The Struggle for Hong Kong: A Conversation with Jeffrey Wasserstrom


Why should we view the anti-China protests that began in Hong Kong in 2019 through a comparative lens? How do earlier episodes in Hong Kong’s history help us make sense of what has happened? How far can we make useful parallels with other protest movements in places like Thailand and Myanmar? And is a distinct field of ‘Hong Kong studies’ now beginning to emerge?

In May 2022, Jeffrey Wasserstrom gave a keynote address entitled ‘The Struggle for Hong Kong: Comparisons Across Space and Time’, to the conference Unknown Futures: A Seminar on Hong Kong, held at the University of Copenhagen. Here, Jeff is in conversation about Hong Kong in comparative perspective with Duncan McCargo, director of the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies and a professor of political science at the University of Copenhagen.

Jeffrey Wasserstrom is Chancellor’s Professor of History at the University of California, Irvine. Jeff’s books include Student Protests in Twentieth-Century China: The View from Shanghai (Stanford 1991), and most recently Vigil: Hong Kong on the Brink (Columbia Global Reports, 2020), which examines the protests against Chinese rule that began in 2019.

Enjoyed this podcast? You might also like this much-downloaded 2021 Nordic Asia Podcast episode, in which Wasana Wongsurawat and Mai Corlin Fredriksen discuss Popular Protests in the Age of #MilkTeaAlliance.

The Nordic Asia Podcast is a collaboration sharing expertise on Asia across the Nordic region, brought to you by the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) based at the University of Copenhagen, along with our academic partners: the Centre for East Asian Studies at the University of Turku, and Asianettverket at the University of Oslo.

We aim to produce timely, topical and well-edited discussions of new research and developments about Asia.

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Your Host

Duncan McCargo

Duncan McCargo is an eclectic, internationalist political scientist, and literature buff: his day job is teaching global affairs at NTU in Singapore.

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