Global Hong Kong: Lessons from Elsewhere Speaker Series – Authoritarian Resilience or Democratic Pluralism? Singapore’s Fork in the Road

As Hong Kong experiences unprecedented political and social upheavals, we invite speakers who can shed light on other societies which have faced similar challenges. Putting Hong Kong in global perspectives may inspire comparative research, theoretical and historical reflections, as well as public discussions on our collective future.

Authoritarian Resilience or Democratic Pluralism? Singapore’s Fork in the Road

Date and Time:  16 Jan 2021 (Sat), 10:00 HKT / 15 Jan 2021 (Fri), 18:00 (PST)

Speaker and title:

Author: Prof. Cherian George, Associate Dean, School of Communication, Hong Kong Baptist University

Author: Prof. Donald Low, Director, Institute for Emerging Market Studies, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Commentator: Prof. Christine Loh, Chief Development Strategist, Division of Environment and Sustainability, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Commentator: Dr. Stephan Ortmann, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Centre for China Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Format: Zoom Webinar

Language: English

Please REGISTER HERE to secure your place

Co-organiser: Global China Center, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology & Department of Asian and International Studies, City University of Hong Kong & Society for Hong Kong Studies

Abstract:

Singapore appears to be transitioning to a more competitive democracy. But this masks the resilience of a ruling party that has proved itself adept at accommodating popular sentiment without significant democratisation or political liberalisation. What are the prospects of liberal-democratic reforms in a country that has long defied the predictions of modernization theory? How resilient is Singapore’s model of illiberal democracy? And will such reforms undermine the high state capacity that has long been a feature of Singapore?

About the Authors: Cherian George, professor of media studies at Hong Kong Baptist University, is the author of Air Conditioned Nation Revisited (2000). Donald Low, professor of practice in public policy at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, is the author of Hard Choices: Challenging the Singapore Consensus (2014). They are the authors of a new book, PAP v PAP: The Party’s Struggle to Adapt to a Changing Singapore. George researches media and politics, with a focus on freedom of expression, censorship, and hate propaganda. His previous books include Hate Spin: The Manufacture of Religious Offense and its Threat to Democracy. Low teaches economics, behavioural insights and public policy at HKUST, and heads its Institute for Emerging Market Studies.

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