Economic Development and the National Narrative

C. J. W.-L. Wee

in The Asian Modern

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print October 2007 | ISBN: 9789622098596
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882207509 | DOI:
Economic Development and the National Narrative

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This chapter discusses what might be thought of as the prelude to the 1980s discursive construction of “Asian values.” It determines the inherited elements of “progress” and examines how the People's Action Party (PAP) renegotiated and made these inherited elements its own in its pursuit as an emerging modern Asian country. The chapter also aims to contend that the appearance of the state's Asian modernity discourses represents the moment when the West that is already integrated within the city-state gets hidden. This misrecognition of Singapore's relation to the West, whether in a deliberate manner or an entailment in the process of asserting autonomy of the postcolonial “self,” became an essential part of the larger misrecognition of the relationship of a regional oppositional discourse on Asian values and modernity, a discourse empowered by the region's economic successes to global capitalism.

Keywords: Asian values; progress; PAP; modern Asian; Asian modernity; modernity; global capitalism

Chapter.  10510 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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