Social Policy in Post-Industrial Singapore
Edited by Lian Kwen Fee, National University of Singapore, and Tong Chee Kiong, National University of Singapore
Notwithstanding the lean years that followed 1986 and 1997, sustained economic growth since the late 1970s has propelled Singapore into the post-industrial age and reproduced the demographic and social structure of advanced western societies. The rapid shift to a knowledge-intensive economy requiring highly-skilled services has resulted in a 'two-speed' society consisting of a highly competitive but rewarding sector and a marginalized population that is increasingly at risk. Being avowedly anti-welfarist, the state for ideological reasons has resisted pressures to introduce a comprehensive welfare regime for its risk population, preferring to privilege its productive citizenry. Is Singapore a counter-factual to the convergence thesis, by preferring to put in place a social policy driven by the belief of its leaders that the more successful a society is the more it is able to care for those who fall behind?