The Ruling Elite of Singapore: Networks of Power and Influence

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I.B.Tauris, Jan 17, 2014 - Political Science - 224 pages
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Michael Barr explores the complex and covert networks of power at work in one of the world's most prosperous countries – the city-state of Singapore. He argues that the contemporary networks of power are a deliberate project initiated and managed by Lee Kuan Yew – former prime minister and Singapore’s ‘founding father’ – designed to empower himself and his family. Barr identifies the crucial institutions of power - including the country’s sovereign wealth funds, and the government-linked companies – together with five critical features that form the key to understanding the nature of the networks. He provides an assessment of possible shifts of power within the elite in the wake of Lee Kuan Yew’s son, Lee Hsien Loong, assuming power, and considers the possibility of a more fundamental democratic shift in Singapore’s political system.

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About the author (2014)

Michael D. Barr is Senior Lecturer in International Relations, Flinders University, Australia. He is Editor-in-Chief of Asian Studies Review and the author of Cultural Politics and Asian Values (2002), Paths Not Taken: Political Pluralism in Post-War Singapore (edited with C. Trocki, 2008), Constructing Singapore (with Z. Skrbis, 2008), Lee Kuan Yew (2000, 2009), and Singapore: A Modern History (I.B. Tauris, forthcoming).