Urban Dreams in an Island-Nation-City-State

4 January, 2017


Photo Credits: SRN Photobank

“Urban Jungle” from SRN’s Photobank

To kickstart the new year, we feature Prof Brenda Yeoh, Dr Theodora Lam and Alice Chen’s book chapter, “Urban Dreams in an Island-Nation-City-State” from Singapore Dreaming: Managing Utopia (2016). In this season of resolution and retrospection, Prof Yeoh et al. remind us that our hopes and dreams contribute to Singapore’s cosmopolitan dream. Specifically, the authors necessitate rethinking migration to turn the global city dream into reality.

Taking a gander at history, the authors attribute Singapore’s early success to migrants. Slightly more than half a century later, origins as a migrant state are cast aside and migrants are the “other”. Furore on Singapore’s migration policies cast a gloom over achieving cosmopolitanism and maintaining Singapore’s economic success and cultural vibrancy. Prof Yeoh et al attribute the resistance to the insufficiently crystallised national identity since Singapore’s founding. Securing commonality will only prove more trying as Singapore attempts to strike a balance between projecting a global city-state image and developing a cohesive nation-state. The authors conclude that the only way forward is to focus on the commonalties of “human struggles, aspirations and endeavours”. Armed with the boundless recognition of the human spirit, we can move beyond borders to achieve a truly cosmopolitan Island-Nation-City-State.

To find out more about the book, click here: http://www.selectbooks.com.sg/getTitle.aspx?SBNum=058828