Calibrated Coercion in Singapore

From here…Cherian George and Yee Yeong Chong (Mykel)

Hello & Welcome

This site aims to provide a comprehensive database of Singapore government interventions in internet communication. The government introduced internet content regulations in 1996, assuring internet users that these would be implemented with a “light touch”. Ten years on, it is useful to take stock of what the government’s position has meant in practice.

The immediate, practical benefit of this database is that it helps to shed light on Singapore’s regulatory terrain. Many internet users either ignore real political risks or exaggerate them. We believe both pitfalls are equally unhealthy for the development of an active and mature online community.

The more academic roots of this database are in an on-going research project that examines the nature of PAP dominance. Contrary to the widely held view that the PAP is just like other dictatorships, our theory of “calibrated coercion” argues that the PAP’s longevity can be explained in part by a deliberate restraint in its use of repression. While the PAP does not pretend to be liberal, it has grown increasingly adept at using just the right amount of coercion to neutralise dissent without inviting a massive backlash that would hasten its demise (as has happened to many other authoritarian states).

The database in this site will be used to assess to what extent calibrated coercion has been a feature of the PAP’s management of internet discourse.

The database is a work in progress. We are making it public as a way to tap the inside knowledge of the online community. We welcome readers’ input, either to add to existing case files, or to share with us any personal experiences that may not have been reported in the mass media.

>>>View the case files>>>


About soci
Lived in Singapore for 6 wonderful years and has been blogging since 2003, under various names but always on Singaporean issues.

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