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Globalization and State Autonomy in Singapore

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This paper revisits the concept of state autonomy in the context of globalization. Earlier literature either considered state autonomy from the social forces in broad institutional and cultural terms or from the dominant classes in a restrictive sense. However, in either case the focus remained on domestic/national society, not the global society. The discussion of relative autonomy of the state began among the Marxists in the 1970s and then graduated into the mainstream social sciences in the 1980s and 1990s. In the upshot, the notions of developmental state and the embedded autonomy have significantly added to our knowledge of the role of the state. This paper broadens the idea of embedded autonomy by locating the sources of embeddedness in both local as well global institutions and norms. The paper uses the Singapore case to illustrate some of the possibilities and limitations of the reconfigured role of the state in the face of globalization.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Zayed University


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