Article published in:Language and Citizenship: Broadening the agenda
Edited by Tommaso M. Milani
[Benjamins Current Topics 91] 2017
► pp. 137–160
The party’s over?
Singapore politics and the ‘new normal’
This paper highlights the dynamic nature of the relationship between government and society, drawing on as a case study the changing relationship between the Singapore government and the citizenry. I discuss the conditions under which the People’s Action Party is under pressure to change its style of government,. Following on from this discussion, I make two key points. One, concepts such as habitus and act (Isin 2008) have been employed to elucidate the nature of citizenship. But they are also relevant to our understanding of government. Two, the distinction between act and habitus, at least as articulated by Isin (2008), confuses two ontologically distinct entitiies: a disposition to act, and the action itself. I suggest that this confusion arises in part from Isin’s failure to examine carefully the communicative modes of engagement between the government and the citizenry.
Keywords: global city, habitus, speech act, stance, style
Published online: 09 June 2017