed to disturbance. Section IV: “Conclusion” provides a discussion of how the MKR should be appropriately defined, recognizing the political differences and pragmatic interests at stake.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kam C. Wong
    • 1
  1. 1.Xavier University (Emeritus)CincinnatiUSA

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