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

Workshop 2 in the ICC Workshop Series on Youth Activism in Post-War Japan

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

Moderator: David H. Slater, Sophia University

December 5th, 2015, 13:00pm-16:00 pm
Bldg. 10-301, Sophia University Yotsuya Campus

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 a 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.

Talks in English / Open to all / No registration required

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:

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Hwa-Jen Liu will also give a talk on Tuesday, Decemeber 8th, 2015 on "Reverse Sequencing of Labor and Environmental Movements: Taiwan and South Korea"