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The 2019 Hong Kong protests: a role for historical sociology

Newburn, Tim (2020) The 2019 Hong Kong protests: a role for historical sociology. Policing. ISSN 1752-4512

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Identification Number: 10.1093/police/paaa076


This article responds to Stott et al.’s ‘Patterns of disorder in the 2019 protests in Hong Kong’. In that paper, they offer a social psychological analysis of the Hong Kong events and, in so doing, draw upon the ‘Elaborated Social Identity Model’, and deploy it as the basis for understanding the escalating tensions and violence that occurred through 2019. This model has a number of positive features, not least that it foregrounds rationality and the organized and purposive nature of collective conduct while also paying careful attention to the wider context in which identity within large groups is formed and reformed. The aim in this article is simply to point to the importance of situating such an account within a wider historical sociology, in particular, considering the longer-term ‘life-cycle’ of riot and violent protest. Utilizing Sewell’s notion of ‘events’, the article seeks to point to the ways in which such signal phenomena may be considered to have laid the foundations for at least elements of what occurred subsequently. Such an approach provides a basis within which the growth of Hong Kong’s localism may be situated, as well as offering a longer-term context for understanding the rapidly shifting position occupied by Hong Kong’s police.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2020 The Author
Divisions: Social Policy
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Date Deposited: 06 Oct 2020 10:33
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2024 02:33

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