Singapore in the Global System
Relationship, Structure and Change
Routledge – 2008 – 278 pages
This book tracks the phases of Singapore’s economic and political development, arguing that its success was always dependent upon the territories links with the surrounding region and the wider global system, and suggests that managing these links today will be the key to the country’s future. Singapore has followed a distinctive historical development trajectory. It was one of a number of cities which provided bases for the expansion of the British empire in the East. But the Pacific War provided local elites with their chance to secure independence. In Singapore the elite disciplined and mobilized their population and built successfully on their colonial inheritance. Today, the city-state prospers in the context of its regional and global networks, and sustaining and nurturing these are the keys to its future. But there are clouds on the elite’s horizons; domestically, the population is restive with inequality, migration and surplus-repression causing concern; and internationally, the strategy of constructing a business-hub economy is being widely copied and both Hong Kong and Shanghai are significant competitors. This book discusses these issues and argues that although success is likely to characterize Singapore’s future, the elite will have to address these significant domestic and international problems.
'This book by Peter Preston offers an ambitious and unconventional framework for understanding the path of Singapore's socio and politico-economic trajectories' - Ho Khai Leong, Contemporary Southeast Asia, December 2008
1. Singapore Contexts 2. Complex Change 3. Impact and Reply 4. General Crisis 5. New Trajectories 6. Locating Singapore 7. Trading Cities 8. Unfolding Trajectories
Peter Preston is a member of the Department of Government and Public Administration of the Chinese University of Hong Kong. His research interests revolve around the issue of complex change which he has pursued in the contexts of Third World development theory, questions of English identity and the political economy of change in East Asia. His recent publications include: Understanding Modern Japan: A Political Economy of Development, Culture and Global Power (2000); Political Change in East Asia (2003); and Relocating England: Englishness in the New Europe (2004).