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Palgrave Macmillan

The Defence Capabilities of Small States

Singapore and Taiwan’s Responses to Strategic Desperation

  • Book
  • © 2016


Part of the book series: Critical Studies of the Asia-Pacific (CSAP)

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About this book

A comparison of Singapore and Taiwan presents an interesting case study for those wishing to understand how small states struggle to overcome their strategic disadvantage. Since their independence, Singapore and Taiwan have faced numerous challenges resulting from their relative strategic disadvantage. They have struggled to overcome vulnerable bases, an unformed conception of state, and weak governmental institutes for defence. While territorial borders are difficult to change, both states have focused on nation building, economic growth, and military build-up in order to overcome their predicaments. During the Cold War, both states employed similarly authoritarian policies to preserve their survival. However, in the post-Cold War era, Taiwan has experienced political and economic weakness in the face of the rising China, while Singapore, with its polity of one-party domination, has continued to strengthen its hard and soft power. This book examines the unique context for each case, drawing comparisons and offering analysis of their distinct approaches.


  • Asia
  • Security
  • Singapore
  • Taiwan
  • China
  • Defence
  • Defence Strategy
  • Defence Policy
  • Nation Building
  • Military Studies
  • Modernisation
  • Cold War
  • defence policy
  • Defence strategy
  • Policy
  • realism

About the author

Shang-su Wu is a research fellow on the Military Studies Programme of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. After acquiring his PhD degree at the University of New South Wales, Australia, he worked in the Legislative Yuan in Taipei, Taiwan.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: The Defence Capabilities of Small States

  • Book Subtitle: Singapore and Taiwan’s Responses to Strategic Desperation

  • Authors: Shang-su Wu

  • Series Title: Critical Studies of the Asia-Pacific

  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan London

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-137-49715-4Published: 02 January 2016

  • Series ISSN: 2662-222X

  • Series E-ISSN: 2662-2238

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: X, 289

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