Honors Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Croft Institute for International Studies

First Advisor

Noell Wilson

Relational Format



This thesis is a comparative study on the Taiwanese and Hong Kongese independence movements. Structured by social movement theory, this study focuses on how each movement evolved after a central cause and focuses on the different components of the social movements. This paper also includes an analysis on national pride in Taiwan and Hong Kong, tested by using SPSS and data from Asian Barometer. The two independence movements can both be understood through its supporters' concerns, and in both cases, identity is described as something culturally distinct from the mainland. As for determining national pride, my analysis indicates that, in 2010, Taiwanese people with higher social class and people over 50 were more proud to be Taiwanese. As for Hong Kongese people in 2012, males, people over 50 and people with lower social status were more proud to be Chinese. In regards to political opportunity, the Taiwanese independence movement's opportunity for collective action has contracted on an international scale, but has expanded locally. In Hong Kong, the failure of the Umbrella Movement, as well as mainland China's reaction to the movement, led to the creation of many new pro-independence or pro-localist political parties. By seeking positions in the legislative body, Hong Kong's independence supporters have attempted to create political opportunity for themselves. In conclusion, this thesis can add to the conversation about sovereignty and democracy in East Asia. This thesis can further shed light to how the Chinese government should conduct relations with both Taiwan and Hong Kong. If gaining Taiwan is still important to the People's Republic of China, then I suggest that they must first win Hong Kong people's hearts.


A thesis presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for completion of the Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies from the Croft Institute for International Studies and the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College.

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