Date of Birth 1 October 1940
Place Macau, PRC
Nomination 21 November 2006
Field Political Science
Title Emeritus Professor of Government and Public Administration
Most important awards, prizes and academies
Honors: Honorary Fellow, The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Member: The Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences; Academic Consultative Committee, the Institute of Political Science, Academia Sinica, Taiwan.
Summary of scientific research
The overall line of research by Prof. Kuan consists in various theoretical issues of political development in Greater China, with special reference to Hong Kong. Specifically, he initially focused on an investigation of the continuity and change of political culture, including the pattern of legal orientation, such as those towards the rule of law. He has made sustained considerable efforts to study the politics of political system reforms, i.e. transition away from the colonial authoritarianism towards democracy in Hong Kong. A third major area of issues deals with the evolution of a third sector that mediates between the public life of politics and the private life of family and the individual. This third sector encompasses voluntary associations, the mass media, political movements and political parties. Elections constitute the fourth major research topic in the past decade of so. He has two on-going research projects. The first one is the Hong Kong component of a collaborative regional research programme called "the Asian Barometer of Democracy" that is currently designed to examine the relations between value change and democratization. The second project at hand explores citizen politics in Hong Kong. Citizenship orientations and behavior is a critical and urgent theoretical and practical agenda for Hong Kong. The study put heavy stress on the current state of citizenship awareness and political participation in the context of democratic transition and national reunification. The transformation of subjects to citizens in both cultural and behavioural terms is exposed to many factors, such as the changing nature of the population (transient, permanent, loyal), the shift in socio-political culture driven by social-economic modernization (from particularistic to universalistic principles, materialistic to post-materialistic values, and the like), the form of colonial rule and the way in which the ruled were treated (aliens, subjects, residents, permanent residents as rights-holders), the evolution of corresponding institutions of citizenship to be enjoyed or practiced, the performance of the current government and finally the haphazard negotiation between China and Hong Kong in the construction of "One Country, Two Systems" against tension between national integration and local autonomy, different legal cultures, dissimilar socio-political systems, national versus local identity, and diverse conceptualizations of citizenship.
As a chief promoter of election studies in Hong Kong, Prof. Kuan is the chief editor and a co-author of the following books in a series: The 2004 Legislative Council Elections in Hong Kong, (Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, 2006); Out of the Shadow of 1997? The 2000 Legislative Council Elections in Hong Kong (The Chinese University Press, 2002); Power Transfer and the First Legislative Elections in the Hong Kong SAR (The Chinese University Press, 1999,); The 1995 Legislative Council Elections in Hong Kong, (Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, 1996); Prof. Kuan is the mastermind behind China Review, a yearbook on development in China, serves as convenor of its steering committee from 1992 to 1997, and contributed to the introductory chapters. Books: The Ethos of the Hong Kong Chinese, (The Chinese University Press, 1988, with S.K. Lau); Der Vertrag über die Nichtverbreitung von Kernwaffen und die Bundesrepublik Deutschland: unter besonderer Berücksichtigung des Bündnisverhältnis zwischen ihr und den Vereinigten Staaten, (Studienreihe Humanitas Akademische Verlagsgesellschaft, 1973). Articles, Book Chapters: Democratic Transition Frustrated: The Case of Hong Kong (with W.M. Lam) in Yun-han Chu et al. eds, How East Asians View Democracy (Columbia University Press, 2008), pp. 187-208; Value Cleavages and Partisan Conflict (with Richard Gunther), in Richard Gunther, et al. eds, Democracy, Intermediation, & Voting on Four Continents, (Oxford University Press, 2006, pp. 257-322); Hong Kong's Stunted Political Party System (with S.K. Lau), The China Quarterly, 172 (December 2002): 1011-28; Between Liberal Autocracy and Democracy: Democratic Legitimacy in Hong Kong (with S.K. Lau), Democratization, 9 (Winter 2002): 58-76; Cognitive Mobilization and Electoral Support for the Democratic Party in Hong Kong (with S.K. Lau), Electoral Studies 21 (2002): 561-82; Traditional Orientations and Political Participation in Three Chinese Societies (with S.K. Lau), The Journal of Contemporary China, 11 (May 2002): 297-318; Intermediation Environments and Electoral Politics in Hong Kong (with S.K. Lau), Democratization, 7 (Summer 2000): 65-89; Partial Democratization, 'Foundation Moment', and Political Parties in Hong Kong (with S.K. Lau), China Quarterly, 163 (September, 2000): 705-20; Escape From Politics: Hong Kong's Predicament of Political Development, International Journal of Public Administration, 21 (Summer 1998): 1423-1448; Support For the Rule of Law in Hong Kong, Hong Kong Law Journal, 27 (1997): 189-205; The Partial Vision of Democracy in Hong Kong: A Survey of Popular Opinion (with S.K. Lau), The China Journal 34 (July 1995): 239-64; The Attentive Spectators: Political Participation of the Hong Kong Chinese (with S.K. Lau), The Journal of Northeast Asian Politics, 14 (Spring 1995): 3-24; Legal Culture: The Challenge of Modernization, in S.K. Lau et al. eds, Indicators of Social Development (Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, 1992): 159-72; Power Dependency and Democratic Transition: The Case of Hong Kong, China Quarterly, 128 (1991): 773-93; The Civic Self in a Changing Polity (with S.K. Lau), in Kathleen Cheek-Milby et al. eds, Hong Kong: The Challenge of Transformation (Centre of Asian Studies, University of Hong Kong, 1989): 91-115; Hong Kong After the Sino-British Agreement: The Limits to Change, (together with S.K. Lau) Pacific Affairs, 59 (Summer 1986), pp. 214-36; New Departures in China's Constitution,Studies in Comparative Communism, 17 (Spring 1984), pp. 53-68.
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Department of Government & Public Administration
Paths to a Sound Governance of the World (PDF) 2013
Religion and Politics in China (PDF) 2011
Comment on the Papers "The Crisis and its Aftermath from the Point of View of the Developing Countries" and "The Governance of Globalization: Global Political Authority, Solidarity and Subsidiarity" (PDF) 2010
The Universality, Indivisibility and Interdependence of Human Rights: The Case of China (PDF) 2009
Comment (PDF) 2007
Comment (PDF) 2006