Singapore image via Wikimedia Commons

Hot off the Press: Singapore and Public Diplomacy

In the latest issue of CPD Perspectives on Public Diplomacy, Alan Chong of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore looks at public diplomacy and its connections to Singaporean nationhood and statehood.

In "Singapore and Public Diplomacy," Chong positions public diplomacy as a field of practice and study often premised upon issuing propaganda over the heads of target governments with the aim of endearing one’s government and its policies directly to a foreign population. He examines the prehistory and history of public diplomacy in Singapore to suggest that non-state information campaigns are precedents to project identity and political causes. Implications on how post-1965 Singapore projects its soft power through people-to-people dimensions are discussed.

"[I]t is quite clear that non-state public diplomacy has been especially pronounced at all stages of the island republic’s political evolution. The very attempt at promoting each assorted non-state cause helps to shape the imagination of Singapore for its residents as well as the projection of its population’s external orientations and kinship ties,” writes Chong.

"As a modern political entity in international relations, Singapore had to be invented. It is a 55-year-old imagined nation-state since it has by and large communicated its political, economic and social causes successfully. However, this creation of Singapore through the vigor of communication did not always emanate from a state. This much must be understood if we are to understand public diplomacy and its connections to Singaporean nationhood and statehood."

Download "Singapore and Public Diplomacy" here.


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