Michael C. Davis, "Making Hong Kong China: The Rollback of Human Rights and the Rule of Law" (Columbia UP, 2020)


“Imagine you live in a freewheeling city like New York or London – one of the world’s leading financial, educational, and cultural centres. Then imagine that one of the world’s most infamous authoritarian regimes makes direct control over your city, introducing secret police, warrant less surveillance and searches, massive repression and the arrest of protestors, and aggressive prosecution… This is what just happened in Hong Kong”

--Michael C. Davis

It is difficult to understand the pace or extent of the changes in Hong Kong since the protests began in June 2019, however in his latest book, Michael C. Davis breaks down for both the uninitiated and expert alike, the political, legal and informal events that have shaped Hong Kong under China’s ever expanding controls. In recent years, Beijing’s increasing interference with Hong Kong’s autonomy has begun to erode the promised “one country, two systems” model. The tension between one country and two systems came to a head in 2019; the world watched Hong Kong’s widespread protests demanding the maintenance of Hong Kong’s autonomy, rule of law and basic freedoms. In an attempt to quell the resistance movement, in 2020 Beijing introduced a National Security Law which has had a chilling effect on society. In Making Hong Kong China: The Rollback of Human Rights and the Rule of Law (Columbia UP, 2020), Professor Davis contextualizes these events in Hong Kong’s political history, giving the reader unique understandings about the events of 2019 and 2020.

Professor Michael C. Davis has taught human rights and constitutional law in Hong Kong for over three decades. Through that time, he has witnessed first-hand the changes from the period before the handover in 1997 under British Colonial Rule, including the events after the Tiananmen crackdown in 1989. He was instrumental in the organisation of the massive 2003 and 2004 protests, and witnessed first-hand the protests of the 2014 Occupy Central movement. He brings his unique insights to this book. Davis is the author of a number of books and his scholarship engages a wide range of issues relating to human rights, the rule of law and constitutionalism in emerging states. He is widely published in both academic circles and also popular news media. In 2014 he was awarded the 2014 Human Rights Press Award for his commentary by the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents Club.

Jane Richards is a doctoral candidate in Human Rights Law at the University of Hong Kong. Her research interests include disability, equality, criminal law and civil disobedience. You can find her on twitter @JaneRichardsHK where she avidly follows the Hong Kong’s protests and its politics.

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Jane Richards

Jane Richards is a Lecturer in Law at York Law School, UK.

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