Governing Authoritarian Law: Law as Security



What is the Singapore model of governance when it comes to law? In this chapter, I focus on a persistent strand of Singapore governance practices and discourses on law: the state’s insistence that ‘the people’ imperil the state. Understanding ‘the people’ both as individuals and as collectives, I argue that the Singapore model is to contain and govern the scope and rights-bearing meanings of law, by subordinating law to techniques, ideologies, and practices of an alternative category and logic: security. Through Singapore-specific articulations, law becomes a cipher for security, and, as a national-legal project, security privileges state perspectives and policies. In the course of the national-legal project of security, ‘the people’—their narratives, beliefs, and identities—become subsumed to governance oriented to strengthening the state.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.American Bar FoundationChicagoUSA

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