How did Singapore transform itself from a breakaway island state few considered viable, wracked with ethnic tension, political and economic problems, to a thriving economic hub and global financial center? Which areas of economy and government did leadership target to drive this extraordinary transformation?
We consider the particular characteristics of Singapore’s approach, with its emphasis on individual prosperity as the basis for a prosperous state. We explain which elements of this economic-led approach were most critical to success: the sequence of Singapore’s institution-building pathway to date. We consider how relatively low democratic participation reflects the possible limits of its approach, and consider where does Singapore go from here?