Conceptualizing Chapter 6 & 7

Teaching Strategies

Managing International Relations


What is the purpose of the chapters?

How do Chapter 6 & 7 connect to other chapters?


What are the multi-faceted causes and impact of (international) conflicts?


Deepening understanding of causes and impact of conflicts - developed from chapters 4 & 5.  

Deepening appreciation of importance of maintaining peace and harmony - developed from chapters 4 & 5.



Differences over territory, resources and ideologies as causes of conflicts. Opportunity to connect with concept of nationalism, nationhood.


Assessing how other countries respond to conflicts as a means of developing more insights about other countries.


Managing international relations in Singapore to demonstrate governance in action. How does it demonstrate?


How far are the principles of governance relevant to understanding Singapore’s approach to managing international relations?


What does Singapore’s approach towards deterrence and diplomacy tell you about the way Singapore perceive security (perception of threats, challenges; best way to ensure security)?


What are the possibilities of deepening our understanding of Singapore’s national identity here?


What do I already know about the workings of and how would I assess Singapore’s success in managing international relations?

What do my students already know/what are my students’ existing perceptions?


What are my personal opinions?

How will I assess the success of the approach? 

How can I find out/shape my students perceptions?


What are the different ways through which to develop an appreciation of the chapters?


Changing nature and prevalence of conflicts


The multi-faceted roles of regional and international organizations


Why is the successful maintenance of international relations so crucial for Singapore?  


What are the controversial issues that could arise from this topic? 



The links cover resources that look at key principles, approaches and evaluation of Singapore’s foreign and defense policy, including state policies aimed at strengthening national defense forces and Total Defence, Singapore’s contributions to UN agencies and APEC as well as the development of Singapore’s image on the international stage policy section on defence & security 


Ministry of Defence 


United Nations Association of Singapore


United Nations Development Fund for Women (Singapore Committee)


APEC in Singapore (Closing statement for 2009 Meeting)


 Singapore's foreign policy: coping with vulnerability (book)

Leifer, M (2000). Singapore's foreign policy: coping with vulnerability. London: Routledge, 2000.


Analysis of how Singapore’s foreign policy can be understood with reference to the realistic approaches that have defined the country’s economic and other domestic policies.


 Singapore's foreign policy: the search for regional order (book)

Acharya, A. (2007). Singapore's foreign policy: the search for regional order. Singapore: World Scientific Publishing, 2007.


Analysis that provides new perspectives on how Singapore has emphasized ideas and cooperation in its quest to be a country that is only small in terms of size and not in terms of influence on the regional and global stage. Includes key foreign policy speeches by Singapore leaders.


 Realism and interdependence in Singapore's foreign policy (Book)

Ganesan, N. (2005). Realism and interdependence in Singapore's foreign policy. London: Routledge, 2005.


Examines the importance of Singapore’s economic and defence diplomacy as main pillars of its foreign policy. Special focus on bilateral relations with Malaysia and Indonesia.


 S Rajaratnam on Singapore: from ideas to reality (book)

Kwa, C.G. (2006). S Rajaratnam on Singapore: from ideas to reality. Singapore: World Scientific Publishing, 2006.


Key speeches and articles by one of Singapore’s founding fathers, who laid the foundations for key tenets of the country’s foreign policy.


 "Creating a Singapore brand for the International Stage" Speech by Kishore Mahbubani


Speech by one of Singapore’s preeminent thinkers and diplomats, evaluating the effectiveness of Singapore’s branding efforts in the international arena.


 Foreign Policy and Asian Values debate

Chong, A. (2004). Singaporean foreign policy and the Asian Values Debate, 1992–2000: reflections on an experiment in soft power. The Pacific Review, Vol. 17 No. 1 March 2004.pp. 95–133.


Between 1992 and 2000, the international order witnessed a clash of discourses not seen since the height of the Cold War when both superpowers engaged in propaganda offensives to assert the superiority of their respective governing ideologies. However, unlike the Cold War, the Asian Values Debate did not involve a supporting cast of armed occupations, insurgencies and the preaching of revolution. It involved instead statements of difference couched in intellectual and material terms, and also relied heavily on persuasion by words and symbolic deeds. This article seeks to evaluate Singaporean foreign policy in the Asian values debate by using the concept of soft power as described by Joseph Nye. However, soft power, as the ability to obtain foreign policy ends through attraction or convincing rather than through coercion, is itself vulnerable to instances where the ideas propounded diverge from the practices they purport to inspire. Singapore’s role in the Debate will be examined through three events at its zenith between 1992 and 2000: the clash between Asia and the West at the 1993 United Nations World Conference on Human Rights at Vienna, the Michael Fay Caning Affair which directly pitted Singapore against the US in 1994, and the fate of the Asian exceptionalist argument in the face of the 1997–99 Asian Financial Crisis. The conclusion suggests that Singaporean foreign policy’s experiment in soft power has had its successes, but it remains qualified in its applicability to other Asian foreign policies by certain limits inherent in the Singaporean discourse.


Small Country Total Defence

Mathews, R. & Zhang, N.Y. (2007). “Small Country, ‘Total Defence’: a case study of Singapore”. Defence Studies, Vol. 7, No. 3, pp. 376–395.


Evaluates the effectiveness of Singapore’s multi-pronged defence strategy.


Singapore's Military Modernisation

“Singapore’s military modernisation: Upgrading the city state’s deterrent”. Military Technology. Vol 2. 2008.

Brief but very readable article on recent technological strides as well as good consolidation of the multi-faceted nature of Singapore’s strategy of deterrence and diplomacy.