Michael Mo

Michael Mo


Born and raised in Hong Kong, I started the  University of Leeds Sanctuary Scholar in 2022. I have had a decade-long involvement in politics, activism, civil society networks and social movements in Hong Kong and across East and Southeast Asia.

When I was a full-time research head at a Hong Kong-based policy research institute in the early 2010s, I led and co-published reports on democratisation and constitutional reform proposals and the performance of local councillors, and I co-edited books on poverty alleviation and competition law. After this, I served as a campaigner at Amnesty International in Hong Kong, focusing on protecting freedom of expression and assembly in Hong Kong and Asia.   

With an interest in electoral campaigns, I have observed election campaign planning and management in Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong since 2010. I was also a columnist and commentator in several Hong Kong media and occasionally contributed articles to newspapers and magazines in Taiwan. My opinion pieces have also been on DW, The Diplomat and JURIST.

Before joining the University of Leeds, I was the elected local councillor in Hong Kong. I had an initiative with other former local councillors to assist Hongkongers who are newly residing in Scotland to better integrate into the nation.

Research involved       

  • Community Development Initiative 2012. Hong Kong’s New Media and Social Movements (Chinese: 香港新媒體與社會運動研究) 
  • Community Development Initiative 2011. District Councillor Activeness Report 2011 [Online] (Chinese: 2011年區議會議員活躍度報告). Available from: https://www.cdiorg.hk/2011-10-27-cdi-dc2011/.
  • Community Development Initiative, The Business and Professionals Federation of Hong Kong and Hong Kong Foresight Centre 2010. The Unavoidable Social Change and the Avoidable Impact on the Elderly Our Ageing Society and the Deficiencies of the Systems.

Co-edited books        

  • Law, C., Mo, M., Tang, K., Leung, T., Cautherley, G. and Wong, O.Y. 2012. Implication and Policy Recommendations for the Competition Law in Hong Kong. (Chinese: 香港《競爭條例》解讀及政策建議 ). Hong Kong: iRead. ISBN:9881720141
  • Think Tanks on Poverty Alleviation 2012. Poverty Alleviation: The Way Forward: Evaluating the Problems of Poverty and the Strategy of Alleviation. Hong Kong: Hong Kong Council of Social Services (Chinese: 扶貧政策何去何從 : 探討香港貧窮問題及扶貧策略). Hong Kong: iRead ISBN: 9881720133 

UN NGO submissions involved

Selected Op-ed          


Research interests

  • Protests, social movements and pro-democracy movements in East and Southeast Asia
  • Elections and election campaigns, with a focus on Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong 
  • Civil society development and resilience in contentious politics in East and Southeast Asia


  • LLM in Human Rights. University of Hong Kong
  • BSocSc (Hons) in Policy Studies and Administration. City University of Hong Kong