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postgraduate thesis: Explaining changes in food safety institutions in Hong Kong

TitleExplaining changes in food safety institutions in Hong Kong
Authors
Advisors
Advisor(s):Burns, JP
Issue Date2014
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Poon, P. [潘炳揚]. (2014). Explaining changes in food safety institutions in Hong Kong. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5312334
AbstractThis dissertation examines changes in Hong Kong’s food safety institutions using an historical institutional approach. Hong Kong has faced enormous challenges in food safety over the last two decades. The avian flu crisis in 1997 and the malachite green crisis in 2005 were the two most notable examples. Both crises were recipes for institutional change. There was drastic reform in 2000 to form a unified food safety authority, the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department, to replace the old legacy of municipal councils and municipal service departments. The established municipal councils failed to sustain themselves and the government replaced them with new institutions. Moreover, in 2005, the government proposed a new Food Safety, Inspection and Quarantine Department to overcome failings in food safety. These changes and reforms developed in variance from what could have been expected using theories of punctuated equilibrium and critical juncture (which emphasize exogenous shocks). My investigation suggests that we should not just focus on critical junctures and exogenous shocks but also study the processes and events outside these events. We cannot take it for granted that a significant exogenous shock will automatically result in institutional change without exploring the role they play and the mechanisms involved. Other endogenous processes or gradual changes may disrupt the mechanisms of institutional reproduction. My research also suggests that the form of institutional change cannot be predicted based on critical junctures and exogenous events. Focusing on the features of political context and institutional properties, we can understand how it is possible to switch between different modes to fit the prevailing institutional and political context. Political appointees and senior civil servants, as change agents, need to focus on political barriers in the legislature before any institutional change in government can eventually succeed. Without major change in Hong Kong’s political system and landscape, there is less likelihood of introducing controversial policy changes, including institutional change. Change agents are more likely to make use of different modes of institutional change, such as layering and conversion, in order to circumvent political barriers and the stickiness of old institutions.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectFood - Safety measures - Government policy - China - Hong Kong
Dept/ProgramPolitics and Public Administration
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/206349

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.advisorBurns, JP-
dc.contributor.authorPoon, Ping-yeung-
dc.contributor.author潘炳揚-
dc.date.accessioned2014-10-23T23:14:28Z-
dc.date.available2014-10-23T23:14:28Z-
dc.date.issued2014-
dc.identifier.citationPoon, P. [潘炳揚]. (2014). Explaining changes in food safety institutions in Hong Kong. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5312334-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/206349-
dc.description.abstractThis dissertation examines changes in Hong Kong’s food safety institutions using an historical institutional approach. Hong Kong has faced enormous challenges in food safety over the last two decades. The avian flu crisis in 1997 and the malachite green crisis in 2005 were the two most notable examples. Both crises were recipes for institutional change. There was drastic reform in 2000 to form a unified food safety authority, the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department, to replace the old legacy of municipal councils and municipal service departments. The established municipal councils failed to sustain themselves and the government replaced them with new institutions. Moreover, in 2005, the government proposed a new Food Safety, Inspection and Quarantine Department to overcome failings in food safety. These changes and reforms developed in variance from what could have been expected using theories of punctuated equilibrium and critical juncture (which emphasize exogenous shocks). My investigation suggests that we should not just focus on critical junctures and exogenous shocks but also study the processes and events outside these events. We cannot take it for granted that a significant exogenous shock will automatically result in institutional change without exploring the role they play and the mechanisms involved. Other endogenous processes or gradual changes may disrupt the mechanisms of institutional reproduction. My research also suggests that the form of institutional change cannot be predicted based on critical junctures and exogenous events. Focusing on the features of political context and institutional properties, we can understand how it is possible to switch between different modes to fit the prevailing institutional and political context. Political appointees and senior civil servants, as change agents, need to focus on political barriers in the legislature before any institutional change in government can eventually succeed. Without major change in Hong Kong’s political system and landscape, there is less likelihood of introducing controversial policy changes, including institutional change. Change agents are more likely to make use of different modes of institutional change, such as layering and conversion, in order to circumvent political barriers and the stickiness of old institutions.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.subject.lcshFood - Safety measures - Government policy - China - Hong Kong-
dc.titleExplaining changes in food safety institutions in Hong Kong-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5312334-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplinePolitics and Public Administration-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5312334-

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