The project seeks to establish Singapore’s identity relations with its neighbours in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and selected East Asian territories such as Hong Kong, Taiwan, and South Korea. It also undertakes an in-depth examination of Singapore’s national identity, including how the concept of national identity differs among different communities, and the implications on national resilience and social integration.
The project has the potential to inform Singapore’s foreign and security policy, through an understanding of our national identity, as well as that of our neighbours in Asia; and the identity relations among them and how Singapore's national identity relates to them. Our policies could also be informed by insights on national identity relations at home, in particular, how widely and deeply the predominant discourse of Singaporean national identity is shared, what cleavages exist, and the lines along which those cleavages manifest themselves.
The project revealed some of the following findings:
- Apart from the usual markers of identity such as religion and ethnicity, values—including political and civic ones—are also key in shaping identities and driving preferences.
- People may be willing to accept significant risk and cost, sometimes outweighing material concerns, in holding on to their identities, even in this region.