chapter  13
26 Pages

The judicialization of governance: The case of Singapore


Singapore is often viewed as that tiny island in Southeast Asia that has worked a miracle of transformation from a poor ex-colony into an economically powerful nation within a relatively short span of time. A significant, if not dominant, feature of Singapore’s post-independence economic success is the role the government has played. It is widely acknowledged that Singapore’s economic rise has been largely orchestrated and driven by the ruling government’s singular pursuit of economic growth as a key platform of the country’s strategy for survival as a viable nation state.1 Like the other countries of the “East Asian miracle,” a term coined by the World Bank in its famous 1993 study, the Singapore government has not followed the model of a passive or minimalist state but has intervened extensively in the nation’s economy and played a highly active role in promoting exports and supporting specific industries.2 The concept of the developmental state was formulated to explain the exceptional growth performance of some Asian economies, primarily Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore.