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Hard Choices: Challenging the Singapore Consensus


Publisher: NUS Press
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  • Description
  • About the Authors
  • Singapore is changing. The consensus that the PAP government has constructed and maintained over five decades is fraying. The assumptions that underpin Singaporean exceptionalism are no longer accepted as easily and readily as before. Among these are the ideas that the country is uniquely vulnerable, that this vulnerability limits its policy and political options, that good governance demands a degree of political consensus that ordinary democratic arrangements cannot produce, and that the country's success requires a competitive meritocracy accompanied by relatively little income or wealth redistribution.

    But the policy and political conundrums that Singapore faces today are complex and defy easy answers. Confronted with a political landscape that is likely to become more contested, how should the government respond? What reforms should it pursue? This collection of essays suggests that a far-reaching and radical rethinking of the country's policies and institutions is necessary, even if it weakens the very consensus that enabled Singapore to succeed in its first fifty years.

  • Donald Low is Associate Dean for executive education and research at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore.

    Sudhir Thomas Vadaketh is the author of Floating on a Malayan Breeze: Travels in Malaysia and Singapore. He also writes for a variety of publications, including The Economist and Yahoo! SG.

ISBN: 9789971698164
Cover Type: Paperback
Page Count: 272
Year Published: 2014
Size: 229mm x 153mm