Subjective social and rule of law indicators
Social indicator survey is a common way to monitor and measure a society's development. HKUPOP first conducted such surveys around the handover of Hong Kong in 1997, in order to monitor the new development of Hong Kong society. In our research domain, "social indicators" comprises 12 main indicators, namely, "democracy", "freedom, "prosperity", "stability", "fairness", "civilization", "corruption-free", "equality", "efficiency", "social welfare", "public order" and "rule of law", and 2 sets of "freedom sub-indicators" and "rule of law sub-indicators". The first set comprises "freedom of speech", "freedom of press", "freedom of publication", "freedom of procession and demonstration", "freedom of association", "freedom to strike", "freedom to enter or leave Hong Kong", "freedom to engage in academic research", "freedom to engage in artistic and literary creation" and "freedom of religious belief", while the latter set comprises "fairness of the judicial system" and "impartiality of the courts". Herewith the details of our "social indicators" and "rule of law sub-indicators" surveys:
- Between June and November 1997, our surveys of social and rule of law indicators were conducted once every month. It was then changed to once every two months, until it was changed again to once every three months beginning from July 2000. Starting from October 2005, its frequency was gradually changed to once every six months, in order to match society's development.
- For the "social indicators" and "rule of law sub-indicators" surveys, the wordings used in the questionnaire are "If you were to use 0-10 to evaluate whether Hong Kong is a such and such society, with 10 indicating absolutely such and such, 0 indicating absolutely not such and such, 5 indicating half-half, how would you rate Hong Kong?" During our "rule of law sub-indicators" surveys, we also include one additional question on the rating of the Chief Justice, wordings being "Please use a scale of 0-100 to rate your extent of support to the Chief Justice Andrew Li Kwok-nang, with 0 indicating absolutely not supportive, 100 indicating absolutely supportive and 50 indicating half-half. How would you rate the Chief Justice Andrew Li Kwok-nang?"
- Regarding sample size, between June 1997 and March 2000, the sample size of all surveys was set at slightly over 500. From May 2000 onwards, it was increased to at least 1,000.
The findings of our early social and rule of law indicators conducted between June 1997 and June 1998 were published in our newsletter POP Express. After our HKU POP Site was established in June 2000, such findings were released on-line starting from January and July 2002 respectively, while all previous findings published in our POP Express were also uploaded on-line in various formats.
(First release: Supplementary section of our press release of 5