The Administrative History of the Hong Kong Government Agencies 1841–2002
(香港政府機構行政史1841–2002)
Pui-yin Ho
March 2004
356 pages
7" x 10"
HK$200 (Hong Kong, Macau, Mainland China, and Taiwan only)
US$40 (Other Countries)
Paperback 978-962-209-657-8
 
Hardback 978-962-209-656-1
This edition is no longer available.

In 2002, prior to the restructuring on July 1, the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region was made up of 16 administrative bureaux and 68 administrative departments. The origins of the existing government administrative framework can be traced back to 1841 when the Hong Kong colonial government was first established. From creation to expansion, transfer, fusion and abolition, the evolving experience of these agencies was long and difficult during the past one and a half centuries. The scale of the government has grown ever larger and its structure increasingly complicated. After the return of Hong Kong to China’s sovereignty in 1997, there have been many studies on the contemporary structure and personnel system of the government to identify the advantages and weaknesses of the present political system. However, very few of these studies deal with the fundamental problems associated with the evolution of official agencies. An in-depth study into the government’s administrative history since 1841 is thus indispensable and urgently required.

Based on extensive research involving large quantities of official documents and other primary sources, this user-friendly guide outlines the origins of over 60 existing governmental departments and their rhythm of development. Details of crucial changes, in the establishment, functions, structure, as well as the abolition and creation of departments, are laid out in chronological order through tables and charts to identify the structural changes in the government machinery. The attached CD will help readers locate areas of special interests.

The beginning of the twenty-first century is an appropriate time to review the development characteristics of the Hong Kong government and compare the various institutional reforms implemented at different times. This is a foundation for understanding Hong Kong society’s evolution.

Professor Ho Pui-yin, a graduate of the Chinese University of Hong Kong with a history major, obtained her Maitrise and Doctorat degrees from Universite Paris. Her postgraduate research emphases were on prosopography study and social history. She previously worked at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris as a research consultant and developed an interest in China’s special economic zones, the science and technology development policies and modernisation in China. She is now teaching in the History Department at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Her current researches are mainly on Hong Kong’s social and economic history. She has published numerous books and articles on Hong Kong and modern Chinese history.

 

“This book should be on the reference shelf of anyone that wishes or needs to understand the convoluted twist and turnings in the development of our present government administration. Within the book are the answers to many questions that are asked by economists, political scientists, historians, businessmen, or anyone who has some need to relate to a government agency.” — Rev. Carl T. Smith

“This is, by any standards, a major compilation, painstakingly undertaken, . . . . And an important research aid for students and all persons interested in the development of government institutions in the former British Crown Colony and the present Special Administrative Region of China.” —Dr. James Hayes

 
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