Pragmatic secularism, civil religion, and political legitimacy in Singapore

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13 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter analyzes the discourse and practices of Singapore's nation-state as a kind of civil religion, identifying in particular their “religion-like” elements that have played a part in securing the People's Action Party (PAP) government's political legitimacy since the country attained independence in 1965. The chapter locates the evolution of Singapore's civil religion within a public sphere defined by a “pragmatic” mode of secularism and the contradictory tendencies of transactional and transformational modes of leadership that the government, endeavoring to secure the economic and moral bases of its authority, has tried to control.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationState and Secularism
Subtitle of host publicationPerspectives from Asia
EditorsMichael, Siam-Heng Heng , Chin Liew Ten
PublisherWorld Scientific
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9789814466981
ISBN (Print)9789814282376
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2010


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