The purpose of this paper is to understand the regime–youth relationship in Macao. It will use the framework by Weiss and Aspinall (2012) to explain the rise of Macao youth activism and the de-harmonization of their relationship with the authorities.Design/methodology/approachAccording to Weiss and Aspinall, the emergence of youth movements in Asia after the Second World War was based on four factors: the development higher education systems, youth’s collective identities, youth’s trust in the ruling regime and transnational flows of activist ideas and inspirations. This paper analyzes the rise of Macao youth through the four dimensions by Weiss and Aspinall.FindingsThe rise of Macao youth movement is attributable to the development of tertiary education, youth’s collective identities, lowered trust in the regime and international inspiration. Better-educated Macao youth have been increasing their demands for political participation while their distrust in the MSAR government pushes their mobilization. The rise of youth movements around the world after the millennium inspires Macao youth activists’ political mobilization. Interestingly, Macao’s youth movement has been gradually integrated into the opposition forces instead of campaigning by youth organizations. In response to youth activism, the MSAR government, however, could not alleviate the youth’s hostility against the authorities, but its repressive approach intensified the regime-youth tension.Originality/valueThe paper includes interviews with leaders of young activists for their understanding of youth movement in Macao. It can serve the purpose for comparative study of youth movement among Asian societies.
Asian Education and Development Studies – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jul 9, 2020
Keywords: Youth movement; Development of tertiary education; Foreign aids; Political suppression; Regime–youth relationship; Youth identity