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Having limited land, manpower and natural resources to rest on, Singapore’s government decided in the early 1980s to focus on high-level human resource development, knowledge and creativity for long-term economic growth. The subsequent government actions were often framed under the notion of ‘knowledge society,’ commonly called ‘knowledge-based economy.’ This paper assesses the construction of knowledge society via Singaporean state activities as a social construct of reality that — in Weber’s understanding — orients and motivates actors. It is argued that this construct ‘knowledge society,’ today is not only a technological and economic programme, but furthermore is offered as means to explain and justify economic and social changes that are taking place. Therewith, it is offered as a visionary guide for collective action and a focal point of collective identity reducing feelings of insecurity and uncertainty in Beck’s second modernity.

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In: Asian Journal of Social Science
Mobilities, Meanings, Manoeuvrings
This volume explores how the city and the sea converse and converge in creating new forms of everyday urbanity in archipelagic and island Southeast Asia. Drawing inspiration from case studies spanning Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, and New Caledonia, the volume rethinks the place of the sea in coastal cities, through a mobility-inspired understanding of urbanity itself. How might conceptualisations of contemporary coastal urbanisms be approached from the sea, in ways that complicate singularly terrestrial, fixed framings of the city? What connections, contradictions, and dissonances can be found between sea change and urban change? While addressing these questions, the authors re-centre more marginal voices of those who dwell and work in islanded metropoles, offering new insights on the futures and contested nature(s) of littoral urban transformation.