Singaporean Turbulences

Couverture Asie du Sud-Est 2021Éric FRÉCON

The aim of this chapter is to decipher the socio-political changes in Singapore after the last major milestone in its national history, namely Covid-19 pandemic. For that, we will use James Rosenau’s theory, which was elaborated after another global turning point, in 1989. More than thirty years later, at the “macro” level, the city-state has to struggle for its diplomatic “autonomy”, in the state-centric sphere, vis-à-vis the American and the Chinese great powers. In parallel, the micro-state also has to deal with the transnational “interdependence” and non-state issues besides Covid, such as dengue, and the food, community, and economic aftershocks these entail. Eventually, the general elections in July gave the opportunity to challenge the new leadership as well as the old institutions (at the “micro-macro level”, according to Rosenau’s words) and to highlight a slow but growing politicization at the “micro-level”.

Keywords: Singapore; China; Covid-19; Elections; Transnationalism.