The Changing Face of Civic Engagement in Singapore |

The Changing Face of Civic Engagement in Singapore


Touted to be the largest demonstration since Singapore’s independence, the “No to 6.9 Million Population” protest held at Hong Lim Park in February 2013 bears testimony to the mobilization effects of digital technologies. Blogs, discussion forums, social media and file-sharing platforms provide accessible spaces for individuals and groups to circumvent real world constraints and advance myriad agenda.

The levelling effects of Internet technologies on political mobilization and civic engagement have remained a key focus in academic research. In the field of social movement studies, analysts acknowledged that technology is becoming increasingly indispensable in contemporary social movements. Ranging from Internet-enabled to Internet-based actions, digital technologies provide a plethora of options that appeal to individuals with different thresholds for risks.

In Singapore, over 70% of the residential population communicate through various digital platforms. Singaporeans are also harnessing technology to raise awareness and mobilise support for causes such as Pink Dot, Repeal 377A and the Anti-Mandatory Death Penalty campaign.

In view of these developments, this presentation focuses on the instrumental role of digital technologies in collective action. Drawing on existing literature on social movements and case studies of digital bottom-up movements, I will examine how digital technologies are used by individuals and groups to overcome real-world constraints, the eects on movement organization, why some movements are more “successful” than others, and the implications for policymakers.


Dr Carol Soon, Research Fellow, Institute of Policy Studies, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy

Wednesday, 29 January 2014
12:15 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Seminar Room 3-1,
Manasseh Meyer,
Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy,
469C Bukit Timah Road,
Singapore 259772

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