(Post)Colonial governance in Hong Kong and Macau: a tale of two cities and regimes

Allen Chun*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The notion of colonial governmentality is the product of two intersecting themes, one being a deep product of Foucauldian reflections on the evolution of modern welfare states and the other being its political appropriation in a colonial context. David Scott’s essay on colonial governmentality was in this regard an attempt to bridge Michel Foucault’s notion and Partha Chatterjee’s critique of Eurocentric constructions of nationhood by showing how colonialism transformed as a result of its application upon the body social and away from the economy. Taken literally as a framework of rule, many things can be said about the abstract nature of colonial governance. This article is an exploration of comparative colonialisms in Hong Kong and Macau viewed as the historical evolution (in cultural practice) of ‘British’ and ‘Portuguese’ regimes of rule. In addition to significant historical and political differences, their postcolonial fate in the aftermath of their return to Chinese sovereignty opens up other areas of debate. In short, I argue that epistemologies of ‘order’, ‘governance’, ‘difference’ and ‘statism’ are largely products of a late-Victorian British empire ‘mentality’ (imagination) gone global, which can be used constructively in comparative (post)colonialisms.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)413-427
Number of pages15
JournalPostcolonial Studies
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2019


  • British colonialism
  • governmentality
  • Hong Kong
  • Macau
  • Portuguese colonialism


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