East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society

4/17, Ching-Fang Hsu & Sida Liu, “Ecologies of Globalization: China’s Shadow on the Legal Professions in Hong Kong and Taiwan”


East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society presents


Ecologies of Globalization:

China’s Shadow on the Legal Professions in Hong Kong and Taiwan”


Ching-Fang Hsu

Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science

University of Toronto

Sida Liu

Assistant Professor of Sociology

University of Toronto


4:30-6:00.m., Tuesday, April 17th, 2018

Pick Lounge, 5828 South University Ave.

*Food will be provided*



China’s rapid rise as a regional and global power in the early twenty-first century brought with it rapid change to the legal profession domestically and abroad. This project investigates how lawyers in Taiwan and Hong Kong respond and adapt to China’s rising economic and political influence in East Asia. Economically, whereas law offices in Hong Kong have benefitted greatly from the vast amount of capital inflow from the mainland, law firms in Taiwan have suffered from the relocation of foreign capital to China and the restrictions on inbound Chinese investment in recent years. However, economic interests have induced limited transformation in political values: lawyers in both societies have been active participants in the resistance against the political influence from Beijing, continuing a prevalent tradition of political activism in the profession while a series of collective action intensified in the 2010s. Based on ongoing fieldwork in Hong Kong and Taiwan, we use the case of the legal profession to examine China’s global economic expansion and the extent to which economic power enables political leverage in adjacent societies in the age of globalization.

About the Presenters

Ching-Fang Hsu

Ching-Fang Hsu is a doctorate candidate in political science at the University of Toronto. She received her LL.B from National Taiwan University, LL.M from UC Berkeley, and M.A. from the University of Chicago. Trained as a lawyer and social scientist, she works in the interdisciplinary area between political science and law, focusing on the politics of judicial institutions and legal actors in various power settings. Ching-Fang’s dissertation project investigates the internal politics between legal professions in Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan, and the impact on the rule of law development. She has conducted field research in Asia as a visiting fellow at the Centre of Chinese Law at the University of Hong Kong, and a visiting researcher at the Centre for Asian Legal Studies at National University of Singapore. Her work has been published on policy forums in Taiwan, Hong Kong and the U.S., including the Initium Media, The Reporter, and the Ketagalan media.


Sida Liu

Professor Sida Liu received his LL.B. degree from Peking University Law School and his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Chicago. He joined the Department of Sociology at the University of Toronto in 2016 after teaching sociology and law at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is also a Faculty Fellow at the American Bar Foundation and a Member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. Professor Liu’s research interests include the sociology of law, organizations and professions, criminal justice, globalization, and social theory. He has conducted extensive empirical research on China’s legal reform and legal profession, including the globalization of corporate law firms, the political mobilization of criminal defense lawyers, the feminization of judges, and the career mobility of law practitioners. He also writes on sociolegal theory and general social theory, particularly theories of social space and social process following the tradition of Georg Simmel and the Chicago School of sociology. Professor Liu is the author of three books in Chinese and English, most recently, Criminal Defense in China: The Politics of Lawyers at Work (with Terence C. Halliday, Cambridge University Press, 2016). He has also published many articles in leading law and social science journals, including the American Journal of Sociology, Sociological Theory, Law & Society Review, Law & Social Inquiry, etc.

*To learn more about the workshop, please visit our workshop website: http://cas.uchicago.edu/workshops/eastasia/

*Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UChicagoEAW/

*Subscribe or unsubscribe to the workshop mailing-list at: https://lists.uchicago.edu/web/info/east-asia

*Questions and concerns can be addressed to the student coordinator Haitong Xu (xuhaitong@uchciago.edu) and Yang Xiang (xiangalan@uchicago.edu)


Faculty sponsors:

Xi Song (Sociology), xisong@uchicago.edu

Dali Yang (Political Science), daliyang@uchicago.edu

Dingxin Zhao (Sociology), dzhao@uchicago.edu


The East Asia Workshop is sponsored by the Council on Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences. Persons with disabilities who believe they may need assistance please contact the student coordinator in advance.


Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.