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Li Ka Shing Library

Global-City Stage - Singapore in the World, the World in Singapore [HUMN 015]: Getting Started

This guide points to useful print and electronic resources.

Singapore: Then and Now

Course Description

Singapore has risen from Third World to First in less than half a century of rapid development.  The course analyses this extraordinary transition from a variety of perspectives and disciplines.  It examines the city-state’s ties in the region and with the wider world.  It looks in particular at how Singapore’s domestic priorities and foreign policy imperatives have influenced its relationships with trading partners and how these partners have played an important part in its economic and social transformation.

The course is designed for SMU students who seek a deeper understanding of Singapore’s metamorphosis. It will appeal especially to international and exchange students who may be puzzled by Singapore’s distinctive blend of market freedom and state interventions to promote economic growth and social harmony. 

The course is organized around a series of talks by policymakers, analysts, business leaders and diplomats. Participants will write essays or develop projects on the multi-faceted interactions of a chosen country/region with Singapore.  The objective is to produce in mid-2015 a book of essays that addresses the place of Singapore in the world today and how that world has shaped through ideas, trade and cultural links Singapore’s self-image and identity.

Learning Objectives

Participants will develop a multi-disciplinary perspective of Singapore’s journey from Third World to First.  They will learn how Singapore’s multi-faceted relations with the region and the world have influenced the city-state’s culture, economy and society.  At the end of the course, they will have a deeper understanding of the historical and current challenges that face the only developed, tropical city-state the world has ever seen.


This guide was created to support the course HUMN 015 Global-City Stage - Singapore in the World, the World in Singapore. It points to useful electronic and print resources for the course.

This guide is created and maintained by Rajendra Munoo.

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