Where authoritarianism and democracy meet: Resistance and submission of members of the Hong Kong diaspora in the Netherlands to Chinese authoritarian repression and securitization
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This thesis seeks to explore the reactions of members of a diaspora in a democratic state to transnational repression and securitization by an authoritarian state, with members of the Hong Kong diaspora in the Netherlands responding to Chinese authoritarian repression and securitization as a case study. This thesis argues that, through securitization, the Chinese Government implemented the Hong Kong national security law to secure Chinese sovereignty and security. With the introduction of this law, the Chinese Government expands its authoritarian influence into the territories of other states to control the Hong Kong diaspora, which becomes subject to transnational repression. Through interviewing and participant observation, this thesis examines how members of the Hong Kong diaspora in the Netherlands have responded to home-country repression and securitization. This thesis concludes that members of the Hong Kong diaspora (1) self-deprive their (democratic) freedoms and (2) resist authoritarian home-country repression and securitization through an intertwined process of politicization and counter-securitization. The former shows the urgency of the matter for democratic states to protect their residents against authoritarian influence. The latter contributes to academic literature, emphasizing the perspective of ‘diaspora resistance in a democratic host-country against home-country repression and securitization’. This thesis develops a framework in which resistance against home-country repression and securitization can be understood. This framework shows that Hong Kong diaspora members form a pressure group that, through counter-securitizing speech acts and politicization, makes the threat posed by the Chinese Government relevant for intermediary audiences to act upon.