Hong Kong has been depicted as an administrative state where the civil service is insulated from political and societal forces and enjoys a stable pattern of growth in rewards and status. In these respects, it is similar to other Asian developmental states. In Asia, as in the West, traditions underlying the administrative state are being challenged. The Hong Kong civil service has recently come under serious criticism as a result of a major fiscal crisis and a series of administrative failures, while the unelected status of the chief executive is a focus of growing protest. What is the reform capacity of the Hong Kong bureaucracy in these circumstances? What is the likely trajectory of administrative reform, and can we expect Western models of the neo-administrative state to be relevant and appropriate to Hong Kong and, by extension, to the rest of Asia?