Skip to main content
From Citizen-Duty to State-Responsibility: Globalization and Nationhood in Singapore
New Global Studies (2010)
  • Shirley Hsiao-Li Sun

This paper explores how nationhood is being affected by the contemporary processes of globalization. Through the lens of Robertson’s theory of the global field, I analyze documentary data and fieldwork data collected from 165 in-depth personal interviews and 39 focus-group discussions in the globalized city-state of Singapore. Data analysis shows that both government officials and Singaporean citizens hold a “relativized” view towards its key nation-building pronatalist policies. Moreover, individual citizens actively questioned the effectiveness of policies by comparing them with policies perceived to be in operation in other national contexts. Globalization thus enhances citizens’ capacity for imagining the nation. This study opens up the possibility that, under certain conditions, state authority may be weakened but, paradoxically, nationhood may be strengthened.

  • national identity,
  • Singapore,
  • low fertility
Publication Date
Winter December, 2010
Citation Information
Shirley Hsiao-Li Sun. "From Citizen-Duty to State-Responsibility: Globalization and Nationhood in Singapore" New Global Studies Vol. 4 Iss. 3 (2010)
Available at: