Murdoch University Research Repository

Welcome to the Murdoch University Research Repository

The Murdoch University Research Repository is an open access digital collection of research
created by Murdoch University staff, researchers and postgraduate students.

Learn more

Loosening State Control in Singapore: The Emergence of Local Capital as a Political Force*

Chalmers, I. (2017) Loosening State Control in Singapore: The Emergence of Local Capital as a Political Force*. In: Rodan, G., (ed.) Singapore. Routledge as part of the Taylor and Francis group, pp. 237-264.

Link to Published Version: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315193458
*Subscription may be required

Abstract

This study starts with the observation that the Singapore state, until recently, was a notable example of a strong state. ‘State strength’ in a capitalist society is understood to comprise essentially two characteristics. First, a strong capitalist state will operate with considerable autonomy from social forces, particularly capital-owning classes; second, it will have a considerable capacity to organise social forces according to state-defined criteria. 1 Applying this definition to Singapore, the efficient apparatus inherited by the new administration from the departing British colonial authorities was largely insulated from outside pressure. In the following decades it enjoyed an extraordinary degree of autonomy, providing few opportunities for interest groups to influence decision-making processes. Secondly, in the years after full independence was hurriedly arranged in 1965, this ‘overdeveloped state’ merged with the network of community structures established by the ruling People's Action Party (PAP), intruding deeply into social process and supervising a diverse range of social organisations. The strength of the Singapore state thus relates closely to its thorough penetration by the PAP.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Murdoch Affiliation: Asia Research Centre
Publisher: Routledge as part of the Taylor and Francis group
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/50694
Item Control Page Item Control Page