The technocratic politics of administrative participation: case studies of Singapore and Vietnam
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In the last decade in Southeast Asia there has been a trend towards new modes of political participation for citizens to provide feedback to government officials or to provide new methods for holding public officials to account. Regimes in Singapore and Vietnam have to differing degrees pioneered and embraced this direction through various such new administrative modes of political participation. But the paradox is that these modes of political participation have not replaced but complemented tight controls on political expression. It is argued here that these new modes work against independent collective political action through: the state defining what issues are available for participation; the state controlling who gets access to administrative institutions involving political participation; and the state shaping the form that this access takes. The end result is political rule by administrative means. Politics is not so much suppressed as transformed into a set of technocratic processes and ideologies intended to narrow the scope and nature of contestation.
|Publication Type:||Journal Article|
|Murdoch Affiliation:||Asia Research Centre|
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