Magazine November 19, 2015, Issue

Long Live the Nation-State

(Wodicka/Ullstein Bild via Getty Images)

Recently, Singapore celebrated 50 years of nationhood. The success of this remarkable country is a vivid exemplar of the proposition that we still live in a world of nation-states.

Singapore’s birth in August 1965 was traumatic. It was a tiny country with no natural resources, a land area of less than 1,000 square kilometers, and a population of only 1.9 million. Effectively, it had been ejected from the Federation of Malaysia because the pro-Malay policies of the Federation discriminated against the ethnic Chinese who constituted the bulk of Singapore’s population.

Under the energetic and visionary leadership of Lee Kuan Yew, Singaporeans set

In This Issue


Politics & Policy

The Twitter Trap

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Fusionism, Then and Now

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The Apology Policy

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Climate Coercion

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