Details on article

Id 155
Author Chong, T.,
Title Singapore's cultural policy and its consequences

Chong, T. (2005). Singapore's cultural policy and its consequences. Critical Asian Studies, 37(4): 553‑568.

Keywords Cultural change; Social policy; Theatre
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Abstract This article explores the effects of Singapore's Global City for the Arts project on the local theater industry It begins by describing the character of the Singapore state and its ability to meet the challenges of globalization. It then shows that while historically global in orientation, the city-state's early cultural policies were resolutely local and insular prior to the economic recession in 1985. From that year on, local arts and culture was driven by an economic rationale - eventually culminating in the birth of a globally oriented national cultural policy: the Global City for the Arts project. The author contends that the Global City for the Arts project has pressured the Singapore state into shedding some of its authoritarian practices in order to conform to international norms. However, the author also illustrates how certain theater companies with the requisite cultural capital for the Global City for the Arts project have benefited from the country's cultural policies while others that do not possess such cultural capital are marginalized. The article concludes by arguing that the Singapore state, in going global, exacerbates the economic disparity by accentuating preexisting inequalities and divisions in the local.

Metodology The author conducts desk research (documentary analysis) and interviews.

Findings The Global City for the Arts project developed in Singapore has turned a previously insular and resolutely local national cultural policy into one that is global in orientation. This outward-looking, perhaps even more liberal, cultural policy is however driven by an unwavering eco-nomic impulse. Furthermore, the raison d’être of early cultural policy — nation building — re-mains an integral part of the Global City for the Arts project. In an attempt to win international recognition for its efforts and to attract both global capital and skilled foreign workers, Singapore has shed some of its authoritarian censorship regulations. Yet, as a conductor of global processes into the local, the state replicates the inequalities and disparities of globalization.
Open Access NO
DOI DOI: 10.1080/14672710500348455
Search Database Taylor & Francis
Technique Interview; Document analysis
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