Through a focus on Singapore, this book presents an analysis of authoritarian legalism, showing how prosperity, public discourse, and a rigorous observance of legal procedure enable a reconfigured rule of law - liberal form but illiberal content. It shows how institutions and process become tools to constrain dissenting citizens while protecting those in political power.
Scholars have generally assumed that authoritarianism and rule of law are mutually incompatible. Convinced that free markets and rule of law must tip authoritarian societies in a liberal direction, nearly all studies of law and contemporary politics have neglected that improbable coupling: authoritarian rule of law. Through a focus on Singapore, this book presents an analysis of authoritarian legalism. It shows how prosperity, public discourse, and a rigorous observance of legal procedure have enabled a reconfigured rule of law such that liberal form encases illiberal content. Institutions and process at the bedrock of rule of law and liberal democracy become tools to constrain dissent while augmenting discretionary political power - even as the national and international legitimacy of the state is secured. This book offers a valuable and original contribution to understanding the complexities of law, language and legitimacy in our time.
"This book offers an empirically grounded theory that reframes the study of law and society from a predominantly national context, which dichotomizes the study of international law and national compliance into a dynamic perspective that places national, international, and transnational lawmaking and practice within a coherent single frame. By presenting and elaborating on a new concept, transnational legal orders it offers an original approach to the emergence of legal orders beyond nation-states. It shows how they originate, where they compete and cooperate, and how they settle on institutions that legally order fundamental economic and social behaviors that transcend national borders. This original theory is applied and developed by distinguished scholars from North America and Europe in business law, regulatory law and human rights"--
Changing Landscapes of Singapore illuminates both the social and the physical terrains of modern Singapore. Geographers use the term landscape to refer to visible surfaces and to the spatial dimension of social relations. Landscapes arise from particular historical circumstances, and in turn help shape social arrangements and possible courses of future development. The authors describe how the settings inhabited by various social groups in Singapore affect life experiences, and explore the impact of broader regional and international forces on Singapore. Written for non-specialists, the volume reflects fresh perspectives from the scholarship of Singaporean academics. Their work is sensitive to historical and geographical trends in the region, and also engages with broader theoretical themes.
Once a proud and independent institution, the Singapore press was brought to its knees by threats, arbitrary arrests and detentions, general harassment and litigation during Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew's administration. Singapore's former solicitor general tells the story.
For several decades, the city-state of Singapore has been an international anomaly, combining an advanced, open economy with restrictions on civil liberties and press freedom. Freedom from the Pressanalyses the republic's media system, showing how it has been structured - like the rest of the political framework - to provide maximun freedom of manoeuvre for the People's Action Party (PAP) government. Cherian George assessed why the PAP's "freedom from the press" model has lasted longer than many other authoritarian systems. He suggests that one key factor has been the PAP's recognition that market forces could be harnessed as a way to tame journalism. Another counter-intuitive strategy is it...