The State and the culture of excess

The State and the culture of excess Asian Journal of Social Science 35 (2007) 709–717 www.brill.nl/ajss Book Reviews Souchou Yao (2007) Singapore: Th e State and the culture of excess , London: Routledge. 209 pages. ISBN: 9780415417112 Finally, a book on the miraculous Singapore state that is a worthy successor to Chua Beng Huat’s Communitarian Ideology and Democracy (London: Routledge, 1995). Th e impor- tance of the quest to understand the Singapore state cannot be underestimated, as the lita- nies of its political and economic makeover successes sung by the international crowd of admirers and critics alike show. Culture is also an integral part of its beholding power. Since Chua performed the decisive cultural cut that showed us the epistemic horizons of state power, many analyses of the Singapore state have been launched in academia and pseudo- academia, but most are banally wrecked on rocks of unsophisticated cultural theories. Hence, Benedict Anderson’s comment in his comparative study of Southeast Asian post- coloniality is still very relevant: “the anomaly of the municipality of Singapore: formally multi-ethnic or multi-racial, but in effect a third Chinese national possibility, under the interminable regime of Lee Kwan-yew and his henchmen” ( Th e Spectre of Comparisons , London: Verso, 1998, http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Asian Journal of Social Science Brill

The State and the culture of excess

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Publisher
BRILL
Copyright
© 2007 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1568-4849
eISSN
1568-5314
D.O.I.
10.1163/156853107X240396
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Asian Journal of Social Science 35 (2007) 709–717 www.brill.nl/ajss Book Reviews Souchou Yao (2007) Singapore: Th e State and the culture of excess , London: Routledge. 209 pages. ISBN: 9780415417112 Finally, a book on the miraculous Singapore state that is a worthy successor to Chua Beng Huat’s Communitarian Ideology and Democracy (London: Routledge, 1995). Th e impor- tance of the quest to understand the Singapore state cannot be underestimated, as the lita- nies of its political and economic makeover successes sung by the international crowd of admirers and critics alike show. Culture is also an integral part of its beholding power. Since Chua performed the decisive cultural cut that showed us the epistemic horizons of state power, many analyses of the Singapore state have been launched in academia and pseudo- academia, but most are banally wrecked on rocks of unsophisticated cultural theories. Hence, Benedict Anderson’s comment in his comparative study of Southeast Asian post- coloniality is still very relevant: “the anomaly of the municipality of Singapore: formally multi-ethnic or multi-racial, but in effect a third Chinese national possibility, under the interminable regime of Lee Kwan-yew and his henchmen” ( Th e Spectre of Comparisons , London: Verso, 1998,

Journal

Asian Journal of Social ScienceBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2007

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