The Struggle for Democracy in Mainland China, Taiwan & Hong Kong

with Andreas Fulda & in association with the University of Nottingham Asia Research Institute

Thu, 17 Oct 2019
7:00PM - 8:30PM
Five Leaves Bookshop
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The Struggle for Democracy in Mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong: Sharp Power and its Discontents, with Andreas Fulda

The question at the heart of this book launch is to what extent political activists in mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong have made progress in their quest to liberalise and democratise their respective polities.

In his new book Andreas Fulda is adopting a long historical perspective and compares and contrasts the political development trajectory in the three regions from the early 1970s – from the election-driven liberalisation in Taiwan from 1969, the Democracy Wall Movement in mainland China in 1978, and the top-down political reforms of Governor Patten in Hong Kong after 1992 – until the present day when Hong Kong is rarely out of the news.

The special guest for the evening is Berlin-based Didi Kirsten Tatlow, a former MERICS Visiting Academic Fellow. She reported from China for her hometown newspaper, the South China Morning Post of Hong Kong, the International Herald Tribune and The New York Times, from 2003 to 2017. Didi Tatlow pointed out that “(in) this fresh and courageous book, Fulda pulls at the roots of his subject – democracy in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan – like a gardener tackling a by-now gnarly field, and finds hope, even a plan of action: Fill the gap between theory and practice by learning from Chinese democracy practitioners, plant into democracy theory ideas of change drawn from development studies, cultivate a humanizing pedagogy that rejects domination by propaganda and power, and move away from the internalized compliance with Communist Party discourse that is by now widespread in western academia. An inspiring read packed with ideas.”

After a discussion of the book by Didi Kirsten Tatlow she will invite Andreas to join the conversation and ask him to elucidate on some of the book’s key themes. This first part of the evening will last about 40 minutes and will be followed by 20 minutes of Q&A with the audience. Participants will be invited to join a reception, to continue their conversations…

Andreas Fulda is Assistant Professor in the School of Politics and International Relations, University of Nottingham.

In association with the University of Nottingham Asia Research Institute

Free, refreshments included. Please let us know you are coming on

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