Communitarian Ideology and Democracy in Singapore
Routledge – 1997 – 256 pages
Series: Politics in Asia
The economic success of Singapore has established the country as a model for other nations. Yet until now the ideas behind this accomplishment have not been critically examined.
Communitarian Ideology and Democracy in Singapore fills this gap. The book outlines the policies the ruling party has adopted over the past three decades. It charts the government's move away from Western concepts towards the evolution of 'Asian democracy'. The author analyses this anti-liberal democracy and the government's motives for repackaging cultural heritage into a national ideology of Asian communitarianism.
This book avoids the polarization that has tended to characterise texts on Asian governments. It neither concentrates on a history of authoritarian repression nor unequivocally praises the regime but critically examines its political success. As such it provides a new and balanced account to the student of Singapore politics.
'As a reading of post-colonial Singapore history it is an invaluable text, as it recasts the developments of the last three decades in a new analytical light, and is full of useful interpretations of material which in themselves would be familiar to any informed commentator on this fascinating little society, and it raises important questions about the future of democracy.' - Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, Vol 29 No.2 98
Chua Beng-Huat is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology at the National University of Singapore.