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Kenneth Paul Tan (editor) (2007) Renaissance Singapore? Economy, Culture, Politics (NUS Press)

In this collection, public intellectuals and civil society activists discuss Singapore's public rhetoric about liberalization and its association with the development of a creative economy, focusing on questions surrounding conservatism, national identity and values, civil society activism, and the societal role of the younger generation. Moved by Singapore's Renaissance City Report, released in 2000 amidst an uneasy mix of millennial celebration and pessimism arising from a prolonged economic downturn, the authors engage with the public rhetoric of Singapore's transformation into a forward-looking, critical, unconventional, open, diverse, participatory, and inclusive society.


  1. In Renaissance Singapore, Kenneth Paul Tan

  2. New Politics for a Renaissance City? Kenneth Paul Tan

  3. Odd Man In, Janadas Devan

  4. Industrializing Creativity and Innovation, Terence Lee

  5. Censorship in Whose Name? Kenneth Paul Tan

  6. Caging the Bird: and the Pigeonholing of Singaporean Citizenship, Woo Yen Yen Joyceln and Colin Goh

  7. Keeping Vigil: Openness, Diversity, and Tolerance, Kirpal Singh

  8. Muslim Politics, the State, and Society, Suzaina Kadir

  9. The Canary and the Crow: Sintercom and the State Tolerability Index, Tan Chong Kee

  10. Theatre and Cultures: Globalizing Strategies, Alvin Tan

  11. The Working Committee: From "Fear" to Creative Activism, Chng Nai Rui

  12. Youth: Every Generation's Moral Panic, Kenneth Paul Tan

  13. Refreshing the Young PAP, Edwin Pang

  14. The Future of Alternative Party Politics: Growth or Extinction? Sylvia Lim

  15. Optimists, Pessimists, and Strategists, Kenneth Paul Tan

"... rich, thoughtful and provocative collection of essays by an interesting cross-section of Singaporeans … The result of this synergy is outstanding, in no small part thanks to the unusual level of direct input by its editor, Kenneth Tan, who contributed five chapters … Tan’s contributions were among the highlights of the book, drawing forth lessons and nuances from chapters, sometimes better than the authors themselves have done."


Michael Barr, Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities

Reviewed in Journal of Contemporary Asia, vol. 39 no. 3 (2009): 475-77

Kenneth Paul Tan (editor) (2007) Renaissance Singapore? Economy, Culture, Politics (NUS Press)
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