Situating the roles of realist, liberal, and constructivist features in Singapore’s foreign policy
Koh, Phay Chung
Date of Issue2017
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
The purpose of this paper is to investigate the roles of the three international relations schools in Singapore’s foreign policy. The core argument posits that there is an inescapable realist undertone that foreshadows Singapore foreign policy approach, given its vulnerability. Yet, the paper contends that this sense of vulnerability is the reason why realist notions alone are insufficient, for they primarily explain and predict situations of conflict. This paper then argues that diplomacy is shifting towards the economic aspect, and that Singapore stands to expand its influence and scope for foreign policy in the region by grasping the ideational nuance of norms, where “cognitive priors” explain how norms do not develop from vacuum but are instead linked to regional sensitivities.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University