Book Launch of “Liberalism Disavowed: Communitarianism and State Capitalism in Singapore” by Professor Chua Beng Huat

4 July, 2017

The Singapore Research Nexus will be hosting a book launch event for Professor Chua Beng Huat’s (Dept of Sociology, NUS) new book, “Liberalism Disavowed: Communitarianism and State Capitalism in Singapore”. It will be held on 14 August 2017 (Monday), 6.45 – 8.30pm at The POD, Level 16, National Library Board.


That the majority of educated middle class Singaporeans, unlike their counterparts elsewhere in East Asia, appear not to demand greater ‘liberal democracy’ of the People’s Action Party, single party dominant government is a puzzle to liberal minded political pundits and academics. In Liberalism Diavowed, Chua Beng Huat argues that the PAP’s unyielding antipathy to liberalism, especially the American version, is grounded in its founding social democratic ideology. Over the years the PAP, as a political party and as a government, has reworked the idea of the ‘social’ as an ideological basis of its rule, including ‘communitarianism’, ‘supply-side socialism’ and governance as ‘trusteeship’. In addition, the early social democratic foundation has been institutionalized in various major social institutions, including near universal provision of public housing, made possible by the nationalization of land and extensive state ownership of enterprises at home and investments abroad, with half of its annual profit being channelled into the national budget. It is argued that these socially redistributive practices increasingly account for the legitimacy and the longevity of the PAP in government, rather than persistent authoritarianism.


During the launch, Prof. Chua will discuss these themes in more detail, after which Prof. Chan Heng Chee (Ambassador-at-Large, Singapore Foreign Ministry and Chairperson, Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities, Singapore University of Technology and Design) will provide critical commentary on his arguments. A Q & A session will commence shortly after the talk.

Books will be sold at a special offer of $26.00! (Original price: $32.00). To learn more about his book or order online, click here. (Please note that the discounted rate will only be available at the launch.)

To learn more and to register for our event, visit our Eventbrite page here.

Hope to see you there!