Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Books on Public Administration and Policy Making

These are recently published books on public administration and policy making in Singapore:
  • Management of Success: Singapore Revisited edited by Terence Chong, Terence. This major collection of essays on 2010 Singapore would enable a comparison of present with past if compared with the similar 1989 ISEAS volume. The 32 specialist essays address in some depth, and often in trenchant or critical terms, pretty well every area of Singapore life and public policy. Index.
  • Road to Recovery: Singapore's Journey through the Global Crisis by Sanchita Basu Das. Singapore had been one of the nations severely affected by the 2008-09 global financial and economic crisis. The city-state came under pressure through the financial, trade, and confidence channels. To counter these shocks, Singapore policymakers undertook unprecedented monetary and fiscal policy measures. They subsequently charted a revival strategy that would help the country emerge stronger after the crisis. These all-encompassing policies together with the global economic recovery in 2009 helped the city state bounce back faster and stronger than many other regional economies. This book provides an insight into the events that occurred during the crisis and Singapore's successful navigation to economic recovery.
  • The Media, Cultural Control and Government in Singapore by Terence Lee. This book explores this inherent contradiction present in most facets of Singaporean media, cultural and political discourses, and identifies the key regulatory strategies and technologies that the ruling People Action Party (PAP) employs to regulate Singapore media and culture, and thus govern the thoughts and conduct of Singaporeans. It establishes the conceptual links between government and the practice of cultural policy, arguing that contemporary cultural policy in Singapore has been designed to shape citizens into accepting and participating in the rationales of government. Outlining the historical development of cultural policy, including the recent expansion of cultural regulatory and administrative practices into the 'creative industries', Terence Lee analyses the attempts by the Singaporean authorities to engage with civil society, the ways in which the media is used to market the PAP's policies and leadership and the implications of the internet for the practice of governmental control. Overall, The Media, Cultural Control and Government in Singapore offers an original approach towards the rethinking of the relationship between media, culture and politics in Singapore, demonstrating that the many contradictory discourses around Singapore only make sense once the politics and government of the media and culture are understood.
  • Public Administration Singapore Style by Jon S.T. Quah. This substantial and clearly organised account of Singapore's public administration discuss its history and present structure and the general context of its work in government departments and statutory boards. The nature and rationale for government policy on salaries, corruption, recruitment and some of the resolved and unresolved problems of the last 50 years are discussed. Both basic principles likely to be generally applicable and problems and solutions likely to be peculiar to Singapore and the PAP style are highlighted. With tabulated data, glossary, bibliography and indexes.
  • Singapore Perspectives 2010: Home.Heart.Horizon by Tan Tarn How. These 14 papers are from the 2010 Singapore Perspectives annual conference of the Institute of Policy Studies. This year's theme was Home.Heart.Horizon. It followed the now-traditional pattern of being a meeting of Singaporeans' positive and negative thoughtful assessments of Singapore's ongoing development.

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