Liberalism Disavowed – Chua Beng Huat

What does democracy mean in Singapore? Does our political leadership rely on “performance legitimacy” and/or “communitarianism”? To answer these questions, CAPE delves into “Liberalism Disavowed” by Professor Chua Beng Huat. Through our fifth issue of #BigIdeasExplained, we explore how Singapore’s political leadership has earned trust since independence and consider what democracy means in Singapore.

(#BigIdeasExplained is a new CAPE infographic project which seeks to digest and repackage the rich knowledge and research of our homegrown academia and civil society – which unfortunately, is often difficult to access by the public due to paywalls or jargon. Through reducing such an asymmetry of knowledge, we hope to enhance citizen participation in civic engagement and policy conversations!)


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  1. Chua, Beng Huat. Liberalism Disavowed: Communitarianism and State Capitalism in Singapore. NUS Press, 2017.
  2. Chan, Joseph. Confucian Perfectionism. Princeton University Press, 2014
  3. “Communitarianism.” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Stanford University, 15 May 2020,
  4. Shared Values Are Adopted – Singapore History.
  5. Yao, Souchou. Singapore: The State and the Culture of Excess. Routledge, 2007.
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