Alvin Y. SO 蘇耀昌
PhD UCLA, 1982
Professor Emeritus

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Alvin Y. So 耀 received his BA degree (in sociology) from the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 1975, and his Ph.D degree (also in sociology) from UCLA in 1982.  He taught at University of Hong Kong (1983-1984) and the University of Hawaii (1984-1998) before joining HKUST in July 1998.  He was a Chair Professor of Social Science before his retirement from HKUST in June 2019. His research interests include development, social class, and the study of East Asian societies.
Alvin is the author of the following six books:
  • The Global Rise of China (co-authored with Yin-Wah Chu, Polity 2016)
  • Classes and Class Conflict in Post-Socialist China (World Scientific 2013).
  • Hong Kong's Embattled Democracy: A Societal Analysis (Johns Hopkins University Press 1999).
  • East Asia and World Economy (coauthored with Stephen Chiu. SAGE 1995)
  • Social Change and Development: Modernization, Dependency, and World-System Theories (SAGE 1990)
  • The South China Silk District: Local Transformation and World-System Theory (SUNY Press 1986)
Alvin is the editor of China's Developmental Miracle (M.E.Sharpe 2003) and the co-editor of the following seven books:
  • Handbook of Contemporary China (coedited with William Tay). World Scientific 2012.
  • War and State Terrorism (coedited with Mark Selden). Rowan & Littlefield 2004.
  • Crisis and Transformation in China's Hong Kong (coedited with Ming K. Chan). M.E.Sharpe 2002.
  • Survey Research in Chinese Societies (coedited with Bian Yanjie and Edward Tu). Oxford U Press 2001
  • The Chinese Triangle of Mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong (coedited with Nan Lin & Dudley Poston). Greenwood 2001.
  • Asia's Environmental Movements: Comparative Analysis (coedited with Yok-Shiu F Lee). M.E. Sharpe 1999.
  • The Hong Kong-Guangdong Link: Partnership in Flux (coedited with Reginald Kwok). M.E.Sharpe 1995.
Research Interests
  • Development Studies
  • Social Classes and Social Conflict
  • Historical and Comparative Sociology
  • East Asian societies: Greater China (Mainland, Taiwan, Hong Kong), Korea, and Japan
Representative Publications
  • 2021. Yin-Wah Chu and Alvin Y. So. "Interrogating the China Model of Development." Pp. 163-170 in The Essential Guide to Critical Development Studies, edited by Henry Veltmeyer and Paul Bowles. New York: Routledge.  The Second Edition

  • 2021. James K. Wong and Alvin Y. So. "Environmental Movements in Post-Handover Hong Kong: Between Managerialism and Radicalism." Pp. 79-106 in Environmental Movements in Southeast Asia in the New Century, edited by Paul Jobin and Hsing-Huang Michael Hsiao. Singapore: ISEAS.

  • 2020.  James K. Wong and Alvin Y. So. “The Re-making of Developmental Citizenship in Post-Handover Hong Kong” Citizenship Studies, 24 (#7): 934-949. Also available at

  • 2020. Alvin Y. So. "Neoliberalism and Authoritarianism in China in the Early 21stCentury” Pp. 51-68 in The Global Rise of Authoritarianism in the 21st Century: Crisis of Neoliberal Globalization and the Nationalist Responseedited by Berch Berberoglu. New York: Routledge.

  • 2020. Ping Lam Ip and Alvin Y. So. "The Making of Anti-Mainland Protest into a Social Movement for Independence: Constraints and Potential." Pp. 409-436 in C.Y. Leung Administration: A Critical Review, edited by Joseph Y.S. Cheng. Hong Kong: City University of Hong Kong Press.​
  • 2019. Alvin Y. So. "The Rise of Authoritarianism in China in the early 21st century." International Review of Modern Sociology 45 (#1): 49-70.
  • 2019. Alvin Y. So and Ping Lam Ip.  “Civic Localism, Anti-Mainland Localism, and Independence: The Changing Pattern of Identity Politics in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.” Asian Education and Development Studies 9 (#2): 255-269.  Available at
  • 2018. Alvin Y. So and Yin-Wah Chu. "State Neoliberalism: The Chinese Road to Capitalism in Comparative Perspective." Pp. 241-264 in Capitalism and Capitalisms in Asia, edited by Hyun-Chin Lim, Jan Nederveen Pieterse, and Suk-Man Hwang. Seoul: Seoul National University Press.
  • 2018. Alvin Y.  So. “Hong Kong Integration with Mainland China in Historical Perspective” Pp. 494-510 in Handbook of Contemporary Hong Kong, edited by Tai-Lok Lui, Stephen Chiu, and Ray Yep. New York: Routledge
  • 2018. Alvin Y. So. "Introduction." Pp.vii-vvvii in China's Great Transformation: Selected Essays on Confucianism, Modernization, and Democracy, by Ambrose Yeo-chi King. Hong Kong: The Chinese University Press.
  • 2018. Alvin Y. So. "Hong Kong after 1997: The Rise of Anti-Mainland Movement." Taiwan Insight, March. Available at  ""
  • 2018. Alvin Y. So. "Hong Kong: Vibrant Civil Society Undergoing National Unification." Pp.66-78 in Routledge Handbook of Civil Society in Asia, edited by Akihiro Ogawa. London and New York: Routledge.
  • 2018. Alvin Y. So and Yin-Wah Chu. "Interrogating the China Model of Development." Pp. 404-416 in The Essential Guide to Critical Development Studies, edited by Henry Veltmeyer and Paul Bowles. New York: Routledge. The First Edition.
  • 2017. Alvin Y. So. "A New Wave of Anti-Mainland Protests since 2012: Characteristics, Socio-political Origins, and Political Implications." Asian Education and Development, 6 (#4): 1-11. 
  • 2017. Alvin Y. So and Yin-Wah Chu. "The Cultural Contradiction of State Neoliberalism in China." (in Korean language)  Asia Review 6 (#2): 121-142.
  • 2017.  Alvin Y. So. "Sociology in East Asia." Pp.50-62 in The Cambridge Handbook of Sociology, edited by Kathleen Korgen. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • 2017. Alvin Y. So. "Hong Kong's Integration." Pp. 256-267 in Critical Issues in Contemporary China: Unity, Stability and Development, edited by Czes Tubilewicz. London and New York: Routledge.
  • 2017. Alvin Y. So. “Development Theory” in Pp.1-14 in Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Social Theory, edited by Bryan S. Turner et al. New Jersey: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • 2017. Alvin Y. So. "Deintegratie van Hongkong met het Chinese vasteland in een historisch perspectief (The integration of Hong Kong with mainland China in a historical perspective)." Chinasqure June 26. Available at ""
  • 2016. Alvin Y. So. "Beneath the Miracle: Corruption, Sex, and Truth in Post-Mao China." Critical Asian Studies 48 (#4): 597-604.
  • 2016. Alvin Y. So. "The Post-Socialist Path of the Developmental State in China." Pp. 175-196 in Asian Developmental State: Re-examinations and New Departures, edited by Yin-Wah Chu. Palgrave Macmillian.
  • 2016. Alvin Y. So. "The Making of Nationalism in Hong Kong." Pp.135-146 in Asian Nationalism Reconsidered, edited by Jeff Kingston. London and New York: Routledge.
  • 2016. Alvin Y. So and Yin-Wah Chu. "State Neoliberalism: The Chinse Road to Capitalism in Comparative Perspective." Asia Review 5 (#2): 89-109. (in Korean)
  • 2016. Alvin Y. So. "Fei Hsiao-Tung" in Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology, edited by George Ritzer. Blackwell.
  • 2016. Alvin Y. So. "Entrepreneurial Familism" in Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology, edited by George Ritzer. Blackwell.
  • 2014.  Alvin Y. So. "The Continuing Global Capitalist Crisis and the Transition to State-Neoliberalism in China." Pp.175-189 in The Global Capitalist Crisis and its Aftermath, edited by Berch Berberoglo. Ashgate.
  • 2014. Alvin Y. So. "The Making of Hong Kong's Middle Class in the 1997 Transition and Beyond: A Conflict Perspective." Pp. 249-260 in Chinese Middle Classes: Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao and China, edited Hsin-Huang Michael Hsiao. London and New York: Routledge.
  • 2014. Alvin Y. So. "The Chinese Model of Development: Characteristics, Interpretations, Implications." Perspective on Global Development and Technology 13: 444-464.
  • 2013. Erik Baark, YC Chen, Pun Ngai, Alvin Y So. “Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta in China: Cross-border Integration, and sustainability." Pp.127-147 in Urban and Regional Trajectories in Contemporary Capitalism, edited by Flavia Martinelli, Frank Moulaert, and Andreas Novy. London and New York: Routledge. 
  • 2013. Yin-Wah Chu and Alvin Y. So. “Can Hong Kong Design a New Growth Engine? A Study of the Absence of Economic Policies of  Donald Tsang’s Regime.” Pp. 199-227 in The Second Chief Executive of Hong Kong SAR: Evaluating the Tsang Years 2005-2012, edited by Joseph Cheng, Hong Kong: City of University of Hong Kong Press.
  • 2013. Alvin Y. So. "Globalism and the Emergence of Competitive Culture in the Universities in Hong Kong." Education Research Journal 3 (#1): 1-6. Also available online.
  • 2013. Parry Leung and Alvin Y. So. "The New Labor Contract Law in 2008: China’s Legal Absorption of Labor Unrest."  Journal of Studies in Social Sciences 4 (#1): 131-160. Also available online.
  • 2013. Alvin Y. So. “Civil Society and Social Movement in Hong Kong at the Dawn of the 21st Century: Toward Pacification or Resurrection?” Pp. 353-362 in Political Culture and Civil Society in Greater China, edited by Hao Zhidong. Singapore: World Scientific (in Chinese).
  • 2012. Parry Leung and Alvin Y. So. “The Making and Remaking of the Working Class in South China,” Pp. 85-100 in China’s Peasants and Workers: Changing Class Identities, edited by David Goodman. Edward Elgar.
  • 2012. Alvin Y. So. “The East Asian Path of Development.” Pp. 71-79 in Routledge Handbook of World-Systems Analysis, edited by Salvatore Babones and Christopher Chase-Dunn. London and New York: Routledge.
  • 2012. Alvin Y. So and Yin-Wah Chu. “The Transition from Neoliberalism to State Neoliberalism in China at the Turn of the 21st Century.” Pp. 162-187 in Developmental Politics in the Neoliberal Era and Beyond: Critical Issues and Comparative Cases, edited by Chang Kyung-Sup, Kim Se-Kyun, and Ben Fine. Macmillian’s International Political Economy Series.
  • 2012. Alvin Y. So. “Developmental Models.” Pp. 1-22 in Handbook of Contemporary China, edited by William Tay and Alvin Y. So. Singapore: World Scientific.
  • 2012. Alvin Y. So. “New Labor Law and Its Implication for the Human Rights Regime in China.” Pp. 389-413 in China: A New Stage of Development for an Emerging Superpower, edited by Joseph Cheng. Hong Kong: City University of Hong Kong Press.
  • 2012. Alvin Y. So. “Political Globalization.” Pp. 1672-1674 in Volume 4 of Encyclopedia of Globalization, edited by George Ritzer. Blackwell.
  • 2012. Alvin Y. So and Su Xianjia. “The Making of Citizenship in a Divided Nation: Neoliberal Citizenship in Hong Kong and National Citizenship in China,” Pp. 134-143 in Contested Citizenship in East Asia: Developmental Politics, National Identity, and Globalization edited by Chang Kyung Sup and Brian Turner. New York: Routledge.
  • 2012. Alvin Y. So. “Lucie Cheng: A Pioneer in Asian American Studies.” Pp.49-56 in Discovering Lucie Cheng, edited by Liao Yun Zhang and Hsiao-Chuan Hsia (in Chinese). Taipei: Tai she lun tan.
  • 2011.  Alvin Y. So. “One Country, Two Systems and Hong Kong-China National Re-unification: A Crisis-Transformation Perspective,” Journal of Contemporary Asia, vol. 41 (#1): 99-116.
  • 2011.  Alvin Y. So. “The Transformation of Social Movements in Hong Kong after 1997.” Pp.365-384 in East Asian Social Movements: Power, Protest and Change, edited by Jeffrey Broadbent and Vicky Brockman. New York: Springer.
  • 2011.  Alvin Y. So and Su Xianjia. “New Middle Class Politics in China: The Making of a Quiet Democratization?” Pp. 135-150 in Whither China’s Democracy? Democratization in China since the Tiananmen Incident. Hong Kong: City University of Hong Kong Press.
  • 2011.  Alvin Y. So. “Nationalism and Class Struggle: The Formation of the Hong Kong Working Class in the 1920s.” Hong Kong Journal of Social Science, 41: 1-15 (In Chinese).


Forthcoming / Work In Progress

James K. Wong and Alvin Y. So. “The Re-making of Developmental Citizenship in Post-Handover Hong Kong” in Developmental Citizenship in China:  Economic Reform, Social Governance, and Chinese Post-Socialism, edited by Kyung-Sup Chang. Routledge. 2022, forthcoming. 



Courses Taught
  • SOSC 185: Introduction of Sociology
  • SOSC 2780: Social Change and Modernization
  • SOSC 3000C: Social Theory and Modernity
  • SOSC 5300: Critical Perspectives on Global Development
  • SOSC 603A: Globalization
  • MGCS 6000D: China's Developmental Miracle: A Social Science Perspective

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