Soft authoritarianism, political pragmatism and cultural policies

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Soft authoritarianism, political pragmatism and cultural policies

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Title: Soft authoritarianism, political pragmatism and cultural policies
Singapore as a City for the Arts
Author: Ooi, Can-Seng
Abstract: Can the arts and cultural prosper under a less than democratic political regime? This paper looks at the soft authoritarian Singaporean government and the making of Singapore into a “City for the Arts”. Many scholars advocate that a culturally vibrant and creative city must also celebrate diversity, tolerance and experimentation. This implies that a democratic space is needed for creative energies to flow. Singapore is not known for its democracy. But Singapore has become relatively successful in being the cultural hub in the region. A more liberal approach to diversity and criticism of the authorities can now be observed but there are still many strong-handed social and political controls in the city-state. This paper shows that the Singapore authorities weigh the economic, political and social costs while they liberalize the environment to promote Singapore as a City for the Arts.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10398/7916
Date: 2009-09-16

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