Diversity and Nation-Building in Singapore
Publication Date: April 2017
In Singapore, commitment to multiculturalism has been a central part of the country’s identity since independence. The top-down, four-ethnicity framework that Singapore adopted in the 1960s (Chinese-Malay-Indian-Other) has sought to maintain harmony among the city state’s different ethnic groups by defining Singapore as a multi-ethnic state, thus avoiding some of the pitfalls of majoritarian politics. How important a role has top-down social engineering played in Singapore’s form of multiculturalism? What distinguishes Singapore’s model from more liberal forms of multiculturalism?