Singapore’s Policy Advancement Paradox: Online Political Participation under Authoritarianism Public Deposited

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  • April 23, 2020
  • Pratico, Logan
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Global Studies
  • Autocratic regimes have undergone profound political changes in the past decade as the digital revolution unfolds. At the start of the 2010s, the fall of autocratic governments through peaceful revolution in the Middle East led scholars to believe that social media would act as a tool facilitating democratic empowerment and challenging autocratic governance. However, despite this belief, the world has become definitively more authoritarian as the decade closes. Sites that previously appeared to empower citizens in a decentralized fashion are now being utilized by governments to consolidate power. This thesis explores how the Singaporean People's Action Party is able to utilize sites that appear to embody characteristics of democracy- namely increased participation and mobilization- to advance autocratic public policy. Exploring three popular websites in Singapore- The Straits Times Online Mobile Print, The Straits Times, and this thesis proposes several ways in which the People's Action Party is able to control the narrative of popular support for government policy without engaging in overt censorship or otherwise explicitly controlling the Internet.
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  • Robertson, Graeme
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Political Science
  • Bachelor of Arts
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  • 2020
  • English

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