2009 Student Research Conference:
22nd Annual Student Research Conference

The Emergence of America's Hong Kong Policy
Kyle G. Tracy
Dr. Candy Young, Faculty Mentor

John Kingdon (2003) develops a model of agenda setting and policy formulation that shows that achieving agenda status is no easy task, even for benign legislation. A particularly effective propellant that dramatically increases chances of effective agenda-setting is a crisis. Such was the case for the United States-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992, which codified into US law the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration and established the legal basis for Hong Kong's 1997 reversion. Had it not been for the 1989 Tiananmen Square Incident and its significant reverberations, the Act might never have emerged. This analytical and theory-confirming case study of the Act reveals seemingly simple legislation that later became the cornerstone for America's Hong Kong policy, allowing for a clear and distinct policy separate from the broader Sino-American relationship, thereby confirming the policy models of Kingdon, as well as Cobb and Elder (1995).

Keywords: public policy, United States, Hong Kong, US-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992, agenda setting, foreign relations

Topic(s):Political Science
Asian Studies

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 29-3
Location: OP 2113
Time: 10:15

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