The politics of aging under a hybrid regime: the case of democratization in Hong Kong Academic Article uri icon


  • Students of the politics of aging have mainly focused their research on the following: (1) elders' voting patterns and other forms of political participation, (2) the power and influence of older people as perceived, most notably, by politicians, and (3) the effectiveness of pressure/interest groups and lobbyists for older people. The context of their research has been large and growing national fiscal deficits and the projected growth in health care, long-term care, and age pension costs arising from population aging and the consequent calls for welfare state reform. However, an aspect of the relationship between aging and politics in which there has been little investment is that of the engagement of elders with issues and that do not bear narrowly on their own well-being or self-interest. This paper focuses upon the politics of aging in relation to the highly controversial issue of greater democratization in Hong Kong SAR, China. It seeks to provide some insight into the role played by Hong Kong's elders in shaping politics and policy under a quasi-democratic regime in order to move beyond, on the one hand, the focus by students of the politics of aging on liberal democracies and, on the other, their hitherto exclusive focus on the politics of aging in relation to old-age welfare state reform.

publication date

  • 2019