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Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

1. Theoretical Introduction

Abstract
Traditionally the economies of the developing countries, or the Third World, have tended to play a specific and limited role in the international division of labour. Principally they have exported raw materials and agricultural products. Over recent decades this pattern has undergone significant change, so much so that it is widely contended that the emergence of a new international division of labour (NIDL) has begun. Unlike the old structure, this NIDL involves the developing countries in manufacturing production, although predominantly in those aspects of production which are labour-intensive and relatively unskilled. Such a specialisation has become possible with technological advances which allow for the decomposition of the production process. This has facilitated a global optimisation in the exploitation and allocation of the factors of production, a process referred to as ‘worldwide sourcing’. The emerging NIDL has thus been affected by an unprecedented degree of mobility by international capital.
Garry Rodan

2. Pre-Industrial Singapore: General Structural Developments up until 1959

Abstract
The incorporation of Singapore into the British colonial empire arose out of a very specific historical struggle between imperial powers for access to and control over Oriental trade. This had very definite implications for the structure of the economy which developed. In view of the considerable strategic advantages Singapore offered in the contest for commercial superiority, from the outset the British intended specific economic functions to be performed there. Though there were some modifications over time in the nature of Singapore’s trading role, these were invariably linked to the logic and dynamism of British colonialism and capital. The various other economic activities of any significance which developed in Singapore also derived in one way or another from the trade which passed through its port. This trade-based economy soon became intricately related with the commerce of the region in such a way that opportunities for capital accumulation perpetuated the basic economic structure imposed by British colonialism. As a result there was a long delay in manufacturing development in Singapore.
Garry Rodan

3. The Political Pre-Conditions

Abstract
The way in which historical and political developments unfolded after World War II was to have a profound and lasting impact on Singapore’s attempts to industrialise. The failure of bourgeois political forces to acknowledge and accommodate the depth of anti-colonial sentiment of the masses provided the opportunity for more radical elements to emerge triumphant during colonial disengagement. The People’s Action Party (PAP), a convenient marriage of the left-wing labour movement and, in British eyes, a more respectable group of middle class professionals, thus overwhelmed their opponents in the 1959 elections.
Garry Rodan

4. Export-Oriented Manufacturing

Abstract
We have already seen how in the post-1959 battle for political supremacy Lee Kuan Yew’s PAP successfully merged state and Party to the detriment of its political opponents. With the collapse of merger, however, fresh political and economic challenges resulted in a new level of mobilisation and sophistication in the exercise of state power by the PAP. This enabled the PAP to facilitate a swift and decisive turnaround in economic strategy, putting Singapore on an EOI path. Remarkable growth in manufacturing soon followed.
Garry Rodan

5. Second Industrial Revolution

Abstract
With an especially favourable upturn in international investment in 1978, Singapore’s policy-makers acted with determination in 1979 to resolve the contradiction between labour-intensive and capitalintensive production and address the rapid intake of foreign labour. In what amounts to the most imaginative and aggressive strategy by any developing country to exploit the structure of the NIDL, the PAP government embarked on the so-called ‘Second Industrial Revolution’. The purpose of the strategy was to accelerate Singapore’s transition to a more sophisticated technological base, thereby taking it out of competition with lower wage countries and lessening its reliance on labour expansion for economic growth. Likening the NIDL to an international football league, Singapore’s leaders stressed the need to move out of the ‘overcrowded, overcompetitive third league’ and ‘up into the second league’.1
Garry Rodan

6. Singapore’s Future as a NIC

Abstract
Although it was evident before 1984 that the course of the ‘Second Industrial Revolution’ was failing to match official expectations, Singapore’s policy-makers were not overly concerned. This view changed, however, with the advent of a dramatic economic downturn in 1985. The fact that this downturn followed on the heels of a sizeable electoral swing against the PAP in the December 1984 general election was probably a contributing factor in the suddenness of the policy response. The potential that adverse economic conditions created for further opposition gains was not lost on the PAP. The comprehensiveness of the review also indicated that the downturn was not regarded as a temporary phenomenon but as part of longterm structural change. As a result the major assumptions underlying the ‘Second Industrial Revolution’ strategy, and indeed Singapore’s future as a NIC, were subjected to scrutiny. In what transpired, the role of industrialisation in Singapore’s future development strategy and the means by which industrialisation would be promoted were re-assessed. Though at the time of writing this re-assessment has only just taken concrete policy shape, the overriding theme to the government’s measures is clear: the manufacturing sector is no longer expected to fulfil the role originally envisaged under the ‘Second Industrial Revolution’.
Garry Rodan

7. Conclusions: Singapore and the New International Division of Labour

Abstract
The primary focus of this study has been the state and its role in the industrialisation of Singapore. As noted, there is a conspicuous dearth of such analysis and the dominant accounts of NIC industralisation have tended to ignore, downplay or misrepresent the role of the state. In short, treatment of the state has been theoretically inadequate. The fundamental assumption of this study has been that such inadequacy represents a serious flaw in the understanding of successful industrialisation through incorporation into the NIDL.
Garry Rodan

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