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Title: The PAP-state : housing, health, and resilient authoritarianism
Author: Barth, Jasper
ISNI:       0000 0004 7229 4925
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2017
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The thesis aims to explain the continued durability of state authoritarianism in Singapore. This durability is usually attributed to citizens acquiescing to Singapore's authoritarian state on account of the prosperity it has delivered. The thesis argues that the contemporary resilience of authoritarianism and undergirding stability of state-citizen relations is better accounted for by two factors. First, the state is apparently able to address evolving policy demands brought forward by citizens. Addressing contemporary 'hot button' issues through policy change produces popular support for the regime and eliminates the basis for serious political challenges. The thesis stresses the increasing role played by the state's provision of social protection and nation-building with respect to regime legitimation. Second, citizens are often able to sidestep authoritarian state practices in everyday life. The thesis argues that this can make authoritarian state practices more bearable for Singaporeans and thus further abates the emergence of pressures for political liberalisation. The thesis analyses economic and social policy to make these arguments while focussing on the public housing and healthcare programmes as central case studies. It also draws on fieldwork data about state interventions, and how these interventions pan out 'on the ground' in Singapore. Beyond the case of Singapore, the thesis speaks to the resilience and re-emergence of state authoritarianism in other countries. The thesis also contributes to state theory and discussions about the reconfiguration of states' economic and social functions in the face of economic globalisation.
Supervisor: Sud, Nikita Sponsor: Economic and Social Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available