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The Theory, Constitution and Practice of Autonomy: The Case of Hong Kong

  • Albert H. Y. Chen

The experiment of “one country, two systems” has been practiced in Hong Kong for almost 10 years. “One country, two systems” in Hong Kong can be considered a case study of autonomy in comparative constitutional law and politics. It is hoped that the study of Hong Kong's experience in this regard may contribute to general theories of autonomy as well as to other possible models of autonomy in China in future, particularly with regard to the issue of Taiwan. In this paper, we will (in part I) first review some general theoretical considerations relevant to the study of autonomy as a constitutional and political arrangement. We will then (in part II) consider the case of Hong Kong, including the historical origins of Hong Kong's autonomy under the conceptual framework of “one country, two systems”, the constitutional design of such autonomy, its general practice since 1997, and the possible strengths and weaknesses of this model of autonomy. We will then (in part III) explore the question of governance and democracy in Hong Kong as a possible test of Hong Kong's autonomy under Chinese rule. The article will (in part IV) conclude with some reflections regarding the “one country, two systems” model of autonomy as practiced in Hong Kong in the last 10 years.

Keywords

Central Government Federal State Chief Executive Special Administrative Region Federal Constitution 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Albert H. Y. Chen
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Hong KongPokfulamHong Kong

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