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Title: Political context, policy networks and policy change : case studies of Hong Kong during the colonial transition
Author: Ng, Kai Hon
ISNI:       0000 0001 3444 9947
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2005
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This thesis is an analysis of policy and change in Hong Kong, primarily focusing upon the period 1984 - 1998. This was a period marked by the transition of Hong Kong to China, which triggered a great deal of challenge to the traditional structure of policy making. This study adopts the notion of policy networks, developed in liberal democracies, to examine public policy in Hong Kong. To evaluate the 'extent to which policy networks have affected policy outputs and change, two case studies are carried out. In this work, it is argued that the policy network concept has an explanatory utility in Hong Kong. Compared to the traditional approaches to policy analysis, the concept offers a fuller understanding in three aspects: government and group relations; how policy was made; and how policy was changed. Within networks, government and group relations were of resource inter-dependence, negotiation and mutual advantage, varying across sectors. Networks affected not only the policy process but also policy outputs and policy change. Through the inclusion and exclusion of issues and groups, policy networks explain why policies were consistently made in favour of particular interests. However, the networks in this thesis were not completely static. They have changed to some extent due to the political transition. But even in the cases of change, the impact of this political pressure has depended on the structure/ types of the networks. Hence, the dialectical relationship between context and networks has been important in accounting for the trajectory of policy change in Hong Kong. Three issues have also been highlighted for the development of network analysis in Asian authoritarian capitalist regimes: the need to examine the mechanisms allowing networks to develop and succeed; the need to demonstrate the importance of networks in explaining policy; and the integration of the concept with micro-level and macro-level analysis to understand the distinctiveness of networks.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available