Sunflowers and Umbrellas: The Rise of Youth Activism in Taiwan and Hong Kong

Sophia University Institute of Comparative Culture - Lecture Series 2015
Workshop 2 in the ICC Workshop Series on Youth Activism in Post-War Japan

Sunflowers and Umbrellas: The Rise of Youth Activism in Taiwan and Hong Kong

Kinman Chan, Chinese University of Hong Kong
Hwa-Jen Liu, Taiwan National University

Moderator: David Slater, Sophia U.

Sat December 5th, 2015
Bldg. 10-301
13:00pm-16:00 pm

During the past few years, we have seen a rise in the
intensity, focus and scope of youth activism in East
Asia. In the rhetorical context of "Arab Spring" and
Occupy, these events in Asia have brought a wave of
optimism and engagement, leading both activists and
theorists to compare across national boundaries. We see
shared issue emphasis on democracy, representational
government, and pacifism.The street protests have
become a media spectacle sometimes the world over. We
see similar organizational structures, performative
repertoires and social media strategies. On the other
hand, they each took place within very different sorts
of political landscapes, party political structures and
state responses, different relationships to labor
politics, and of course different activist histories
and left-alliances.

These talks will give us a chance to examine the
ethnographic, and thus, theoretical, shapes of these
East Asian movements in comparative perspective. But in
a more pragmatic, activist tone, to ask "what worked,
what did not work, why and how?" And finally, to see
what sort of lessons there might be for Japanese
activism at this moment.


Kin-man Chan received his Ph.D. from Yale University
and is currently Associate Professor of Sociology at
The Chinese University of Hong Kong.  He is former
director of Universities Service Center for China
Studies and founder of Centre for Civil Society Studies
in the same university. He serves in the editorial
boards of Journal of Civil Society (US), China
Non-Profit Review (Beijing) and Third Sector Review
(Taiwan).  He is the author/co-author of Stories and
Theories of Democracy (with Choy Chi Keung), Towards
Civil Society, Civil Society Perspective: Towards Good
Governance, and Ethics of Disobedience. Prof. Chan is
very active in democracy movement in Hong Kong and was
one of the major organizers of Occupy Central with Love
and Peace or Umbrella Movement in 2014. Contact:

Hwa-Jen Liu is Associate Professor of Sociology at
National Taiwan University, and author of Leverage of
the Weak: Labor and Environmental Movements in Taiwan
and South Korea (2015). She received her Ph.D. at the
University of California at Berkeley and a
post-doctoral fellowship at the Fairbank Center of East
Asian Research, Harvard University. Her areas of
specialty include social movements, late
industrialization, historical/comparative, and East
Asia. Her most recent research centers on the
historical connections between organized labor,
small-holding farmers, and environmental movements in
Taiwan and South Korea. Contact:

Sophia University Institute of Comparative Culture: 7-1
Kioicho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-8554
+81-(0)3-3238-4082 (Tel) : +81-(0)3-3238-4081 (Fax): (Web) (email)


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