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Editor Donghyun Park

Authors Tan Khee Giap, Woo Wing Thye, Tan Kong Yam, Linda Low, Ee Ling Grace Aw This unique volume aims to provide a first comprehensive assessment on attributes, conditions and characters which constitute a liveable city. The book posits that the degree of liveability depends on five themes: satisfaction with the freedom from want; satisfaction with the state of the natural environment and its management; satisfaction with freedom from fear; satisfaction with the socio-cultural conditions; and satisfaction with public governance.

Faced with a rapidly aging population, developing Asia must address two critical challenges: maintaining growth and providing adequate, affordable, sustainable income support for the elderly. This book deals with the second issue by examining the pension systems of eight developing Asian countries—the People's Republic of China, Indonesia, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Viet Nam.

Publisher: World Scientific

Publisher: Asia Development Bank




Editors Anand Chiplunkar, Kallidaikurichi Seetharam, Tan Cheon Kheong The September 2012 issue of Global Policy Journal contains articles on establishing a new global economic council; small arms trafficking; fragile states; economic nationalism and the inclusiveness of global policy. Edited by Tikki Pang and Kelley Lee, the special section focuses on ‘Global Health Governance and the Rise of Asia’. Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

This report presents case studies on successful Asian water utilities. The case studies provide objective, accurate, and critical analyses of urban water management practices in eight Asian cities over a 10-year period. Other local leaders throughout the developing world can use these cases to help craft their own solutions, taking into account specific local circumstances. What is most important for cities is to find some common base elements for success and then replicate these, albeit with appropriate modifications, to suit their own special conditions. Publisher: Asia Development Bank

Managing Editor Claire Leow, Editor and Writer Melanie Chua, Designer Chris Koh,

Illustrators Paul Lachine (inclusive of cover) Editorial Assistant Kwan Chang Yee, Editorial Office Research Support Unit (RSU) Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy 469C Oei Tiong Ham Building, Singapore 259772 To offer feedback on, or contribute an article to Global-is-Asian, please email

Dean’s provocations



36 21st century leadership: the tri-sector athlete

Good politics + good economics = good governance

41 The new politics of development


Photo essay


Supporting Asia’s growth: the pillars beneath Asia’s water sector

44 Urban poverty: Asian Trends Monitoring Bulletin


Remembering Kuo Pao Kun: theatre as sociopolitical commentary

Executive Education

10 Happiness and young Singaporeans

50 2nd Temasek Foundation Water Leadership Programme

12 Does Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness Index have a role in organisations?

51 Committed to supporting the development of public policy education in Central Asia

14 What does the future of banking hold?

52 Senior Management Programme 2012: Leadership & Governance

Focus 16 Asia in the world economy: a leitmotif and three policy challenges 19 EU pivot to Asia 22 Fiscal space and the financing of social pensions

53 Afghanistan on the road to prosperity Alma Mater 54 Valedictory dinner for the MPA Class of 2012

Global-is-Asian is available free online at

24 Towards greater regional health governance in ASEAN: the potential of civil society

Shrink wrap

No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission from the Managing Editor. © 2012, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, NUS. Global-is-Asian is published quarterly.

27 Rising to the challenge of the 21st century: the role of futures research

59 Accolades

The views and opinions expressed in this publication reflect the authors’ point of view only and not necessarily those of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, NUS.

31 Between expressive behaviour and public policy

58 Scholars without borders 60 On the move 62 The paths to happiness

33 Branding implications for the rise of Asia

ISSN 1793-8902

Kuo Pao Kun (1939–2002) • 8

A brave new world economy • 16

The pursuit of happiness • 12

Asian Trends Monitoring Bulletin: he can afford to send only one of his children to school • 44

“Failures to connect” undermine many worthy policies. In this, the eighth year of LKY School, Dean Kishore Mahbubani emphasises the necessary multidisciplinary approach to meet an intertwined world.


ichael Bloomberg is one of the smartest policymakers in the world today. He has led New York City brilliantly as mayor for 11 years now and running. For his leadership, he was awarded the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize in March 2012. Yet even he has had his fair share of policy failures. When Manhattan began to have traffic congestion problems, he scoured the world for the best policy solutions. Soon he discovered that Singapore, London, and Stockholm had found the right solution. Since road space was a scarce commodity, the right economics price could allocate road usage efficiently. With the right economics solution, he went to the New York State Assembly to get their support. There he failed. Politics trumped economics. Local vested interests lobbied successfully against his proposal and blocked it; Mayor Bloomberg learned a lesson that all policymakers have to learn at some time or another. Good economics is not enough. Good politics needs to accompany good economics to get policymaking success. This failure to connect good economics with good politics is happening at all levels. 4 · Oct–Dec 2012 ·

Good economics is not enough. Good politics needs to accompany good economics to get policymaking success.

In July 2012, former US Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin warned that America was headed straight toward a “fiscal cliff” with a potential contraction of US$600 billion a year—or about 4 percent of America’s GDP— if the US Congress took no action to stop the automatic budget cuts by 2 January 2013. All this could trigger a double dip recession in the US. Rubin warned that this “unsustainable fiscal outlook undermines business confidence by creating uncertainty about future policy, economic conditions and our ability to govern, which in turn dampens investment and hiring,” as he wrote in “A Budget Grand Bargain Will Follow the Election” in the Wall Street Journal, 28 May 2012. Most policymakers know what a sensible economic plan would look like to prevent such an economic recession. It would involve a mix of tax increases and cuts in spending, especially in long-term entitlements. The SimpsonBowles Commission in 2010 offered such a sensible plan. Yet it failed to take off for the same reason that Mayor Bloomberg’s road-pricing scheme did not take off: there was no combination of good economics with good politics.

Dean’s provocations

Image: Getty

There are some big lessons that the policy- integrate the application of the principles of makers need to learn from all these policy fail- economics and politics (and public manageures. One, it is not enough to find the right eco- ment) to some “wicked” public policy probnomics solution to a policy problem. Equally lems. This is something few other public polimportantly, policymakers need to assess icy schools have attempted. how make a good economics solution politiSuccess is never guaranteed in such an cally acceptable. Most policy schools include undertaking. There will be many challenges courses on economics and politics in their cur- and risks both in design and implementation. riculum. However, these courses are delivered In addition, as Machiavelli wisely warned as silos with little integration, although inter- back in 1513, “There is nothing more diffinational political economy is taught as a sep- cult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, arate discipline. But as these examples illus- or more uncertain in its success, than to take trate, in the real world, politics and economics the lead in the introduction of a new order of are intertwined so what the School plans to things. For the reformer has enemies in all do is to integrate politics, economics and man- those who profit by the old order, and only agement seamlessly so that some of the most lukewarm defenders in all those who would pressing policy issues are discussed and ana- profit by the new order.” lyzed in ways that more accurately reflect the Yet there are also risks in not carrying dilemmas faced by policymakers, especially out reforms. The School has made impresthose in Asia. sive strides in its first eight years. These The Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy have been documented in the book Lee is about to undertake some bold innovations Kuan Yew School of Public Policy: Building in its curriculum. In addition to strengthen- a Global Policy School in Asia, unveiled on ing the concentration courses in politics and 7 September 2012. Indeed, the book received economics, an effort will be made to create a many positive endorsements from many gloyear-long multidisciplinary course that will bal leaders, including Indonesian President

Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, former US Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker, and former EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy. The School cannot afford to rest on its laurels. It would be a real mistake to do so, especially in a world and in a region undergoing such rapid transformation. Some of the best practices in good policymaking come from the time when humanity began to organise itself into separate tribes and societies. The importance of ethics has been emphasised by Plato and Aristotle, Confucius and Buddha. Yet, as societies become more complex and become more interdependent, we also have to understand why policies succeed or fail in our time. In our effort to do this, we will inevitably have to employ multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches. A curriculum that emphasises multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary learning would therefore give the LKY School a competitive edge in the years to come. Kishore Mabhubani is the Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore. · Oct–Dec 2012 · 5

the pillars beneath Asia’s water sector by Andrea Biswas-Tortajada


his year, on the sidelines of the More importantly, any future ways of devel- reactive approaches, to manage risk more 13,500-strong Singapore International oping infrastructure would entail a profound effectively and to develop and strengthen Water Week (SIWW) at Marina Bay Sands change in our collective political, economic, human and institutional capacities and Convention Centre, 14 carefully selected environmental and social mindsets. frameworks for improved, rational and equiwater experts from all across the world hudIn Asia, the most populous continent in the table water management. Thus, engaging dled to hold an independent, constructive, and world, on current behaviour, water demand in this type of problem-solving, pragmatic blunt discussion about “Water Infrastructure would likely double by 2050 due to population dialogue could not be any timelier. Certain in Asia: What is Needed and What is likely growth, urbanisation, change in diets, inten- countries have already developed numerto be the Reality”. The Lee Kuan Yew School sifying industrialisation, challenges in rais- ous water storage options and multi-purof Public Policy, the Third World Centre for ing agricultural productivity to meet food and pose infrastructural projects, such as China Water Management and SIWW sponsored energy requirements and climate changes, all or Turkey, but most of the potential in the the event to set the agenda on tackling Asia’s of which add uncertainty to already highly region is still untapped. Nonetheless, signifipressing issues in the water sector. complex and variable scenarios. Without cant hydro activity is being witnessed with The meeting sought to emulate the origi- any doubt, the challenges ahead are formida- new plants being developed, constructed and nal aim the World Economic Forum had set for ble, but so are the prospects for improvement, rehabilitated in countries such as India, Laos, its meetings in Davos, Switzerland, namely to growth, and development. Thailand, Cambodia, Bhutan and Malaysia. set a template for luring influential political, These advancements have become possible as government, business, civil and academic per- The cost of inertia governments overcome some of the planning, sonalities to one place and tackle Asia’s most Asia is urbanising and industrialising at a his- management and governance challenges that pressing challenges. torically unprecedented speed. With 11 out of have hindered the construction of infrastrucThe group gathered to apply its intellectual 20 mega-cities in the world, defined as cities tures in the past. muscle to discuss water infrastructure and the with populations exceeding 10 million people, Nevertheless, the role politics play in policy, institutional, legal, financial, physical, it is no surprise that Asian metropolis are also water projects should not be overlooked or social and environmental pillars sustaining it. the continent’s economic and industrial pow- underestimated. Initiatives often face polarDiscussions also centred on how to develop erhouses. Harnessing the region’s macroeco- ised fierce opposition or enthusiastic support and manage governance frameworks and sys- nomic growth, Asian countries can use capi- by minorities, political parties and interest tems, public policies, physical structures and tal and human resources to approach water groups. Some projects are the whimsical, vancommunication avenues through which water and wastewater management challenges as an ity or signature initiatives for certain politiresources can be managed efficiently, effec- indispensable step in any effort made to alle- cians and their administrations. Inefficiently tively and sustainably in Asia, one of the viate poverty and improve the population’s planned, built and managed white elephants world’s most vibrant regions. standards of living both in rural and urban faintly deliver the promised benefits and deter Moving beyond conventional engineer- areas. It is thus imperative to draw a much the construction and improvement of faciliing and economics, studies from 11 Asian more tighter and clearer connection between ties needed by making wasteful use of financountries showed the extent to which each water, food, energy, and environmental serv- cial and human resources and betraying pubapproach to address water requirements is ices and also between development, well- lic trust. Better institutions and more robust context-specific and politics-conditioned. Any being, happiness and access to water, sanita- capacities can help avoid profligate projects action requires the strong will and implemen- tion and wastewater management via more and that serve purely politically or financially tation commitment of all stakeholders, size- better planned and managed infrastructure. opportunistic objectives. able investments from conventional and new Unsurprisingly, Asia’s challenges and All across Asia, countries are coming up partners, comprehensive strategies, effective potential compel politicians and stakeholders with good examples of how to formulate senimplementation and management and contin- to assign priority to all manner of engineer- sible policies and mobilise high approval uing technological adaptation and innovation. ing feats, to implement proactive rather than rates for the construction or expansion of 6 · Oct–Dec 2012 ·


Image: Singapore International Water Week Pte Ltd

Singapore International Water Week (SIWW) 2012, now in its fifth year, achieved a new record of S$13.6 billion in total value for the announcements on projects awarded, tenders, investments and R&D MOUs made at the event.

infrastructures. Singapore has been long singled out as a case where water is one of the country’s key agenda drivers and where leadership, strong political will and coordinated institutional activities have positioned water as a crosscutting issue in the development policies and practices. That is an important first step. Reservations that have led to loose, if any, policy collaboration and communication among public, private, academic and social stakeholders have been of little use to those still without access to safe and drinkable potable water, proper sanitation and wastewater treatment, a number in excess of 1.64 billion only in South Asia. Unless all relevant players are actively engaged, how can the general public support the development of infrastructure needed to provide these basic services in the scale that is required? Engaging stakeholders Assertive and coherent political guidance can also prove key in bringing about attitudinal changes. Awareness raising, keeping a mutually reinforcing relationship with the public and engaging civil actors are increasingly important factors in rallying support.

Decision-making processes need to be made joint ventures are providing the US$15 billion sustainable and more socially and environ- investment needed to harness the 10,000 MW mentally responsible and responsive. For this, of hydropower resources Bhutan’s governwe need to think about the different avenues ment reckons it will need by 2020. And whilst and ways in which public opinion, support, heavy Indian involvement has raised national feedback and concerns can be brought on questions of ownership, equity, energy secuboard to develop physical, social and political rity and fuel alternatives, the aim of seizing infrastructure. And whilst certain sectors face energy-generation potential remains primarily more barriers in winning support, illustrative to meet domestic needs. examples of sizeable gains from safe water This meeting was a first step towards forand sanitation are easier to communicate. mulating useful policy recommendations and In places where information on overall present constructive criticisms around key good management practices has been dissem- water infrastructure issues. Public, private, inated, qualms on previous mistakes, which civil and academic actors can all benefit from may have hindered new projects, have been engaging in targeted, pragmatic and honest removed. An excellent example is Bhutan, assessments of the state of affairs in terms of where political will, economic development what is available at present, what is needed in and civil policy ownership seemed to have the future and how best the gaps in different met at a comfortable middle ground in mak- Asian countries can be filled in a cost-effecing of the hydropower export sector an engine tive, socially and environmentally acceptable for domestic socioeconomic growth. This and also timely manner. Tackling water chalis, while the primary purpose of harnessing lenges, Davos-style, promises to help direct water resources is to meet domestic needs, the water stakeholders’ minds, hearts and wilful export of energy greatly enhances revenue determination on the right path. generation leading to socio-economic development, alleviating poverty and closing the gap Andrea Biswas-Tortajada is from the Third between the rich and the poor. Bhutan-Indian World Centre for Water Management in Mexico. government-government and public-public Her email is · Oct–Dec 2012 · 7

“It is easy to fall into elegy when examining Kuo’s contribution, but ultimately,

theatre as socio-political commentary

re-membering entails bringing together the various aspects of his work and life to understand his

by Melanie Chua

value in our society.” —Alvin Tan, founder director of The Necessary

One of Singapore’s most important dramatists, arts activists and public intellectuals, Kuo Pao Kun’s life spanned all of local theatre’s own burgeoning developments.


September 2012 marked the tenth anni- fluent Beijing-accented Mandarin gave him a versary of Kuo Pao Kun’s passing. The social advantage, especially during his stint renowned Singaporean playwright and direc- as a broadcaster at radio station Rediffusion’s tor was one of the most important dramatists, Mandarin play section. (Rediffusion, a staple arts activists and public intellectuals of con- for over thirty years, finally closed this year temporary Singapore. His plays have been on 30 April due to commercial reasons. Its translated into Malay, Tamil, Hindi, German, demise reflects the loss of another heritage Japanese, and performed around the world icon in our changing society.) Nonetheless, his from Africa to Australia. background positioned him well to be a voice This year also marks a decade since the of a generation, and a polyglot voice to boot. opening of Esplanade—Theatres by the Bay. During the student unrest in the early Officially declared open on 10 October 2002, 1950s, he was pulled out from his studies by the performance arts complex was consid- his father, and later further removed when he ered a crucial pinnacle in a grand plan to was shipped off to Hong Kong; The Chinese remake Singapore as a renaissance city. Still, High School (now known as Hwa Chong Singapore barely had the credentials for such Institution) was one of the Chinese politiambition, and the timing, around the time of cal strongholds. He returned to Singapore the SARS pandemic, would affect travel and after the unrest, this time directly to an the attendance of artists to support the cause. English-medium school called Pasir Panjang Fast forward a decade later, a series of com- Secondary School. After graduating in 1959, memorations has taken place to reflect on the he left for Melbourne and worked as a transman many consider to be the founding father lator/announcer at Radio Australia for three of Singapore theatre, and his contributions to and a half years, before taking up an intensive the development of Singapore theatre. Kuo two-year drama programme with the National Pao Kun’s plays have paralleled the trajectory Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in Sydney. of Singapore theatre, not only in its social- When he returned to Singapore, it was 1965, cultural changes, but also its socio-political and the party that had just gained power when concerns. he left was now to lead the charge in the newly Born in Hebei, China in 1939, he grew up independent nation-state. in Beijing, and was sent for by his father in Singapore when he was ten—after spending Early turbulence nine months in transition in Hong Kong. Kuo When asked why he returned when Sydney arrived speaking none of the local dialects represented more artistic opportunities, not other than his native-style Cantonese, and knew least, the glamour of a rare opportunity overnone of the 26 English alphabets. However, his seas, Kuo said he was drawn back by the 8 · Oct–Dec 2012 ·

Stage, Kuo Pao Kun International Conference, September 2012

nationalist movement of the 1960s. Indeed the turbulence provided ripe material for his work. Kuo’s early plays focused on politicised social issues, reflecting its turbulent times both in Singapore, as well as an increasingly fractional revolutionary environment internationally. His first full-length Mandarin play was Hey, Wake Up! (1968). Next, The Struggle (1969) is about a family who lose their plot of land to a property developer. The play was banned by the authorities, which was actively acquiring land on the cheap to found a modern city-state. In 1965, the year of Singapore’s independence, he founded the Practice Performing Arts School (PPAS) with his wife, dancer and choreographer Goh Lay Kuan. He imagined the pioneer independent performing arts institution to be a symbiosis of school and professional company linked together to lay the ground for a vibrant theatre scene. One problem was the lack of interest in actually practicing drama professionally. To boot, “to teach by charging a fee was rejected even by many in the theatre world, because Chinese theatre had always been part of cultural movements since the May 4th Movement of 1919.” Kuo, however, believes this was not simply a ‘Chinese model’ but reflection of the times. Chinese drama was then the most active, and between 1965 and 1975, commanded an audience with as many as 20,000 people per production. Kuo has said, “Some of our original plays could sell out a season of 15 or even 20 performances two weeks before opening at


the Singapore Victoria Theatre, which seats 900. The market was not really the problem when you have mass movements, and if the drama is entrenched in those movements.” In 1976, Kuo was detained under the Internal Security Act by the Singapore Government for four years and seven months on communist conspiracy charges, among hundreds of others. Of that period, he has offered, “You see, how you draw the line is difficult. It depends on who draws the line... He (Bertolt Brecht, who was one of the most important theatre makers of the 20th century) is a selfdeclared Marxist.” In 1966, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, the first Brecht play presented to Singapore audiences, had been produced and translated into Mandarin by Kuo. Post-1980s experimentations By the 1980s, the political landscape had evolved. It was the decade of rapid development, and to a great degree, the years that redrew the economic, social, political and psychological landscape of Singapore. After his release from prison, The Coffin Is Too Big For The Hole (1984) marked a new direction. While much of his writing was considered social-political criticism, Kuo said, “it was no longer my interest” from the 1980s. Regardless, many tend to read his plays as political, partly because of his background, partly because they comment on the social issues that affect every strata of society. He dropped the use of perfect Mandarin diction to employ localised, everyday language. As his first English piece, Coffin is also considered a seminal work. That it was translated to other languages such as Tamil and Hindi, and produced by Malays and Indonesians, even though the Muslims among them do not bury their dead, was testament to its powerful grasp of everyman’s struggle in a modern society run by bureaucrats, and the resonance of the message across other societies. The 1980s marked an upswing in English theatre, led by three key theatre companies: The Necessary Stage (TNS), TheatreWorks, and The Theatre Practice (TTP), which was Singapore’s first local bilingual theatre group with Kuo as its major enabling figure. The emerging affluence of Singapore grew a bigger market for drama. English being elevated to the national first language in the late 1970s was one change that aided this shift. Local English theatre started to express local sentiments only from the 1960s, but Kuo noted “they were spearheaded by intellectuals

Kuo Pao Kun (1939-2002).

who were detached from the mass movements”. They were university lecturers, students and teachers; never part of the popular culture or popular movement, and the theatre reflected the myriad levels of a nation reorganising itself: political struggle over identity, displacement of people, the reorganisation of the economy, rewriting of the labour laws, suppression of dissenting political, student, and labour movements. The polyglot and the humanist Kuo broke the mould of single-language theatre when he began writing in two languages. He usually translated his own work at least partly to reach a larger local audience. Popular among both artists and intellectuals, his networks bridged the gulf between Chinesespeaking and the English-speaking and also that between East Asian and Southeast Asian communities. His own plays reflect the multilingual realities of Singapore life. Unlike the powers that be, he did not see it as Babel, a cacophony of voices. He heard instead an orchestra. Mama Looking for Her Cat (1984) is now regarded as a classic of Singapore’s national theatre. Using seven languages and the regional languages commonly used in Singapore, loosely known as dialects, the play reflects the increasing marginalisation of dialects in Singapore in the 1980s, which were censured from print and media broadcasts by the 1990s. Mama speaks Hokkien, and the tale

of an old woman alienated from her English and Mandarin educated children allude to the disjunctures between languages and traditions, as well as authority and people. It pre-dates the Speak Proper English campaign in 2000, which sought to overcome a hybrid of tongues that had come to characterise the Singapore language. Then-Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong said, “Singaporeans should not take the attitude that...speaking Singlish makes them more ‘Singaporean’. If they speak Singlish when they can speak good English, they are doing a disservice to Singapore!” (Straits Times, 29 April 2000). This was a key part of a plan to develop Singapore into a ‘renaissance city’, which involved creating international ties, and crucially, the investment towards economy, and bench-marking with cities such as Melbourne, Hong Kong, and Glasgow, and aspirationally, New York and London. This drive outwards in building the arts’ marks an interesting contrast with Kuo’s examination of within. Mama also marks Kuo’s essential humanism in his vision of theatre. By seeking a theatre that ‘remembers’, ‘recreates’, and ‘activates’, Kuo believes “to consolidate the unity of pluralistic people, it is necessary to explore the complexity of life in greater depth, and with greater vigour”. Melanie Chua is a Writer/Editor for Global-isAsian. Her email is

· Oct–Dec 2012 · 9

Singaporeans The recent interest in happiness is not surprising when seen in the wider context of global interest on happiness research. How do young Singaporeans fare, and what challenges lie ahead? Kang Soon Hock reports.


f late, happiness has been the subject of con- and Tony Beatton in the Journal of Economic versation for many young Singaporeans. Behavior and Organization, where many more Most recently, it figured as part of the on-going people are reported to be happier at the later “Our Singapore Conversation”, a government- stages of their lives. led initiative on the future of Singapore involvThe recent interest in happiness is not suring Singaporeans and gathers their “aspira- prising when seen in the wider context of global tions, hopes and ideas of a Singapore that interest on happiness research. Bhutan’s Gross Singaporeans want in the future.” Last year, the National Happiness Index is an oft-cited example local media reported that younger Singaporeans (see next article) and indicates a movement away were not as happy as their older counterparts from primarily focusing on traditional economic based on a survey report released by a market- measures of household income to encompass ing communications agency. Early this year, other indicators—for example, from the other the United Nations released the first World spheres of society, work and social relationHappiness Report edited by John Helliwell, ships—that has been presented in great detail by Richard Layard, and Jeffrey Sachs. In that psychologists Ed Diener and Martin Seligman report, Singapore was ranked among the hap- in their article in Psychological Science in the piest countries in East Asia. Public Interest published in 2004. More recently, These research findings present seemingly a number of surveys have also measured differcontradictory observations. While Singapore ent dimensions of happiness, the more prominent does not rank poorly on happiness on the global of which were included in the United Nations’ stage, it would appear that young Singaporeans World Happiness Report cited earlier, the Gallup are not as happy compared with older World Poll, and the World Values Survey. Singaporeans. This, however, is not unusual Research into the area of happiness is not when we consider the relationship between age new, and from the myriad of research one clear and happiness. Utilising data from Germany, message that resonates is that while money conAustralia, and Britain, this was characterised tributes to one’s happiness, it is but a small part as a “late wave” by economists Paul Frijters of the happiness puzzle. Economist Richard 10 · Oct–Dec 2012 ·

Easterlin, in his article published in Daedalus in 2004 entitled “The Economics of Happiness”, observed that most people could be happier if they paid more attention to family life and their health as opposed to the endless pursuit of money. Easterlin also suggests that marriage is far more important in determining one’s happiness, and this is best illustrated in his example where previously divorced individuals who remarry are more likely to report greater happiness levels comparable to those who remain married. In Singapore, the latest marriage and parenthood trends, released earlier this year by the National Population and Talent Division under the Prime Minister’s Office, reported increasing singlehood rates among those aged between 30 and 34. Taking into account the earlier findings on young Singaporeans being an unhappy lot in the country and positive effects to individual happiness by being married, it does make us pause to think if the very delays in transitioning to a married state for some may have contributed to this. Aside from this, there is also evidence to show that social interactions between family members, friends, and neighbours have a significant influence on an individual’s happiness.


Image: Thinkstock

Volunteerism builds up social capital and sense of well-being, research shows.

In terms of dollars and cents, increases in such interactions are valued up to an additional £85,000 in terms of life satisfaction based on research carried out by Nattavudh Powdthavee employing data from the British Household Panel Survey. Bruno Frey, a behavioural economist, has also offered other conditions—for example, marriage, unemployment and volunteer work—which are hypothesised to have an effect on individual happiness. Happiness and creativity For one, there is evidence to suggest that areas such as volunteerism in the community can help to build one’s social capital as well as possibly increase one’s sense of well-being in the process. However, in a fast-paced society such as Singapore, it may be a challenge for many young Singaporeans. The environment we live in also has an effect on the level of happiness, as noted in Happiness, Economics and Politics: Towards a Multi-Disciplinary Approach, edited by Amitava Krishna Dutt and Benjamin Radcliff. In the local context, it is a pertinent issue especially in land-scarce Singapore, where the acquiring of land for development has

The YSC series is a programme designed and organised by the Institute of Policy Studies to reach out to outstanding young Singaporeans, from the ages of 25 to 35, for a national dialogue on issues of importance. This year’s participants were primarily from leadership levels in government, business, civil society, and the arts, and the conference concluded with a dialogue session with Mr Heng Swee Keat, Minister for Education.

also brought to the forefront tensions between Young Singaporeans Happy?” The conference development and heritage. These factors will covered the overarching questions: (1) if young also have further influence on the happiness of Singaporeans are happy, what are the areas that young Singaporeans, which in turn influences they identify with that make them happy; (2) if the level of creativity among the younger pop- they are not, what can be done to give rise to ulation as there is evidence to link creativity happiness among them, and to a larger extent, with happiness based on research conducted the nation as a whole; and (3) aside from govby Harvard Business School’s Teresa Amabile. ernment, how can other sectors of society help With scant natural resources apart from its to build or improve upon the foundations for a human capital, an unhappy populace devoid of happy society? creative energy would be detrimental to enterprises and businesses here that thrive on it. Kang Soon Hock is a Research Fellow at the In view of these underlying issues, the theme LKY School, and also a member of the for the Young Singaporeans Conference (YSC) Housing Development Board (HDB) held by the Institute of Policy Studies on 26 Research Advisory Panel. His email is September 2012 focused on happiness—“Are · Oct–Dec 2012 · 11

have a role in organisations? by Khatiza Van Savage

Can happiness be calibrated and incorporated as a policy driver with distinct processes to reach a desired outcome?


hutan’s concept of Gross National Happiness Index was presented to the Young Global Leaders of the World Economic Forum at a recent session held in Singapore. Participants were challenged to consider how their organisations might be the catalysts to incorporate the GNH Index as their employee happiness barometer. The Fourth King of Bhutan first conceived of an index of Gross National Happiness when he ascended the throne in 1972. He deemed it critical that Bhutan’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) goals include the happiness of the collective society and that physical, emotional, spiritual and cultural well-being had to be considered alongside material wellbeing. Over time, the four key pillars of gross national happiness—Sustainable & Equitable Socio-Economic Development, Preservation of Culture, Conservation of Environment, 12 · Oct–Dec 2012 ·

and Good Governance—have evolved into the reactions by the young leaders at the nine domains for deeper consideration and forum were diverse, from a willingness to more precise ways of development: hear of the GNH concept, to rejection, it • living standards remains remarkable that happiness can now • health be debated seriously as a policy driver at the • psychological well being highest levels. • education As a start, some participants expressed • time use their resistance to the word “happiness” and • community vitality how it can be defined. I recall a TED talk— • cultural diversity and resilience where individuals spread ideas in 18 min• ecological diversity and resilience; utes or less—where Matthieu Ricard, the and French molecular biologist-turned-monk, said, • good governance “Happiness is a dirty word for us French.” Policies defined and programmes idenThis begs the question, “Why do organitified now seek to measure the indicators sations shudder at the word, happiness?” Do within the nine domains to evaluate if the organisations fear that a happy employee actions support the GNH values defined. may be too distracted to be a productive Few might have expected that four dec- employee? Do organisations fear that hapades later, this concept of measuring hap- piness might negatively impact their brand? piness has spread around the world. While Is happiness too subjective a value to be


Image: Getty

measured and calibrated into policies? Yet, Could an Organisational Happiness Index fit “Today, GNH has come to mean so many post-Great Financial Crisis, one would be in as an internal process measuring employee things to so many people but to me it signihard put to argue that individual and collec- engagement and capability? fies simply development guided by human tive well-being can be sacrificed on the altar Organisations can be the catalysts to values.” of key performance indices. explore the GNH Index by adapting it within Bhutan sees its role as “providing the canMost in the audience considered the BSC the Balanced Scorecard, creating the frame- vas for Individuals and Organisations to (Balanced Scorecard), a widely-accepted work for leaders at every level to be assessed paint their own and their communities’ picstrategic planning and performance man- on their role within the Employee Happiness ture of happiness”. The challenge is finding agement framework, more tangible that the Index. Vineet Nayar, CEO of HCL, India’s the right tools to translate vision to reality, GNH. If an organisation were to measure its leading IT and Technology company says, and to devise processes and policies to Gross National Happiness in the context of “Employees first, customers second.” His achieve the desired and defined outcome. the BSC, what would be the Four Pillars and 360-feedback process, where employees Nine Domains within the BSC? assess their superiors, not just the other way Khatiza Van Savage is the Founder and Chief Is it time to add an additional compo- around as is conventionally the case, is avail- Happiness Architect of Insightful Learning nent to the Balanced Scorecard as a means able to all its 90,000 employees. Journeys in Bhutan. As a social enterprise, 10 of measuring happiness and defining actions If all countries had GDP and the GNH percent of net proceeds are directed towards and values to support it? And if Financials Index as a means of measuring its leaders, outreach programmes selected by the peer and Customers are the outcomes, then which what would election debates look like? How group with the intent of creating Communities drivers within the Processes and Capabilities would potential leaders woo voters? of Practice to Multiply Happiness. Her email is Lens could incorporate the Happiness Index? In the words of the Fifth King of Bhutan, · Oct–Dec 2012 · 13

of banking hold? by Meryl Haddad

Former governor of the Swiss national bank, Philip Hildebrand, talks about the future of banking, and the necessity of the Basel III.


an banks regain the people’s trust? And what exactly is the Basel III response? Dr. Philipp Hildebrand, former governor of the Swiss national bank until January 2012, attempted to answer these questions in the S.T. Lee Distinguished Annual Lecture organised by the LKY School. Hildebrand’s lecture was one in a series of lectures on banking and banking reforms, tackling the challenges surrounding the current global financial crisis. The former governor is also set to start lecturing this year at Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Government as a senior visiting fellow.

Regaining trust With trust in banks severely damaged across the European continent and North America, Hildebrand emphasised the importance of having confidence in banks to bring 14 · Oct–Dec 2012 ·

prosperity to the world economy. Deploring responsible. Answered well, these questions the workings of the banking system before probe leaders to initiate profound changes in the crisis, Hildebrand said senior manage- the business world, he argued. ment in the banking sector must accept the A paradigm shift is key to banks regaining logic of having risk-adjusted returns while the trust of the people. Following the Basel III also focus on activities where profitability is accords, and enforcing regulatory measures, not the number one priority. Though this may would be a start, he said. While not perfect, not appeal to those within the banking sec- departing from the Basel III agreements would tor, shareholders are beginning to accept the be what he called “a grave mistake”. What the logic behind it, as they have realised that the banking sector now needs is augmented transprevious paradigm simply did not work in the parency, especially in the area of financial long term. infrastructure. Also needed, he stated, is a Hildebrand went on to state that regulatory change in culture. Though difficult to achieve, change is essential as a lever that will change a change in culture is vital for the changes in incentives for management and alter behav- the thought processes that are needed to move iour. Quoting the CEO of Citigroup, Vikram forward from the financial crisis. Pandit, he agreed that there are three essential questions before embarking on any business A look at Basel III proceedings: whether it is in the client’s inter- In a more intimate lecture at the LKY est; has economic value, and is systemically School, chaired by Professor Charles Adams,


Dr. Philipp M. Hildebrand delivered a public talk titled “Can Banks Regain Public Trust?” at the LKY School on 17 September 2012.

Hildebrand addressed the issues of the Basel different, are deeply intertwined, Hildebrand III regulatory standards that have been set up. observed. “The European crisis will be The technicalities of it may be complicated, solved,” he said, “once the bond between sovbut they are important for the future of the ereign funds and banks is broken”. What is banking system. Without regulatory meas- needed however is to restore trust in the bankures that can aid the system to become less ing system. pro-cyclical, the world can expect to witness According to Hildebrand, Central Banks another financial crisis more devastating than face a threefold challenge: economic, intelthe current one. lectual, and institutional. It is important that Reckless lending and excessive leverage banks receive more capital of better quality in the financial system were factors in the instead of relying on risky ventures; future crash that we are witnessing today. Basel III, capital must be more loss-absorbing than what the international accord amongst some of the was witnessed during the crisis. Systemic most important financial centres of the world, risks in the current banking system need to aims to amend the wrongs entrenched in be addressed so that capital can act as a buffer the prior banking system. The reforms were in bad times. framed quickly to prevent another financial crisis. Where do we go from here? The fundamental problem in Europe was The internal risks built within meant the banks that the banking and sovereign crises, while were unable to withstand the financial crisis of

2008. Hildebrand states it is in the world’s interest to ensure that trust does become reclaimed because economic prosperity is dependent upon it. Basel III reforms must be taken seriously, as without these, the world can expect to see dire consequences in terms of more crashes occurring. What is needed is systemic change and more transparency from our banking sectors. The world cannot move forward, then, without some immediate reforms on the part of our leading financial institutions, he said. Meryl Haddad is a first-year MPP student studying at the LKY School. She graduated from the American University of Beirut in 2009 with a B.A in Political Science and worked as a freelance journalist before coming to Singapore to pursue a master's degree. Her email is · Oct–Dec 2012 · 15

Image: Paul Lachine

16 · Oct–Dec 2012 ·




hen I joined the Lee Kuan Yew School in January, I put on a new course on Asia in the World Economy. It covers East and South Asia—their historical and contemporary evolution in the global economy, the main countries and sub-regions, and key policy issues. Given such a wide sweep, this is a mightily challenging course to teach, especially in eliciting comparisons and generalisations from such a diverse region. Here I offer readers of this magazine my main conclusions from the course. The aftermath of the recent global economic crisis has reinforced a sense that the world is “shifting east”—to Asia. But habitually overlooked is the essential story of Asia today—its unprecedented expansion of economic freedom. Market liberalisation is its crucial enabler. Removing restrictions that repress economic activity has unleashed the animal spirits of ordinary people, and they are transforming Asia and the world in the process. But there is much unfinished business, for economic freedom remains substantially repressed across Asia. Expanding it should be the leitmotif for public policy. Take three key planks of contemporary policy.

First, let's focus on financial-market poli- liberalisation would liberate domestic privatecies. In most of Asia, financial systems remain sector growth, especially in services. backward. Command-economy controls restrict Second, trade and foreign-investment poliopportunities for all but the politically well-con- cies need revisiting. In Asia, trade and investnected and do a bad job in turning savings into ment liberalisation has created dynamic, productive investments. They restrict the tran- globally-integrated, world-class sectors, espesition from catch-up growth to more advanced, cially in manufacturing in East Asia. But there sustainable growth based on productivity gains. are still large pockets of protectionism, with Enabling the transition to a more prosperous, huge variation across Asia. Tariff barriers are sophisticated economy demands more finan- still a problem, but a plethora of non-tariff cial freedom. That requires liberalisation— barriers obstructs trade and foreign investremoval of interest-rate controls, opening to ment much more. Most of these are embedded new entrants, including foreigners, broadening in complex domestic regulation. Domestic red capital markets, and, ultimately, capital-account tape—on property rights, contracts, licensliberalisation—though this has to be balanced ing arrangements, paying taxes, opening and with prudential controls to reduce vulnerability closing businesses, labour laws and customs to extreme external shocks. procedures—continues to stifle the business Furthermore, “financial repression” is climate much more than in the West. This is at the core of “unbalanced growth” in sev- reflected in the World Bank’s Doing Business eral Asian economies—notably in China. It Index. OECD countries occupy eight of the promotes over-saving and over-investment, top 10 places (Singapore and Hong Kong are while repressing private consumption, real in first and second place). Malaysia, Thailand wages and employment growth. China’s finan- and Japan are in the top 20. But China is 91st, cial system channels—and wastes—massive India 132nd and Indonesia 129th. amounts of capital through state-owned banks Let us not forget that these regulations to state-owned enterprises while more effi- restrict economic freedom at the same time. cient, labour-intensive private-sector firms are The Fraser Institute’s Economic Freedom starved of funds. Carefully managed financial of the World Index has only two Asian · Oct–Dec 2012 · 17


societies—Hong Kong and Singapore—in the top ranks; the others are way behind. Generally, Asian economic institutions—public administration, enforcement of property rights, domestic regulatory authorities—are relatively weak and keep business and trade costs high, repressing entrepreneurship, innovation and consumption. They also result in badly integrated regional markets, beset by high intra-regional barriers to trade, investment and the movement of workers—a far cry from the EU and NAFTA. Third, energy and environmental policies are out-dated. Energy consumption in developing Asia is expected to double over the next two decades. That translates into much more demand for fossil fuels—oil, natural gas and coal. China and India will import much more of all three, especially oil and natural gas, for which they will become even more reliant on the Middle East. But energy markets are throttled by government intervention and state-owned enterprises. Price controls, subsidies, export restrictions and inward-investment restrictions are the norm. Energy is hardly covered by World Trade Organisation rules. China and India are attempting to secure energy supplies through commandeconomy rather than market instruments— sending out highly subsidised national oil companies, striking long-term contracts with foreign governments, and pledging loans for oil. These measures make energy markets pricier and more volatile, and they exacerbate geopolitical tensions. More energy freedom is required to make energy supplies more stable, secure and costeffective, and to preserve peaceful international relations. That means liberalisation—removing price controls and subsidies, encouraging private-sector and foreign investment, “unbundling” generation, transmission and distribution in the power sector, and freeing international trade. 18 · Oct–Dec 2012 ·

Generally, Asian economic institutions— public administration, enforcement of property rights, domestic regulatory authorities— are relatively weak and keep business and trade costs high, repressing entrepreneurship, innovation and consumption. They also result in badly integrated regional markets, beset by high intra-regional barriers to trade, investment and the movement of workers—a far cry from the EU and NAFTA.

Recipe for reform Now for some concluding observations. First, Asia’s poorer economies—those in the low-income and least-developed brackets—should concentrate on “first-generation” reforms for catch-up growth. This involves a combination of macroeconomic stabilisation and market liberalisation. That will provide the right environment for mobilising savings and investment, labour and capital, for growth. Asia’s middle and high-income economies should focus on “second-generation” reforms— more complex structural reforms in the thickets of domestic regulation—to boost competition, innovation and productivity gains. Both first and second-generation reforms entail the expansion of economic freedom. But structural reforms demand deeper institutional reforms in order to deliver productivityled growth. Will Asian institutions adapt? Are liberal political reforms necessary for second-generation economic reforms? Will political sclerosis keep countries stuck in a middle-income trap—or worse? How does all this relate to Asia’s geopolitical environment? These are mighty Asian questions and challenges—not least for China. Finally, my message is a classical-liberal one in the spirit of Adam Smith and David Hume. Limited government—a “strong but small” state that performs its core functions well but does not intervene left, right and centre—free markets at home and free trade abroad: that is the “system of economic liberalism”, as Joseph Schumpeter called it, to which Asians should aspire. Razeen Sally is a Visiting Associate Professor at the LKY School. He is also Director of the European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE), a global-economy think tank in Brussels, which he co-founded in 2006. His email is

According to a recent study by the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF), which tracked the perception of the EU in seven Asian countries, the EU is close to invisible. Michael Matthiessen explains that Asia is not invisible to the EU and it’s time to address this imbalance.

pivot to Asia


ecently, much attention has been paid to a US pivot to Asia. When it comes to Europe, the “Euro crisis” is what comes to the minds of many. While this crisis dominates the headlines, Europe’s increasing attention and policy shift towards Asia is getting little attention. The European Union is active and present in Asia—in many areas—and increasingly so. In fact, we are witnessing a EU pivot to Asia in 2012, with a large number of multilateral and bilateral summits as well as visits to Asia. Also this year the EU acceded to the ASEAN Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia, thereby becoming the only regional body to be part of it. And in parallel with Free Trade Agreements, the EU’s comprehensive engagement with Asian countries are being upgraded through Partnership and Cooperation Agreements. These various forums provide a space for a comprehensive dialogue between Europeans and Asians to address global challenges and further strengthen economic and political ties between the world’s two biggest trading regions.

Table 1: Bilateral and multilateral EU/Asia Summits in 2012




EU Participants




van Rompuy, Barroso



New Delhi

van Rompuy, Barroso

South Korea



van Rompuy, Barroso




van Rompuy, Barroso, Ashton




van Rompuy, Barroso and EU HoG/HoS

policies. This should and will be appreciated in Asia as well as among the EU’s other global partners. Key institutional interlocutors in the EU, responsible for various policies, stay in office for many years. With his re-election in March 2012 the first President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, will be in office for a total of five years. The President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, The Lisbon Treaty and EU engagement who was re-elected in 2009, is in his second in Asia five-year term. The mandate of Catherine Following the latest constitutional reform of Ashton, the High Representative for foreign the EU (the entry into force of the ‘Lisbon affairs and security policy, and Vice President Treaty’ in late 2009) there is now more conti- of the Commission, is for five years (and nuity in EU representation towards the rest of before taking up that post, she was European the world. There is also more coherence in EU Commissioner for Trade for one year). Under

her authority is the European External Action Service (EEAS), which coordinates EU policy vis-à-vis Asia and the rest of world. The network of 140 EU Delegations worldwide, including in almost all Asian countries, is part of the EEAS and represents the EU in their respective host countries, almost like national embassies. So in a year with presidential elections in the US and leadership change in China, there is continuity at the top of the EU. The EU has regular summits with its four strategic partners in Asia (China, India, Japan and South Korea) (see table 1). This is more than with any other region of the world and illustrates the importance the EU attaches to its relations with Asia. So far this year the EU · Oct–Dec 2012 · 19


has had summits with China, India and Korea, Table 2: Visits of HR/VP Ashton to Asia in 2012 all taking place in Asia. In fact two summits have taken place with China within seven Country/Forum Date months—one in China, one in the EU. And more is to come. In November the 9 th sumIndia January mit of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) will take place in Laos. Together with Presidents Burma/Myanmar April van Rompuy and Barroso, most heads of government or state of the 27 Member States will EU-ASEAN Foreign April attend the summit. Its 48 (soon 51) members Ministers, Brunei represent around 60 percent of the world’s Brunei April population, half of global gross domestic product and more than 60 percent of world Thailand May trade. On the trip, Presidents van Rompuy and Barroso will also make bilateral visits to other Pakistan June countries in the region (Cambodia, Indonesia, Burma/Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam). By ASEAN Regional the end of the year, the Presidents of the two Forum (ARF), July Cambodia key EU institutions will have spent a significant amount of time in Asia, despite the pressChina (strategic July ing agenda in Brussels. dialogue) Foreign policy High Representative Ashton has also been a frequent visitor to Asia this year (see table 2). Besides bilateral visits, she attended the EU-ASEAN Foreign Minister’s meeting in Brunei in April, which saw the European Commissioners, including Trade highest number of EU Foreign Ministers Commissioner de Gucht, have travelled to present ever. She represented the EU at the Asia in recent months. ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in Cambodia in July. In the margins she signed the proto- More than trade relations col whereby the EU acceded to the ASEAN Trade and investment continue to be areas of Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast high interest for both Asians and Europeans. Asia (TAC). Furthermore, a number of The EU’s trade agenda is very much focused on

agreements with Asian partners. While awaiting a region-to-region free trade agreement, the EU and interested ASEAN partners turned to bilateral agreements—FTAs (see table 3). After the first successful new generation FTA with South Korea entered into force in 2011, similar FTAs are under negotiation with a number of Asian countries (Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and India). In July, the European Commission further recommended starting negotiations on an FTA with Japan; FTAs with Indonesia and Thailand are under consideration. But there is more than that: in parallel with the FTAs, bilateral Partnership and Cooperation Agreements (PCAs) or Framework Agreements are being negotiated and agreed (see table 4). These new generation agreements cover a wide range of fields, which shows the comprehensive area of cooperation between the EU and countries in Asia. Furthermore, at the EU-ASEAN Ministerial meeting in April a comprehensive Plan of Action for the next five years was adopted. The Plan includes areas such as crisis response, mediation and reconciliation, transnational crime, and maritime security. It takes two to tango Compare the EU approach with the US: a pivot is also about high-level personal contacts, trade, mutual foreign investments, political cooperation, people-to-people contacts, etc. Despite the challenges imposed by the most severe

Table 3: EU next generation Free Trade Agreements (FTAs)

20 · Oct–Dec 2012 ·




South Korea

In force

Since 2011


Under negotiation

To be finalised in 2012 (final phase)


Under negotiation

Since 2010 (mid way)


Under negotiation

Since 2012 (first round October 2012)


Under negotiation

Since 2008


European Commission has suggested opening negotiations

Council to decide on opening of negotiations and mandate


In preparation

Pre-negotiation stage (scoping)


In preparation

Pre-negotiation stage (scoping)


(Investment agreement)

Negotiations to be launched soon


Image: Getty

The European Union (EU)-China summit on 14 February 2012 in Beijing, China focused on the Eurozone financial crisis, with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (C) stating that China is ready to increase 'its participation in resolving the EU debt problems'. Beside him are European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso (R), and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy.

Table 4: EU Partnership and Cooperation (Framework) Agreements (PCAs)









South Korea





Under negotiation


Under negotiation. Planned to be signed by end-2012


Under negotiation. Planned to be signed by end-2012


Under negotiation


Commission/EEAS proposed opening of negotiations





economic crisis and the societal upheavals reflected in the Arab Spring, the EU and its Asian partners are strengthening their ties. The EU is in fact pivoting to Asia, which is in the interest of both the EU and Asia. The EU— with a populace of more than half a billion people—is the world’s largest trading bloc and single market as well as the largest trading partner of many Asian countries. Europe continues to be the largest development donor in many Asian countries. Trade, mutual investments and assistance to ensure growth, employment and innovation are in both Asia’s and Europe’s interest. There are so many areas where the two sides can benefit and learn from each other. But is Asia ready to work with the EU? According to a recent study by the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF), which tracked the perception of the EU in seven Asian countries, the EU is close to invisible. By the end of 2012 this should no longer be the case, as this year has been marked by a massive EU engagement in Asia. This engagement should also be the occasion in Asia to reflect upon why the European Union received the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize. According to Dean Mahbubani of the LKY School, the prize to the EU is well deserved as there is no longer prospect for war in Europe. Hopefully the same can soon be said about Asia. a year with presidential elections in the US and leadership change in China, there is continuity at the top of the EU.

Michael Matthiessen is the EU Visiting Fellow at the LKY School, National University of Singapore. His email is · Oct–Dec 2012 · 21


FISCALSPACE AND THE FINANCING OF SOCIAL PENSIONS Prof Mukul Asher’s chapter in the new book, Social Protection for Older Persons: Social Pensions in Asia, published by the Asian Development Bank, argues that lowering the costs of delivering pensions would enhance distributions, Kwan Chang Yee reports.


ocial pensions refer to the monetary transIt is evident that total fiscal costs are cur- Meeting fiscal requirements fers from the public sector to a subset of rently manageable. This is true even for Nepal, There are two broad avenues by which the society (generally the elderly) to ensure that which is the only country to provide a pension requirements for a larger fiscal space could be the targeted group has some income support level at greater than 10 percent of the average met. One is to adjust benefit levels and the elithrough the rest of their lives. The evidence per capita income, and has the highest take-up gibility requirements. The other is to consider suggests that what is currently provided is rate of 80 percent. Total costs as a percentage alternative sources of financing, away from insufficient, and an expansion of the scheme of GDP (the solid line) is a mere 0.23 percent. the traditional reliance on taxes. But these are may be necessary to meet basic needs. Thus, pensions remain affordable at current by no means the only ways the government As financing of social pensions entail no cost and benefit levels. budget can be ‘stretched’. contributions from the beneficiaries, they are However, changing population demographMore subtly, Professor Asher points to the typically undertaken fully as part of fiscal ics over the next few decades are likely to potential of savings possible from improvexpenditure. Therefore, how this is financed increase future fiscal burden. Also, if Asian ing management and administrative practices. is pertinent to the health of a government’s countries follow closely to the aim of poverty Firstly, if governments are going to migrate budget. This is what the chapter, ‘Social reduction, pensions per person will need to be towards full implementation of a social penPensions for the Elderly in Asia: Fiscal Costs higher than the present provision. Assuming sion, they need to take stock if existing agenand Financing Methods’, by Professor Mukul an increase to 25 percent of the average per cies can be adapted for the system. Typically, Asher in Social Protection for Older Persons: capita income, projected costs may rise several establishing the administrative structure Social Pensions in Asia (2012) focuses on. times, to above the 2 percent of GDP mark (the incurs a minimum level of fixed costs, with Early in the chapter, Professor Asher sur- dashed line). the variable component rising with the adminveys and concludes that Asian countries have, Therefore, governments will require an istrative size. in general, individually instituted variants enhanced fiscal space in the range of 1 percent The literature estimates such costs as 5 perof the scheme. However, the total costs of to 2.5 percent of GDP to meet the larger pen- cent of benefits paid out by each implemented social pensions in general are low. Figure 1 is sion expenditure. And this is not yet including programme. Thus, if this set of costs can be adapted from the chapter and illustrates this other more ‘conventional’ fiscal needs such as reduced, it undoubtedly enhances the expendipoint. for health, education and infrastructure. ture capability of the government budget. This 22 · Oct–Dec 2012 ·


Figure 1: The state's pension burden in chart form (Source: Asher 2012)

Public sector departments that are judged by the quality and quantity of output instead of levels of expenditure are more likely able to get better results for less. In the present context, this would include having higher compliance for less, which is ultimately beneficial towards implementing a comprehensive social pension system.

falls under the purview of compliance and public financial management. A well-functioning public sector is synonymous with good financial management capabilities. Public sector departments that are judged by the quality and quantity of output instead of levels of expenditure are more likely able to get better results for less. In the present context, this would include having higher compliance for less, which is ultimately beneficial towards implementing a comprehensive social pension system. In concluding the chapter, Professor Asher makes the following observations. First, social pension systems are a necessary, though insufficient, component of an integrated social protection system given both high informal sector employment and increasing life expectancy. Second, fiscal costs are likely to rise as demographics change,and there is a need to explore methods by which to finance this increase, with institutional design and delivery systems key to ensuring the sustainability of social pensions. The subtler message to policymakers is enhancing the reach of the fiscal budget lies in

The book Social Protection for Older Persons: Social Pensions in Asia was published in July 2012 by the Asian Development Bank. It is available for sale, and the e-book for free download, at the Bank’s website publications/social-protectionolder-persons-social-pensionsasia.

improved administration and public financial management. For some reason, this appears to be a far less heralded feature of pension systems, and very often overlooked. Mukul Asher is a Professor at the LKY School. He is also on the Editorial Board of International Social Security Review, a leading journal in the field. His email is · Oct–Dec 2012 · 23


TOWARDS GREATER REGIONAL HEALTH GOVERNANCE IN ASEAN: THE POTENTIAL OF CIVIL SOCIETY ASEAN’s member states’ reluctance to adhere to a highly institutionalised regional entity has hampered regional health governance. Civil society can and must step in to meet oppressing needs, writes Marie Nodzenski.


n the wake of globalisation, new health The Southeast Asian region, home to about threats have emerged which are trans- 600 million people, is particularly vulnerboundary in nature and which can no longer able to health threats. The populace reprebe dealt with by states alone. Definitions of sents almost 9 per cent of the world’s populahealth now encompass cross-sectoral determi- tion, and yet lives on 3 percent of the planet’s nants of health (such as access to education, land surface. The trauma of the SARS (Severe housing, work condition, etc), which are tran- Acute Respiratory Syndrome) outbreak of snational. Addressing health issues therefore 2003 and influenza A (H1N1) of 2009 is fresh encompasses various actors and stakehold- in peoples’ minds. It is of particular interest ers. A new governance structure for health is to look into the potential of the Association needed. of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to supTremendous potential exists for regional port an inclusive framework for Global Health organisations in the wider Global Health Governance by building on its existing mechGovernance framework, acting as bridge anisms for health cooperation. Yet impleorganisations between global initiatives and menting such highly institutionalised mechanational health policy implementation. nisms is hampered by its founding principle

24 · Oct–Dec 2012 ·

of non-interference and conservative interpretations of what constitutes violating state sovereignty. As such principles still impede on the effective implementation of regional health policies at the national level, it may be more pragmatic to look at the potential of civil society to overcome such constraints and to improve regional health governance in ASEAN. The ultimate objective is to identify the optimum combination of actors and processes to translate regional policy into local action and change, as Marie Lamy and Dr. Phua discuss in “Regional Health Governance: A comparative perspective on EU and ASEAN”, (EU Centre Policy Brief No 4, June 2012).


Figure 1: The Role of Civil Society in Regional Health Policymaking and Implementation

ASEAN does not yet benefit from a high degree of integration and has not reached a stable institutional profile. It might therefore be useful to draw comparisons between ASEAN and the EU to scrutinise which mechanisms and legal instruments can further regional health governance.

a “Health in All Policies” principle as well as The EU provides a fully inclusive framethe Lisbon Treaty’s Article 9 (TEU 2009) are work for regional health governance by adoptproof of the EU’s commitment to develop a ing a cross-sectoral approach to health issues coherent policy framework for health. and by fostering cooperation between various To support such a strategy, the EU operates actors and stakeholders. Can ASEAN adopt within a wide framework of cooperation. The and develop such mechanisms pertaining to EUC’s specific body for health, the Directorate health to be relevant to our regional context? General Health and Consumers (DG SANCO), Regional health governance in the EU works in close collaboration with both the Regional health governance in ASEAN The EU benefits from a high degree of integra- World Health Organisation (WHO) EURO As opposed to the EU, ASEAN holds a low tion, and a large number of institutions work- and World Health Organisation (WHO) degree of political integration mainly due to ing on health and financial resources, enabling Headquarters in Geneva. Such collaboration political diversity and economic disparities it to develop an inclusive framework for health limits cases of duplication of health policies within the region, and longstanding regional governance. and programmes. conflicts. ASEAN is characterised by a very Regional health governance in the EU is Finally, the EU benefits from a support- slow and complex decision-making process, supported by a European Health Strategy ive network of Civil Society Organisations known as “The ASEAN Way”, which works which provides member-states with a common (CSOs), which are fully integrated in the gov- by consensus. Critics call it an ineffective way approach to health issues. The Statement on ernance framework for health (through the of governance in a modern world. This is espeFundamental Health Values and the Together European Public Health Alliance and the Civil cially so in the area of health governance, in for Health Strategy 2008-2013 which contains Society Contact Group). a densely populated area of a populous world, · Oct–Dec 2012 · 25


where pandemics would thrive. More crucially, thought, understood civil society as the realm Effective participation of civil society longstanding diseases with known cures and of culture, ideology and political debate. For civil society actors to achieve their potenpreventions can be better constrained with Association in civil society is voluntary and tial fully within a regional health governimproved governance. is characterised by individuals coalescing ance framework, their legitimacy needs to be ASEAN’s potential as a global health actor around common ideas, needs or causes to pro- legally recognised by states. Enabling factors expanded in 2007 with the adoption of an mote collective gain. at the national level are also crucial (such as ASEAN Charter and the birth of an ASEAN Since the 1990’s, International Governmental tax and financial incentives, legal protection, Health Division which establishes a Strategic Organisations (IGOs) have come to recognise mechanisms for their involvement in deciFramework on Health and Development (2010- the important role of CSOs in health including sion-making). At the regional level, the scope 2015). Under the same Charter was established in governance. of civil society actors’ involvement through the ASEAN Socio Cultural Community Pillar Regional entities should consider too the improved consultation, granting of observer and its ASCC Blueprint which paved the potential of civil society actors in bridging status and the provision of resources to parway towards more social integration within regional policies and their implementation at ticipate in specific functions must be broadASEAN. the national level. In Southeast Asia, non-state ened, as Kelley Lee noted in her article, “Civil Beyond form, ASEAN is unable to deliver actors are increasingly recognised as partici- Society Organisations and the Functions of on the substance as it faces numerous struc- pants in the creation of a regional community Global Health Governance: What Role within tural challenges that limit institutionalised and identity although their participation to the Intergovernmental Organisations?” (Global cooperation and which impede on the crea- ASEAN’s processes remains limited. Health Governance, Volume 3, No.2, Spring tion of a fully integrated health governance Traditionally, civil society steps in where 2010) framework. ASEAN needs both an integrated the state or markets are failing, and are typCloser collaboration between states and health strategy that would approach health as ically viewed as non-threatening because civil society has become necessary to sustain a cross-sectoral priority and a wider matrix of of limited access to power or finances rela- health initiatives. cooperation both with WHO and with CSOs tive to the other two pillars. With the growThe pressing needs in the health arena has to more efficiently bridge global, regional and ing complexity of health issues and the emer- spawned Public Private Partnerships (PPPs), governmental bodies. gence of IGOs and regional organisations, the which can be defined as collaborative relaWith growing complexity and transnational role of civil society in health has considerably tionships that transcends national boundanature of health threats in the region, there is a expanded. Civil society actors, through advo- ries and which brings together three or more crucial need for the nations of Southeast Asia cacy, are now able to influence policy-mak- parties to achieve a shared health goal on the to transcend this inertia and look beyond the ing and priority-setting on the global health basis of a mutually agreed division of labour. state to overcome deficiencies in dealing with agenda. They have made global and interna- PPPs are based on mutual benefice: public such issues. What processes can therefore be tional processes more publicly accessible by agencies often lack expertise and experience used to overcome structural constraints within disseminating information, therefore raising and the private sector brings product develASEAN and to translate regional health policy public awareness on health issues. Civil soci- opment, manufacturing, marketing and disinto local action? ety can also greatly contribute to health pol- tribution. Various forms of partnerships in icy-making by sharing information, exchang- addition to PPPs, such as collaborative netThe potential of civil society ing data, technical expertise and through fund works (research, knowledge, etc) are emergConsidering ASEAN’s member states’ reluc- mobilisation. Civil society plays a major role ing, signifying the growing involvement and tance to adhere to a highly institutional- in implementing and monitoring global or impact of civil society on regional health ised regional entity, the adoption of mecha- regional health policies at the national and governance. nisms and legal instruments such as the ones local levels. The multitude of actors in health demands designed in the EU is a non-starter. One could Given that the paralysis within ASEAN new ways of health governance to arrive at the instead look to the involvement of civil society has created a gap, civil society has a crucial most optimum combination of actors and procas essential to a fully inclusive Global Health role—and crucially, room—to play. Indeed, esses to translate regional or global health polGovernance framework. ASEAN’s exclusive nature limits the inter- icy into local action. Working closely with Civil society is often defined as a ‘third action between the Association and the cit- civil society and designing new processes that sector’, distinct from government and busi- izens of member-states. Civil society can fully integrate its components within a ness. In this view, civil society is defined by act as a bridge between the various levels regional health governance framework might Civil Society International as so-called ‘inter- of health policy-making. Furthermore, civil be a relevant approach to the ASEAN context. mediary institutions’ such as professional society actors may become ideal partners for Assessing the impact of civil society regional association, religious groups, labour unions, ASEAN member-states both in the arena of networks within ASEAN will be crucial to the citizen advocacy organisations. health policy formulation, implementation creation of a sustainable regional health govCivil society therefore encompasses vari- and monitoring. Indeed, the consequences ernance framework. ous actors, institutions and networks rang- of ASEAN’s reluctance to design enforcing ing from NGOs and academia to the media. mechanisms for national implementation of Marie Nodzenski is a Research Antonio Gramsci, the 20th Century Marxist health policies might partially be alleviated Associate for Professor Phua Kai political theorist often considered a highly with the implication of civil society in policy Hong at the LKY School. Her email is original thinker within modern European implementation. 26 · Oct–Dec 2012 ·



More than ever, futures research is needed to support people’s critical understanding of the challenges we face in the 21st century, and support the development of actionable responses through public policy and social innovation.


he field of futures research has evolved since the 1950s through different stages: a linear / predictive modality, systems thinking and the birth of alternative futures, critical futures studies, and participatory and action oriented approaches. The key issues in applying futures studies include the need for depth exploration, links with effective communications strategies, and the actionability of foresight through policy development and social innovation. The age of ad hoc and naïve long-term thinking is over. While humanity stumbled through the 20th century, through two catastrophic World Wars and a Cold War that led us to the brink of annihilation, and experienced unbridled industrialisation with profound ecological impacts, we will not have such wriggle room in the 21st century. The megacrises we face now require us to proactively identify

and address a myriad of emerging issues using rigourous futures research, empowering and inspiring proactive anticipatory policy development at every level. The need for rigour and credibility arises from the inherent slipperiness of the future as a domain of inquiry, too often exploited by quacks with either grandiose claims which pander to bias or predictions that leave people with a false sense of certainty. Credible futures research does not carry the pretences of iron-clad certainty, but through analysis reveals the potential implications of social and ecological change, and what public policy responses (and flexibility) this demands from us in the present. By anticipating emerging issues, we can proactively address emerging issues rather than become the proverbial “boiled frog”. Arguably, a host of “frogs” is already in the pot, either

The megacrises we face now require us to proactively identify and address a myriad of emerging issues using rigourous futures research, empowering and inspiring proactive anticipatory policy development at every level. · Oct–Dec 2012 · 27

Image: Paul Lachine

simmering away or already at full boil. We are toward proactively addressing our challenges. on systems thinking, emerged in the early tackling a host of issues such as climate change, If our guiding visions in the 20th century 1970s. The limitations of forecasting-as-predsustainable food production, water manage- revolved around industrial and technological ication, and an appreciation of the complex ment and equity, peak oil, and population advancement, 21st century visions must also interactions between multiple trends / varigrowth, to digital surveillance / souveilance, include and emphasise ecological, cultural, ables in a system began to emerge. Trends nano-medicine, life extension, neuro-enhance- aesthetic and spiritual / moral development. could no longer be naively extrapolated into ment and designer-human technologies, robotthe future, what about their interactions? ics, alternative currencies, peer to peer produc- A futures research synopsis Drawing on pioneers in systems dynamics tion, augmented reality and intelligent cities, Visionaries, prophets and Cassandras have at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology runaway financialisation, globalisation driven been with us from the beginning. Systematic (MIT) such as Jay Forrester, the Club of Rome social strategification, urbanisation and slums, futures research, however, is only approxi- produced their groundbreaking study, the threats to indigenous cultures, virtual educa- mately 60 years old. Limits to Growth, which was followed by a tion, potential technological singularities (e.g. In the post WWII context, the emphasis host of other systems modeling efforts, which artificial intelligence), militarisation of space, on planned development in both Western, ex- revealed alternative development paths. New super-power re-alignment and regionalisa- colonial and socialist states drove the devel- distinctions emerged, for example the differtion, shifting expectations for political expres- opment of new research tools, for example ence between probable, possible and normasion and finally, the urgent need to understand trend extrapolation and statistical modeling. tive (preferred) futures, wildcard (low proband care for the many aspects of our global Future-oriented research began through the ability but high impact) events, and a new commons. disciplines of planning, statistics, economet- acknowledgement of the human capacity to Futures research can help. People need rics and the policy sciences. Generally speak- envision and create change. With scenario grounded yet inspiring visions of sustainable ing, futures research in this period assumed building as an important new tool “the future” and empowering futures in every aspect of life, the future could be predicted based on exist- became the plural “futures”. to motivate and empower change, and counter ing trends and the application of institutional The next stage in futures research, termed the paralysis and escapism caused by fatalism. policy mechanisms. “critical futures studies” emerged in the mid Futures research can help us to leap creatively The next stage in futures research, based 1980s. This incorporated how perspectives 28 · Oct–Dec 2012 ·

condition and frame futures research. Futures toward community, child care, education and maturation of the field. A holistic approach research is fundamentally skewed if it ignores relationships. As futures research may be gen- incorporates each of them depending on the how language and discourse frame an issue. der-biased, it may also have cultural, ideologi- contextual requirements of the research and Research on global futures by the RAND cor- cal and discursive blind spots. How then do we public policy development requirements. poration differs from the Tellus Institute, not reflect on and break out of the limitations of by a matter of degees but by a matter of dis- our perspectives? Sohail Inayatullah created Using futures research for empowerment course. What is rational and valuable from one the tool, Causal Layered Analysis, to explore There are a variety of ways to employ futures vantage point may be insane (or inane) from how unexamined discourses, worldviews, ide- research. However I’d like to highlight three another. And, power permeates our visions, ologies, myths and metaphors underpin con- key aspects: exploration, communication and images and articulations of the future. The ceptions of we hold about the future, and to action, all of which require well developed vision for large scale industrial modernisation provide a way to discover alternative vantage strategies. had led development efforts, but who or what points that lead to alternative futures. Exploration in futures studies means have been left out of this image of the future? Finally and most recently, from the mid expanding our awareness in relation to an Critical futures encourages us to ask: ‘Who is 1990s, the field has developed participatory issue. This requires environmental scanning written out of the future?’ Women, children, and action-oriented approaches, strengthening to explore signs of change and innovation community, the poor, indigenous people? And its capacity to engage a wide variety of stake- (via emerging issues analysis). As William how can they be written back in? holders from across various parts of a social Gibson’s infamously quipped, “The future is Ivana Milojevic, for examples, argues that system to create common ground and com- already here—it’s just not very evenly distribbecause futures research is dominated by men mon vision, and enable actionable outcomes uted.” Exploration implies both breadth and (as has been the history of the field of plan- for policy development. Many call this action- depth, deepening our awareness of how our ning), futures research outcomes and strate- able and organisationally embedded style of perspectives shape our research, and developgies have reflected broadly what are consid- futures research ‘strategic foresight’. ing alternative futures via scenarios. ered men’s interests: technology, economic These four levels in the development of Communication in futures studies is critgrowth, innovation. A feminised futures futures studies and research are not mutually ical. In a classic sense this means knowing research would be more broadly geared exclusive, but rather integral to the continuing how to frame futures research for a particular · Oct–Dec 2012 · 29


audience to have maximum impact, for example drawing on Lakoff’s cognitive linguistics. In an educational setting it can mean giving students the tools of critical media literacy, to enable our youth to critically examine popular images or narratives of the future which may be fatalistic and energy-sapping; or like futurist David Wright, to teach students to create media about the future, using the tools of the social media revolution. It also means developing communications platforms that allow groups to harness their collective intelligence in thinking about futures, an example being the Institute for the Future’s “Foresight Engine”, a massive, multiplayer online scenario gaming system. Action in futures studies means linking an organisation’s or community’s vision with its 30 · Oct–Dec 2012 ·

strategies and day-to-day work. Re-freshed the present to create inspiring futures in visions for inspiring futures need to be linked many aspects of life. We are fortunate that with viable strategies, social innovation and there are many graduate programmes and a action. Futures research needs to be con- wide variety of talent at work across the globe cretely linked with policy development and working in this field. As a futures researcher, social innovation, such that deepened strategic I would like to express my gratitude to the understanding and envigorated vision become National University of Singapore and the resources for how we live in the present. Singapore Government (National Security Finally, action also means embodying our pre- Coordination Secretariat) for this opportuferred futures by following Gandhi’s dictum nity to bring futures research into the Lee to “be the change we want to see”. Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. It is not a Today, more than ever, we need empower- promise or guarantee, but with a bit of love ing approaches to our global and local futures. and care, from little seeds come the alternaFutures research offers some approaches that, tive futures we seek. in tandem with other disciplines and perspectives, help us address our world’s challenges. José Maria Ramos is a Visiting Futures research forms an important ingredi- Professor at the LKY School. His ent in the recipe for empowering people in email is



Majority rules, but adverse social consequences can result when expressive behaviour dictate voting, resulting in unwanted public policies, says Arye L. Hillman.


rofessor Arye L. Hillman, the William Gittes Chair of the Department of Economics at Bar-Ilan University, gave a public lecture in August entitled “Expressive Behaviour and Public Policy” at the School of Public Policy, to highlight the rationale behind the need for public policy: efficiency, social justice or income distribution, and macroeconomic concerns. Prof Chen Kang of the LKY School chaired the lecture. He emphasised that his lecture should not be viewed as arguments against democracy.

Despite what failings one may find with it, including those he flagged, democracy remains a more ideal operative system of government than centralised planning, he argued. Voting offers individuals a choice on what they prefer relative to alternative sets of other available options. Subsequently, the need for public accountability ensures that what individuals vote for collectively is implemented. The fundamentals to this lie with the Condorcet’s Jury theorem that says (simply), when voters know the ‘better’ policy with a greater than 50

percent probability, it is always better to have more, rather than fewer, voters. A group is a better truth-tracker than an individual. However, voting does not necessarily lead to the most efficient outcomes. Drawing on numerical examples from his book, he demonstrates how it may be possible for the market mechanism to deliver a more socially efficient outcome. Furthermore, majority rule implies that it could be possible for a large section of society to vote for its own benefit at the expense of the minority. · Oct–Dec 2012 · 31


Arye L. Hillman at the Lee Kuan Yew School in August 2012.

Hillman then points out another problem of voting—expressive behaviour. Expressive behaviour is “the self-interested quest for utility through acts and declarations that confirm a person’s identity”. Examples of identity include a green-peace activist or a feminist. The costs of taking on a particular identity can be very low, and it is possible for one to behave differently from what he/she would like to see himself/herself as, when his/her actual welfare is affected. Expressive behaviour can take on many forms, but Hillman focused particularly on expressive voting. When vote choices are tempered by expressive behaviour, this leads to what he terms as an ‘expressive policy trap’. Typically, a voter might believe that his vote is not decisive in determining policy outcomes and therefore has little bearing on his individual material wellbeing. 32 · Oct–Dec 2012 ·

When faced with a ‘feel good’ but socially inefficient choice among a plethora of alternatives, voters would choose the ‘feel good’ policy to generate “expressive utility”. It is therefore possible to have majority support for a bad policy that is personally harmful when implemented. Examples of such policies include unconditional welfare support, and a tolerance towards extremist behaviour, e.g. terrorists. Subsequently, society becomes worse off because it was in each individual’s personal interest to veto such policies. Yet, this could have been avoided simply if every voter had vetoed the policy by not exhibiting expressive behaviour. Expressive voting is an example about how individuals’ expressive behaviour can affect others. Expressive rhetoric is another such example. Expressive rhetoric in the media and by expressive political decision-makers, can

be socially inappropriate and costly. Can expressive policy traps be avoided? Unlike ‘conventional’ externalities such as pollution where governments can impose laws or other forms of control, there are no such means to curbing one’s behaviour. Conventional methods we are often used to are not applicable in this case. However, Hillman explains that expressive behaviour is often curbed when faced by salient events. Simple acts such as informing that the individual is being expressive is likely sufficient to refrain one from going further. In essence, policy traps can be mitigated if people support policies they would implement. Kwan Chang Yee is a Research Fellow at the LKY School, and can be reached at


BRANDING IMPLICATIONS FOR THE RISE OF ASIA by Hermawan Kartajaya and Den Huan Hooi

Asia has seen, is seeing, and will see a tidal wave of economic and social/ cultural changes, if not political. Where Asia lags significantly behind their Western counterparts is in the area of branding.


he stark reality that Asia is a rising eco- At current rates of growth, India’s population year to 100 million by the end of the decade, nomic power is a foregone conclusion. will overtake China’s in the not-too-distant from just 5 million 15 years ago, according to What is perhaps of greater interest is what future, and both countries may account for a Guardian report on 17 August 2012. Those more is there to come? A glimpse of this may almost a third of the global population in the 70 million Chinese travellers spent US$72 bilbe discerned from the rising population and next half-century. lion, the report said. This testifies to the spendrising affluence. The world’s population stood China may no longer be the world’s second ing power of the rising Chinese middle class, at around 1.65 billion in 1990. Today, it is 7 largest economy—its growth trajectory sug- and what such a transformation of the econbillion, and in another 15 years or so, it is gests it will only be a matter of time when it omy brings to culture and society. projected to grow to 8 billion. Asia may have will take the pole position, with India a close And besides the giants, China and India, about 400 million more people by that time, second. The World Tourism Organisation pre- rising in the ranks is Indonesia, already the suggesting that Asia itself may account for dicts that the number of overseas trips made by fourth most populous country in the world around 40 percent of this growth in population. Chinese people will surge from 70 million last and Southeast Asia’s largest economy. It joins · Oct–Dec 2012 · 33

Image: Paul Lachine

34 · Oct–Dec 2012 ·


The global landscape (business, social, political, etc) is transforming rapidly and the world is changing. The question is—are we changing in step?

stalwarts Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, world’s largest conglomerates. With its inno- Positioning is Clarifying; Differentiation and with Vietnam, the Philippines, Thailand, vative products and processes, it is a world is Coding; Product is Co-creation; Price is presents another wave of Asia rising. major player in fields such as digital appli- Currency; Place is Communal Activation; Without doubt, Asia has seen, is seeing, and ances and media, semiconductors, memory Promotion is Conversation; Selling is will see a tidal wave of economic and social/ and systems integration. Commercialisation; Brand is Character; cultural changes, if not political. Today, many The sustainability spirit must be backed Service is Caring and Process is Collaboration. acknowledge that this is the Asian century. up by Market-ing that is continuously sensing Enterprises need to move from being Exclusive Where Asia lags significantly behind their and responding to changes in the market place. to Inclusive, Vertical to Horizontal and OneWestern counterparts is in the area of brand- There are three components in Market-ing— way to Social. There is constant delineation ing. In Interbrand’s 2011 Ranking of the Top ‘Strategy’ to capture the Mind Share; ‘Tactic’ and re-alignment of processes to cater for 100 Brands in the world, no Asian brand made to capture the Market Share; and ‘Value’ to more differentiated markets. it to the top 10. Only 10 Asian brands were capture the Heart Share. No market leader in Marketing requires a firm or organisation listed of which 7 were Japanese, 2 Korean and 1 any industry conscientiously attempts to serve to continuously assess the outlook (taking into Taiwanese. This is not to say there are no other the whole world. Instead they segment the account that IT is now a connector amongst strong Asian brands, only that they are not market by mapping its needs and aspirations, customers, competitors, changes in the envimaking a mark on the global scene—yet. The target the market by selecting suitable seg- ronment and the company), adopt an appropritop brands are still dominated by the United ments that are sufficiently big, with potential ate marketing architecture whilst balancing States and Europe. This suggests a rich oppor- for growth, complement their competencies the various needs of the different stakeholder tunity for Asian brands to grow. Whilst there and allow them to exploit competitive advan- groups. The global landscape (business, social, is no one perfect strategy, let us to put forward tages; and develop their market by clever posi- political, etc) is transforming rapidly and the a conceptual framework that is practical—the tioning to shape how their customers perceive world is changing. Sustainable Market-ing Enterprise model. This them. This positioning is supported by differThe question is—are we changing in step? organisation development strategy model com- entiation, backed by one or more of the 4Ps As Jack Welch, who helmed General Electric prises three sub-models—(a) Sustainability; (b) in the Marketing mix concept—product, price, for 20 years from 1981, says, if we are not one Market-ing; and (c) Enterprise. place and promotion. Selling tactics merely step ahead, we are two steps behind. The Sustainability component requires close the sale. To achieve sustainable success every organisation to be willing to change and the enterprise needs to build a strong brand as Hermawan Kartajaya was named by transform where the circumstances so require. a value indicator to customers. Such a brand the Chartered Institute of Marketing An ability to adapt through a willingness to value can be enhanced by good service, and as one of the top 50 thinkers in creatively destroy and productively create new in order for any enterprise to deliver an appro- Marketing. Den Huan Hooi is Director rules, new ways of working, new products or priate value to its customers; strong processes of the Nanyang Technopreneurship services will help the enterprise control its need to be in place. Center and Associate Professor in the destiny and remain sustainable. An example In today’s digital world and with the prolif- Nanyang Business School, Nanyang is Samsung of South Korea, founded in 1938 eration of social media, the rules and ways of Technological University. They co-wrote as a small trading company. In the wake of a engagement have changed more rapidly than Rethinking Marketing: Sustaining dynamically changing environment in the glo- in the past. The code words have morphed; Marketing Enterprise in Asia, with bal business and technology space, Samsung Segmentation is now communitisation, Philip Kotler and Sandra S. Liu and has transformed itself to become one of the Targeting is confirming by the community; Think ASEAN! with Philip Kotler. · Oct–Dec 2012 · 35


Image: Paul Lachine

36 · Oct–Dec 2012 ·


Leaders must be nimble “tri-sector athletes”, to borrow a phrase from Harvard political scientist Joseph Nye: able to engage and collaborate across the private, public, and social sectors. – Dominic Barton, Worldwide Managing Director, McKinsey & Company

by Nick Lovegrove and Matthew Thomas


n the spring of 2010, David J. Hayes faced I didn’t know I could quickly understand. I the worst crisis that had ever confronted could stand in their shoes, which gave me somebody in his position—U.S. Deputy a head start as we grappled to solve the criSecretary of the Interior. An explosion aboard sis.” Eventually the concerted efforts to cap BP plc’s Deepwater Horizon oil drilling rig in the spill were successful, and work began to the Gulf of Mexico had killed 11 crewmen and restore the Gulf to something like its previignited a seemingly inextinguishable fire. The ous state. oilrig sank and caused the largest offshore oil Hayes’ CV reflects the depth and breadth of spill in U.S. history. his experience in government, business and the Hayes was a natural choice to help lead the non-profit sectors. He had already served one federal government’s response to the unfold- term in the Clinton Administration as Deputy ing crisis. As “Chief Operating Officer” of Secretary of the Interior (1999–2001); he had the Interior Department, he oversaw 70,000 chaired the environment department of an employees in 23 agencies, including the international law firm, representing major corNational Park Service, the Fish & Wildlife porations on issues of environment, land and Service and the Minerals Management resources; and he had held several part-time Service, the agency responsible for regulat- posts in the non-profit sector—as Chairman of ing offshore drilling. But his task was much the Environment Law Institute, Senior Fellow broader—he had to work with his counterparts for the World Wildlife Fund, and a professor in other agencies and orchestrate the work of in Stanford University’s Woods Institute for countless organisations across the public, the Environment. private and social sectors, including the US Coast Guard and Department of Energy; BP Why we need “tri-sector athletes” and its suppliers Transocean and Halliburton; Hayes is what Professor Joseph Nye of the Greenpeace and dozens of citizens’ and envi- Harvard Kennedy School calls a “tri-sector ronmental groups representing those directly athlete”—which he defines as leaders able to affected by the spill. engage and collaborate across the business, A long summer ensued for Hayes. “For 86 government and social sectors. From his own consecutive days, the Deepwater Horizon story experience, Hayes can appreciate the needs, led the television evening news,’’ he said to aspirations and incentives of his counterparts us. “It was the most complex situation that I in the other sectors, and he can speak a comhad ever had to deal with—but I did have an mon language with them. advantage. I had worked in the business secDeepwater Horizon demonstrated why tor and the non-profit sector. I knew many of these attributes are so valuable in a crisis. the people in those organisations, and those Another prolonged crisis—the financial and

economic crisis triggered in 2008—illustrates the divide between sectors more starkly. It has elicited little collaboration between the sectors, and engendered a triangular blame game, with each “side” accusing the other of causing, and exacerbating the crisis. This persistent sense of crisis and underlying trust deficit has stimulated fresh and challenging ideas about the very system of capitalism. Underlying this discussion is the realisation that we live in an increasingly inter-connected tri-sector world. We face trisector challenges, and we need tri-sector solutions in areas such as educational access and standards; energy security and resource productivity; climate change and environmental protection; national security and civil liberties; financial inclusion and social innovation; smart urbanisation and sustainable agriculture; and most fundamentally, sustainable economic growth and employment. Sustainable outcomes to these issues require the sectors to collaborate in a more integrated way, but a collaborative approach to governance depends upon the people who lead our institutions, people whose perspectives and biases tend to reflect their past careers and future aspirations. If the mindset and professional experience of most leaders are confined to a single sector, it is much harder to generate tri-sector solutions to modern challenges. Hence the governance of our market economy needs to focus considerably more attention on the individual people who lead our institutions—and specifically on the necessary · Oct–Dec 2012 · 37


experiences, mindsets and aspirations our lead- different corporate boards, including HSBC ers should have. More of our leaders should be Asia Pacific and Mars Inc. as Global Advisor. tri-sector athletes such as Hayes, Paul Martin As she reflects, “I am a very rare animal. In from Canada, and Rosanna Wong and Bernard the 1990s, the government usually would not Chan from Hong Kong. appoint people from NGOs to very senior positions. Even when I was appointed to the board What distinguishes tri-sector athletes? of HSBC Asia Pacific, I was the only person Tri-sector athletes come in many forms— not from the business sector. But now there are some started in business, others in govern- more people in other corporate boards with a ment; some operate at the highest of organisa- vbackground like me.” tions, others in their local communities; and Finding the right balance of motivations, some are building tri-sector careers at a much and the most appropriate path to pursue them, younger age than previous generations. is crucial for any tri-sector athlete to build a We have identified in these leaders of successful and fulfilling career and make the tomorrow a set of common characteristics most public impact. with six unique and important attributes. Contextual intelligence Balanced motivations Professors Anthony Mayo and Nitin Nohria Professor Nye told us in an interview that a of Harvard Business School defined the tri-sector athlete is not a leader who “needed term “contextual intelligence” in their 2005 to have worked in each of the three sectors— book, The Greatest Business Leaders of the and certainly not to the same extent”. Instead, 20th Century, as “the ability to understand an “they would need an appreciation of each sec- evolving environment and to capitalise on tor, and of the interdependencies between trends”. This attribute is not only a touchstone them," he said. "I also meant that they could for successful business leaders but also a vital contribute to public value whatever sector they skill of tri-sector athletes. were working in.” Diana Farrell, former Director of the Our research has confirmed most tri-sector McKinsey Global Institute, drew upon her athletes not only value public purpose in their ability to adapt to a different context when she careers, but also that it’s often what draws joined the Obama Administration as Deputy them into government and/or the non-profit Director of the National Economic Council. sector. But most seek to reconcile that sense She found it especially important to “underof mission with other important motivations— stand the structural and temporal elements of notably to meet their financial needs, as well context, and to assess how they differ within as the desire to have influence and even power and between sectors” as “this gives rise to over important events. Tri-sector athletes also some skills and capabilities being more approfactor in important secondary motivations— priate than others”. such as lifestyle, interesting work and comIt is clear that successful tri-sector athletes patible colleagues. place special emphasis on accurately assessThese aspirations can often seem in conflict ing the differences—whether fundamental or with each other, notably on financial compen- nuanced—within and between sectors, and sation. The most typical path of tri-sector ath- on navigating these differences as fluently as letes has been to start and stay in business until possible. they can ‘afford’ to move into government or the non-profit sector. There are rare cases of Transferrable skills leaders who started out in the non-profit sec- While the first two attributes of successful tor, even in Hong Kong where the ‘business- tri-sector athletes might be described as “soft first’ model is particularly acute. Notably, this skills”, the third is more akin to the “hard model is becoming more and more prevalent. skills” that form the basis of most professional Dr. Rosanna Wong serves as a great exam- education programmes. Each of the three secple of a non-profit leader who has crossed sec- tors has fostered a distinctive skill set that reptors. Her primary focus and entire working life resents the standard focus for that sector. has been with The Hong Kong Federation of Public sector leaders create legal and pubYouth Groups. Due to her outstanding leader- lic policy frameworks to govern and direct ship, she was then appointed to the Legislative society. Private sector executives allocate and Executive Councils of the Hong Kong scarce resources to the most attractive and Government and subsequently appointed to strategic opportunities, and apply appropriate 38 · Oct–Dec 2012 ·

Where tri-sector athletes excel is to transcend the inertia that comes from being successfully entrenched in one sector.


Tri-sector athletes are willing to take major and sometimes counterintuitive deviations in the standard career path.

vtechniques to drive financial and operational efficiency. Non-profit leaders typically focus on generating innovative service models for social good—with typically more limited resources than the public or private sectors, but more freedom to operate than either. Former Prime Minster of Canada, Paul Martin, agrees that skills he learned in one sector were transferrable to the others. “Having been in business, did that give me a different insight when in government? And having been in government, did that give me additional insight while being a social activist? The answer is absolutely.” As Finance Minister in the mid-1990s, Martin’s transferrable skills came to bear as he had to tame Canada’s deficit—the highest of the G7 countries at the time. Moody’s had just lowered its rating on Canada’s foreign currency debt and the Wall Street Journal called Canada “an honorary member of the Third World”. In response, Martin unveiled an ambitious multi-year plan to cut deficits that engaged stakeholders across business, government, and social programmes. The success of his plan required stakeholders to understand its longterm benefit, and to buy into necessary but difficult sacrifices. By 1998, Martin introduced a balanced budget, an event that only occurred twice in the previous 36 years, and by 2002, Moody’s restored Canada’s domestic and foreign currency debt ratings. Martin largely attributes his success to creating an inclusive national consultation process and in particular, credits his private sector experience with deepening his engagement and credibility with the business community—a key constituent in the process. Likewise, Joshua Gotbaum has built a set of skills that has served him well in all three sectors. He has served in each of the last three Democratic Presidential administrations (Carter, Clinton and Obama) and is currently serving as Director of the Pension Benefits Guaranty Corporation. In between (i.e. during the Reagan, Bush 41 and Bush 43 years), he built a private sector career as an investment banker with Lazard, a non-profit leader with the September 11 Fund, as a manager & consultant in business turnarounds; and as a private equity investor. He points out that each of his government roles has required him to work extensively with counterparts in the private sector, especially his current role overseeing the pensions of actual or potential bankrupt companies.

“First, having an understanding and comfort with the language of business, the language of strategic planning, the language of finance and accounting, are essential when you are working at the interface between government and business—including procurement, regulation, a whole variety of things.” “Second, familiarity with the practices of business is often useful when you’re thinking about reforms to the internal management practices of government. That gives you a set of analogous practices that can generally be adapted, rather than just adopted, in government.” Integrated networks Building a tri-sector career often starts with a nudge or a suggestion by people close to you who work in different sectors—so personal and professional networks are crucial to career progression. But we also find that tri-sector athletes leverage their networks to build their top teams; and that they convene from within their networks to address complex tri-sector issues. Nonetheless, while cross-sector relationships help tri-sector athletes expand and renew their knowledge, diversify their perspectives, and take creative approaches to problem solving, leaders should be careful to have objective and transparent hiring processes to avoid nepotism and patronage. Michael Bloomberg, a notably successful tri-sector athlete, has made use of his integrated network during his time as Mayor of New York. Many within his business network have taken positions in City Hall—playing full or part-time roles in reforming education, economic development and infrastructure— such as former Justice Department official and corporate lawyer Joel I. Klein. Bloomberg has drawn others into more or less formal taskforces and working groups as well. Prepared for the road less travelled Where tri-sector athletes excel is to transcend the inertia that comes from being successfully entrenched in one sector. The majority of people are risk-adverse when it comes to careers. Tri-sector athletes are willing to take major and sometimes counter-intuitive deviations in the standard career path. John Berry, who currently runs the U.S. Government Office of Personnel Management, did not set out to be a tri-sector athlete but illustrated the typical response of one when he said, “It was definitely not conscious, not · Oct–Dec 2012 · 39


Where tri-sector athletes excel is to transcend the inertia that comes from being successfully entrenched in one sector.

deliberate but I think I was always open to it.” the Treasury for International Affairs, worked Bob Hormats, a long-time Goldman Sachs in both the private and public sectors, and ties executive and current U.S. Under-Secretary those experiences together in her current role. of State, added a crucial observation—“I’m a She told us, “In my work developing policy believer in Louis Pasteur’s famous saying— proposals and undertaking financial diplo‘In the fields of observation, chance favours a macy, I find it to be particularly helpful to be prepared mind’.” grounded in a model of how fiscal and monBernard Chan, Hong Kong-based President etary policy interacts with financial markets of Asia Financial Holdings, member of the and the real economy.” Executive Council of the Hong Kong governAnother tri-sector athlete with an intellecment and Vice Chairman of the Hong Kong tual thread is Carol M. Browner, a pioneer of Council for Social Services, reflects that his the environmental movement for nearly 30 involvement in the public and social sectors years. “I went to law school in the late 1970s, was driven by need, not a pre-determined plan. straight out of college, because I thought I “It wasn’t until 1998 after Hong Kong returned would do something in civil rights to repreto China and the size of parliament grew, that sent people.” a new seat in the Legislative Council opened Her work with a mid-80s citizen action up for the insurance sector. I didn’t know any- group focused her attention on environmental thing about politics, but my local peers asked legislation—and she found something about me to run for the seat—and while I hesitated herself: “I liked working with people to affect at first, I decided to try and ended up winning change in Congress. It was a very exciting the election.” time. Environmental and citizen groups had Such openness to take the “road less great leverage to affect debate at that time.” traveled” enables an attitude that embraces, She translated that passion into a career in rather than resists, the opportunities and Congress where she became then-Senator Al accompanying risks that extend experiences Gore’s Legislative Director (1988–1991), and and skills across sectors. then as President Clinton’s Environmental Protection Agency Administrator (1993– Intellectual thread 2001). Before working as President Obama’s David G. Bradley, chairman and owner Assistant for Energy and Climate Change, she of Washington, DC-based Atlantic Media partnered with her former colleagues to build Company, helped us identify the pinnacle a private business now known as the Albright characteristic unique to the best tri-sector ath- Stonebridge Group. letes. Based upon decades of observing suc“I have this interesting experience of having cessful people in government, business and affected legislation, having developed legislanon-profits, he noted, “There is nothing more tion as congressional staff, and then I moved exciting in life than to see somebody who is a over to the executive branch to help implement real subject-matter expert, building a move- the laws that I had worked on. I have been forment for change.” A significant proportion tunate to have been able to see things from the of our tri-sector athletes are indeed subject- activist side, the legislative side, the adminismatter experts, having focused on a particular trative side, and the business side.” issue across all three sectors—what we call an “intellectual thread”. An uncertain future Hormats reflected, “I have worked on the Our initial inquiry into the condition of triinternational economics and financial system sector leadership has been both inspiring and across all three sectors for the last 40 years.” worrying. While there exists remarkable peoLael Brainard, the U.S. Under Secretary of ple who have built, or are building, brilliant 40 · Oct–Dec 2012 ·

careers that centre on resolving some of society’s most pressing concerns, these role models are the exceptions that prove the rule. The tri-sector athlete concept is clearly not the prevailing leadership model in our society. This is worrying because the challenges we face are most definitely tri-sector issues. The risk remains that if we continue our unstructured, silo-ed and disconnected approach to leadership development, we will fail to address our most fundamental challenges in modern society. For practical purposes, we cannot expect that most leaders in our society would have played full-time roles in each sector, as Professor Nye noted. It is key, however, that more leaders have a substantive appreciation for, and an ability to tap into, each of the sectors. There are practical ways to nurture such an appreciation—for instance through crosssector leadership education and training and “bite-sized” cross-sector work opportunities. Finally, to see a rapid and sustained increase in the number of tri-sector athletes in decision-making positions, we need a movement in society—one where every citizen demands and expects more from their public sector representatives, private sector executives, and non-profit sector leaders. There are reasons to hope as leaders of organisations are increasingly under pressure to make longer-term decisions, engage all their stakeholders and act more responsibly. This will require a new leadership model for the 21st century—one where tri-sector athletes thrive. Nick Lovegrove is the Executive Chairman of Tri-Sector Forum and a Senior Director of Albright Stonebridge Group. Matthew Thomas is the Executive Director of Tri-Sector Forum and member of the World Economic Forum Global Shapers community. They can be reached at and


THE NEW POLITICS OF DEVELOPMENT Contemporary development policy is now moving into a new phase: the large-scale support of the private sector by multilateral organisations such as the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation. This is a qualitative shift for multilateral development policy from working on and through the state to significantly working around it. Toby Carroll details how this new agenda has emerged out of a legitimacy crisis for development policy generally and the limited, though important, increase in the leverage of underdeveloped countries.


n public policy circles there is often an unfortunate tendency to talk of policy in technocratic terms. Bureaucrats and academics, ever eager to confidently present themselves as solution providers, regularly describe the problems of particular policies and the supposed benefits of alternative policies in ways disconnected from understanding the social forces, and struggles between, those social forces, that actually significantly advance and condition particular policy agendas. To be sure, discussions over ‘implementation issues’ and ‘good governance’—prominent over the last decade or so within development policy—have increasingly led to the tentative recognition by public servants and scholars that politics matters, both in terms of understanding why certain patterns of governance exist in the first place and why efforts to change extant forms of governance often yield unexpected (for some) and unimpressive outcomes. However, even this recognition is often used for technocratic ends as an entry point for policymakers to finesse and tweak modes of implementation without really taking into

account a policy’s relation to and impact upon social forces, such as factions of capital and labour. The key point here is that public policy never emerges out of the ether. Even when they don’t know it, public policy practitioners are articulating agendas that rarely stem simply from dispassionate pondering in superb isolation from interests and ideology. Moreover, the agendas promoted are seen by constituencies in political terms and generate political responses, whether from lobby groups, powerful private interests, activists and or social movements). Development policy—policy ostensibly promoted towards improving material and social conditions in the underdeveloped world—demonstrates the politics of public policy well. Since World War II, development policy has clearly been informed and shaped by particular ideologies (bundles of ideas) and interests (both public and private). Indeed, the recent and large-scale push into private sector support by organisations such as the World Bank’s private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), bears this out clearly. The last of three phases

of liberal market-oriented development policy, this new policy agenda is the product of persistent legitimacy challenges to liberal development policy and, more recently, a new politics of development. The politics of contemporary development policy in historical context For the last three decades, development policy, as with public policy generally, has been underpinned by neoliberalism—a bundle of ideas associated with extending market discipline into the realms of state and society. This said, neoliberal development policy has remained far from static, subjected as it has been to pressure from activists and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and the reality that these policy prescriptions have often yielded unintended results. These factors, along with the increased prominence of heterodox development stories, have challenged the credibility of the agenda more generally and prompted change from within neoliberal circles. The so-called Washington consensus during the 1980s and early 1990s—which pushed privatisation, liberalisation, fiscal austerity · Oct–Dec 2012 · 41


Image: Yoray Liberman/Getty

Turkish workers build the BTC's (Baku, Tbilisi, Ceyhan) final terminal of the pipeline in September 2003 near Yumurtalik, Turkey.

and deregulation as development policy, and critical attention over the impact of largewhich was promoted by the World Bank and scale infrastructure projects, led to an importhe International Monetary Fund—stemmed tant, though not paradigmatic, rethink within from the post-Keynesian ascendancy of ortho- development policy circles during the 1990s dox economics and the identification of the and early noughties, with the World Bank and state by neoliberals as a key impediment to the IMF the targets of high profile campaigns national development. such as the 50 Years is Enough campaign and Now well-known, the results of these perennial attention at various multilateral and prescriptions in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin intergovernmental meetings. America and the former communist states in Championed by figures such as James Europe and Central Asia often met with stern Wolfensohn (World Bank President, 1995resistance from activists and NGOs at both the 2005) and Joseph Stiglitz (World Bank Chief domestic and international levels, with groups Economist, 1997-2000, and later Nobel lauparticularly critical of the results of fiscal aus- reate), a new policy set came into focus as a terity, indebtedness to multilateral organisa- response from within development organisations, lacklustre (and worse) development out- tions to the legitimacy crisis that they faced. comes and the capture of privatised assets by Stiglitz dubbed this policy agenda the postinterests less than concerned with realising Washington consensus (PWC), clearly demarthe ostensible social benefits of market forces. cating it against what he and others derided These outcomes of neoliberal development as the ‘market fundamentalism’ of the policy’s first phase, combined with much Washington consensus. 42 · Oct–Dec 2012 ·

This new agenda remained neoliberal insofar as it was predicated on extending competitive liberal market social relations as an approach to development. However, drawing upon new institutional economics—an area of economics in which Stiglitz had played an important role—emphasis was now placed upon building the right institutions, often within the state, to ‘make markets work’. Moreover, concern over implementation of development policy agendas (in particular reform rejection and distortion) led to the promotion of participation, partnership and ownership in the policy push. This said, in classic technocratic fashion, the policy set that stakeholders were to participate in implementing and ‘owning’ had already been decided. Increasingly, the World Bank and others detailed that there were certain very specific roles that states should and should not play. For example, states were


deemed crucial in performing critical reguHowever, despite the consolidated emer- the underdeveloped world, regularly fiscally latory functions but inappropriate players gence of these high-growth poles, underdevel- constrained, need to respond to the demands (largely) in service provision, where ‘ideally opment—characterised by poor infrastructure, their constituents, with the policy solutions regulated’ market forces were to be prioritised. low-skilled and erratic employment, large presented by the likes of IFC appearing conHere, the fundamental conflict between informal sectors and high rates of vulnerabil- genial to this task. Moreover, individuals and technocratic policy agendas and politics was ity—of course persists in abundance. companies looking to make a go of things are brought, once again, into sharp relief. Were rationally eager to access new sources of capiparliaments the world over meant to simply Private sector support as a response to tal through MSME targeted lending. be rubber stamps to endorse a uniform set the new politics of development Yet, that a policy prescription meshes with of prescriptions (implying a massive shift in It is precisely this confluence of factors and particular patterns of politics should not be both state form and state-society relations) interests that the pro-private sector push of simply celebrated. US banking deregulation recommended in the Bank’s signature World the IFC and others such as the European Bank provides a striking example where policy Development Report series? And setting this for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), that meshed with the interests of numerous technocratic challenge to notions of represent- both of which operate on a commercial basis, stakeholders in the short-term was actually ative citizenship aside, how long would it be takes as its starting point. The promotion of extremely problematic in the medium-to-long until the disconnect between the implementa- ‘access to finance’ by capitalising financial term. tion of particular policy sets and the interests intermediaries (such as microfinance wholeIn a similar way, there are serious concerns of citizens became apparent? salers and retailers and banks) to cultivate and over the pro-private sector approach introUnsurprisingly, the institution-building expand spheres of private sector activity has duced above. For one, there is plenty of eviagenda of the PWC somewhat withered on the grown spectacularly in recent times. On this dence to suggest that the separation between vine. Questions have been increasingly raised front alone, IFC now works with 750 finan- the state and the private sector in the pubover the utility of institution-building agendas cial institutions worldwide and counts more lic interest is anything but a technical issue that are incredibly difficult to implement in than 10 million loans to micro, small and when it comes to regulating a PPP, for examthe face of governments that have been forced medium enterprises (MSMEs) as attached to ple. Moreover, despite the deployment of safeto respond, however imperfectly, to the pres- its portfolio. guards, the multilateral support of megasures of representation. Yet more than this, the public support of the projects has in some prominent cases assisted More importantly, the PWC has met with private sector manifests through the embold- in entrenching less than desirable patterns of several large-scale trends that have reshaped ened promotion of public-private partnerships politics, with little development outcomes for the development landscape and marginal- (PPPs), where organisations such as the IFC populations. Second, the utility and sustainised the institution building agenda even not only relentlessly recommend PPPs as a ability of promoting access to finance as a key further. The first of these has been the emer- policy solution to service and infrastructure development modality is open to significant gence, which should generally be recast in a provision, but indeed also take equity in PPP question, with the potential for subprime-like less hubris-coated light, of many underdevel- companies to mitigate the risks of other private and other types of crisis afflicting already oped countries—of which the BRICS of Brazil, investors and, subsequently, make the promo- vulnerable populations very real. Put more Russia, India, China and South Africa are but tion of PPPs—at least in the short-term—more broadly, there is the very real possibility that the most prominent—as new high-growth viable. This approach shares many similarities this new mode of development policy will not poles in a multipolar world. with the investment by private sector oriented only fail to deliver substantive and sustainable The second has been slowing (or worse) multilateral organisations in large scale infra- development outcomes but also detract from growth in Organisation for Economic structure in frontier and emerging markets considering alternative approaches. Cooperation and Development (OECD) coun- more broadly, with organisations such as the Confronting the limitations of technocratic tries, which has meant greater incentives for IFC behind some of the world’s biggest mega development policy has its own politics, with both capital in the developed world to find projects (for example, the IFC was key in mak- those interested in advocating and deploying returns elsewhere and for states to find sav- ing the US$3.2 billion Baku to Ceyhan pipe- technocratic solutions obviously resistant to ings (aid budgets, often the target of conserva- line go forward). Notably, this has been an change. This said, with a world immersed in tives, have been notably scrutinised of late in important part of IFC’s portfolio expansion, crisis and massive underdevelopment persistOECD countries). which has grown from around US$10 billion ent (often despite growth), it is about time we Both these developments mean that the lev- to nearly US$50 billion in just a decade. concentrated more on how particular forms of erage of organisations such as the World Bank Returning to the politics of public policy, politics generate and shape policy and what has been significantly diminished, with high- this pro-private sector push resonates strongly the implications are in terms of developing growth countries increasingly able to access with key interests. Multilateral organisations policies that deliver better outcomes for more deeper capital markets rather than simply rely- such as the IFC and EBRD operate on com- people. ing on conditional lending traditionally bun- mercial terms, which means they attract less dled with policy prescriptions from the likes scrutiny from member states. The investors Toby Carroll is Senior Research Fellow at of the Bank. Indeed, considerable evidence in IFC bonds and projects are eager to attain the Centre on Asia and Globalisation, where exists to suggest that the Bank no longer has returns that aren’t as easily found in OECD he runs the Centre’s large ‘New Approaches significant leverage in many of its most impor- countries anymore, with their risks miti- to Building Markets in Asia’ research tant client countries. gated by multilateral organisations. States in project.His email is · Oct–Dec 2012 · 43

As a project that focuses on emerging development trends and poverty alleviation efforts in Southeast Asia, the Asian Trends Monitoring team has seen its share of public policy successes and failures. Our recent urban poverty research has revealed many major problems in service provision for the poor, even in Southeast Asia’s largest cities. We share some of these stories within. These photographs were taken by the Asian Trend Monitoring team during field visits to Jakarta, Manila, Hanoi, and Vientiane between February and September 2012. We have recently published bulletins on urban poverty trends in those cities, which can all be downloaded at

44 · Oct–Dec 2012 ·

A riverside slum in Jakarta. Overcrowding and lack of sanitation are major issues.

Failure to enforce housing regulations lead to the poor settling in very unsafe locations.

A seaside slum in Manila. Its unsafe building materials are a hazard during floods and storms.

· Oct–Dec 2012 · 45

A settlement of temporary shacks located next to a dump site in East Jakarta.

Every major city we visited had populations of trash collectors who lived dangerously close to their work.

Manila’s largest dump site in the port district of Tondo also houses a large slum population.

46 · Oct–Dec 2012 ·

A failed public housing project in Manila; residents say it’s worse than the slums around it.

Slum upgrading projects have a slim margin of error. If done wrong, it only serves to relocate the slum without improving conditions within the community.

A rare success story of slum upgrading carried out by the NGO Gawad Kalinga in Manila.

· Oct–Dec 2012 · 47

A trash collector in Jakarta must work 14 hours per day to feed his five children, only one of which can go to school.

The failure of governments in providing sufficient services for the poor leaves several families with very bleak prospects for the future.

A family in Vientiane lives in an old shack on the outskirts of town, with the closest hospital over 30 minutes away.

48 · Oct–Dec 2012 ·

A rice stall in Vientiane, located at the side of an unpaved road.

Work opportunities for the poor are very limited in these cities. The only real options are low-paid and uninsured hard labour or “micro-entrepreneurship” in the informal sector.

A street vendor in search of the next client.

· Oct–Dec 2012 · 49

Executive Education

by Luana Chow

Image: Ngiam Tee Woh, LCMS Consulting

Participants listen attentively to the Keppel Seghers NEWater Plant staff, as he explains the technologies applied in NEWater production.


he second run of the Temasek Foundation Water Leadership Programme (TFWLP) trained thirty-three mid and senior level professionals from the water industry on best practices in water utilities governance, effective management of water utilities, as well as potential strategies to deal with existing and

50 · Oct–Dec 2012 ·

future challenges. Aimed at building capacity in developing countries in Asia, the initiative is the result of a partnership between Temasek Foundation, the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore, and PUB (Public Utilities Board), Singapore’s national water agency.

This second run was delivered in Singapore from 23 April to 4 May 2012, and included participants from six countries, the Philippines, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Kazakhstan and Indonesia. Besides learning, the programme is an opportunity for water industry leaders to develop networks with their peers in neighbouring countries. In preparation for the programme, the teams identified a specific water management challenge that their city or country faces, and an action plan that could address the challenge within the year after the programme ends. During the two-week course, participants refined their proposals after several consultations with faculty and practitioners. “The TFWLP has been an enriching experience enhancing my capacity and confidence as a water sector professional,” said Rajesh Jethwa, Executive Engineer at the Gujarat Water Supply and Sewerage Board in India, adding that the exchange of views and sharing of experiences by participants was highly rewarding. Participants highly value the interactive classroom discussions, case studies, panel discussions, and site visits to PUB facilities such as the Marina Barrage, Keppel Seghers NEWater Plant and “Active Beautiful Clean” water projects like the Kallang River-Bishan Park and Alexandra Canal. Classes were conducted by world-renowned faculty including Professor Peter Rogers of Harvard University and Professor Dale Whittington from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and students participated actively in one-onone discussions with field staff and worldclass policymakers. To facilitate a continuous flow of ideas and research between participants, faculty and practitioners, as well as to improve water management in various communities, the participants conducted training workshops upon returning to their countries for their counterparts in other ministries, statutory boards and local governments. There will be a total of four runs for the TFWLP. The third run is set to take place in November 2012 and the fourth in the first quarter of 2013. Luana Chow is an Assistant Manager at Executive Education. For more information on the next run and an application form, contact Luana Chow Luana Chow at

Executive Education

by Aigerim (Aika) Bolat

Image: Ngiam Tee Woh, LCMS Consulting

Dean and Dr. Katsu at the LTA signing ceremony at the LKY School with H.E Yerlan Baudarbek-Kozhatayev (far-left), Ambassador of Kazakhstan in Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.


he Lee Kuan Yew School of Public School of Public Policy (GSPP) at NU. Policy (LKY School), National The signing ceremony took place at the University of Singapore signed a significant LKY School and the agreement was signed long-term partnership agreement with the by Professor Tan Chorh Chuan, President of Nazarbayev University (NU), Kazakhstan NUS, Dean Mahbubani and Dr. Shigeo Katsu, to support NU’s efforts to promote pub- President of Nazarbayev University. His lic policy education across Central Asia. Excellency Yerlan Baudarbek-Kozhatayev, The partnership agreement signed is the result Ambassador of Kazakhstan in Singapore, of LKY School’s outstanding track record in Australia and New Zealand and faculty of public policy education in Asia and beyond. the LKY School also attended the signing Through the partnership agreement the ceremony. LKY School will provide consultancy servPresident Shigeo Katsu and Dean Kishore ices over five years to 2017 to facilitate the Mahbubani both said that they hoped that establishment of an international Graduate the agreement would contribute to the

transformation of Kazakhstan’s public policy education in the next five years. Dr. Shigeo Katsu also noted that the initiative of establishing a world-class research-centreed university arose from President N. N. Nazarbayev’s vision. He reflected that the reason the The LKY School was chosen to be a central part of this initiative due to the School’s familiarity with Kazakhstan, and its experience in educating the next generation of policymakers under the Academy of Public Administration. On 19 and 20 August 2012, NU and the LKY School celebrated the long-term partnership by hosting international partners of NU in Astana. The partnership celebration marked the cooperation and commitment of the two universities in working together to advance the public policy education in Kazakhstan and beyond. Dean Mahbubani, together with his fellow Vice-Deans Stavros Yiannouka and Professor Jeffrey Straussman, and Aigerim Bolat, Head of Central Asia Programmes at the LKY School were present for the occasion. Dean Mahbubani also met with the Deputy Prime Ministers of the country, Yerbol Orynbaev and Kairat Kelimbetov, to discuss the partnership plans. During the visit to Astana, Professor Mahbubani also met with the Alumni of LKY School’s graduate and NU joint executive programmes, which included H.E Gulshara Abdykalykova, Minister of Social Security and Labour of Kazakhstan, over an Alumni lunch gathering. The privilege of being part of the Kazakh Government’s historical initiative to set up the first research-centreed university to lead in Central Asia and beyond is the result of years of collaboration and trust gained by the LKY School in educating the next generation of leaders of Kazakhstan. Since 2008, the School has provided executive education programmes to more than 400 government officials including the Prime Minister and his cabinet. In partnering NU, the LKY School joins a select group of leading international institutions including Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, the University of Pennsylvania, University College London, Cambridge University, iCarnegie (the international arm of Carnegie-Mellon University) and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. More information on the partnership with NU can be found in GIA issues #13 and #14. You may also contact Aigerim (Aika) Bolat at · Oct–Dec 2012 · 51

Executive Education

Image: Ngiam Tee Woh, LCMS Consulting

Overseas Action Learning in Libon, Philippines.

by Sunny Lim

The world in the fast-evolving 21st century their performance as leaders in their respechas grown more complex, in many forms and tive organisations. The four-week flagship across many fields. At the same time, econo- programme was jointly organised with the mies in Asia and around the world are strug- School of International and Public Affairs at gling to maintain their growth and devel- Columbia University, New York. opment. In parallel to these developments, A very accomplished and diverse group of cultural sensitivity and the motivational man- 27 senior executives from six different counagement of people has become a vital com- tries and territories that include Australia, ponent of business activity. The task of mod- Botswana, China, Hong Kong, Nigeria and ern senior management is now more complex, Singapore were brought together between challenging and multi-faceted. 4 and 29 June for the 2012 SMP. The proTo help meet these challenges, the 7th gramme is anchored in the premise that the Senior Management Programme (SMP) was individual leader has the potential to exercise designed and developed to provide govern- positive influence in guiding organisations. ment and business leaders the opportunity As such the programme emphasises enhancto step back from their day-to-day respon- ing participants’ awareness of their strengths sibilities, and embark on a journey of intel- and weaknesses as leaders when interacting lectual and personal renewal to improve with others. And in addition to understanding 52 · Oct–Dec 2012 ·

one’s leadership style and approach, it is also important to accurately assess the context and environment in which a leader operates. This is why the programme is equally focused on organisational dynamics and understanding the global forces affecting organisations and the world today. Coupled with the expertise of trainers and leadership experts, the varied experience of fellow participants helped to deliver highly interactive and innovative training modules. One of the SMP participants, Godfrey Mudanga, CEO of Water Utilities Corporation of Botswana, had this to say about the programme, “SMP has given me so much insight into organisational transformational and government policy formulation that I cannot wait to go back and implement them.” As part of the SMP, participants also took part in the Integrative Management Exercise an innovative overseas learning component based on experiential leadership development. For SMP 2012, the group travelled to Libon, Albay, Philippines for one week to work on a project to strengthen the core local governance processes, with special emphasis in the area of child welfare and services. Participants rated this intensive reach-out experience as among the highlights of SMP, catalysing both learning and friendships while creating lasting value for the partner communities. Sunny Lim is Manager at Executive Education. His email is

Executive Education

by Aigerim (Aika) Bolat


he international news on Afghanistan often give us a picture that the country is hopeless—poor, unsafe and disadvantaged without security and with an unknown future. However, in reality it may not be so. At least 16 officials from the Ministry of Finance (MoF) of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan who attended a five-day executive programme at the LKY School told us a different story—one of a hopeful nation. They say while Afghanis might have gotten used to the explosions that could take their neighbour’s or relative’s lives in a second, theyeremain passionate and optimistic about Afghanistan’s future. The 16 officials from MoF arrived at Changi airport on 26 August in high spirits with the goal to promote their resourcerich country that welcomes foreign investment to develop their economy. This batch of young officials, who manage the government’s finance, budgets and funds, spoke fluent English, and most of them have degrees from overseas universities. The head of the delegation Zia-Ur-Rahman Haleemi Abdul Halim Bursat, Director of Budget Policy and Reform Unit of MOF said: “We chose to be trained at the LKY School not just to learn from Singapore’s strategic development practices but also from the region. We are aware that countries in South East Asia or Asia have experienced economic transition and development stages that Afghanistan is going through currently. There are many lessons for us to learn from this region. We specifically chose the LKY School as it has an Asian taste that cannot be found elsewhere. Although after attending this type of short programme, we will not be able to transform our country right away, we do learn ways and new methods of managing budgeting and efficient planning that we expect will offer effective outcomes in the long term. Lectures

with both practical and theoretical components on Fiscal Policy and Budgeting, Tax Policy and Administration, Financial Reform for a Transition Economy and Controlling Corruption and site visits to the Ministry of Finance and Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) during the programme were especially useful for us to learn from the experiences of other countries such as Vietnam, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia. Using our new knowledge from this week’s lectures we will be able to more efficiently manage the legislative changes currently taking place, create a more investment and business-friendly environment, and design more effective public policies.” He also stated that the Government of Afghanistan places a great importance on education and this includes granting scholarships for overseas training. “Seeing is better than hearing,” said Zia, and is one of the reasons for exposing officials to the advanced development of Singapore. Since 2011, the government has spent US$10 million on scholarships and each year about 1,500 undergraduate and graduate level students are sent to universities in the USA, UK, Europe, Russia and Central Asia. I asked Zia what wish he had for his country, if he had but one. He replied, “Stability. As soon as there is security and peace then the economy, political system and the society will stabilise and the government will be able to focus on socio-economic development rather than providing basic security for our people. We do have resources available and policies in place to prosper in the long-term and people are optimistic about the changes currently taking place in the country.” Naveed Ahmad Niaz Lal Mohammad, Budget Reform Manager, also shared these views and hopes:

“I am one of the optimistic men in my country, who will take back many useful lessons after analyzing advantages and disadvantages the countries in this region had in their development path. One policy our government is implementing intensively is developing competitive human resources, which is a crucial factor in development. Currently, our government lacks skills needed in implementing the changes and is challenged by the private sector in keeping the talents due to uncompetitive salary levels. Therefore the government is training public sector officials by sending them to programmes and study tours overseas. Depending on the sector, government chooses different destinations such as Turkey, South Africa, India or Malaysia. Singapore is one of the destinations where we can learn about budgeting and fiscal planning and anti-corruption measures. This programme also provides an opportunity for us to network and maybe involve the LKY School’s lecturers and practitioners as advisors to our government to help us reform our system and transform the country.” Naveed told me about his wish that through education and training, he hopes to be part of Afghanistan’s transformation to a peaceful and prosperous country. “Hope” was heard often during the week. Professor Eduardo Araral, Faculty Lead of the programme, was also struck to hear the word “hope” during every presentation by the participants at the end of the week and they concluded that there is always hope in everything to be done in Afghanistan. Aika Bolat is Assistant Manager and heads Central Asia programmes of Executive Education. Her email is · Oct–Dec 2012 · 53

Alma Mater

MPA Class of 2012 On 6 July 2012, the Lee Kuan Yew School held a valedictory dinner for the Master in Public Administration (MPA) Class of 2012. There were 79 students graduating from the class of 2012, comprising both full-time and part-time students on MPA. Held at the Carlton Hotel Singapore, the Masters of Ceremonies were Carl Edward McIntyre and Jane Donaldson, and Hoo Munn Ye gave a farewell toast at the end of the night. It celebrated the culmination of an intensive journey for the School’s newest MPA graduates. It was a night of remembering friendships and memories forged—and of course, good food and plenty of laughter. The one-year Master in Public Administration (MPA) programme provides an intensive, interdisciplinary course of study for experienced professionals who wish to work on increasingly complex issues shaping national, regional and global policies and projects. Students graduating with an MPA degree acquire new knowledge and skills to enhance their leadership and managerial capabilities to work in the public, private and non-profit sectors. Follow Alumni news and other updates on Twitter @LKYSch.

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Group shot.

Dean with Carl McIntyre (Class President) and Jane Donaldson (Vice Class President, Semester 2).

· Oct–Dec 2012 · 55

Carl McIntyre and Jane Donaldson presenting a gift to Associate Professor Ashish Lall.

Valedictorian toast by Hoo Munn Ye (Best MPA Student).

56 · Oct–Dec 2012 ·

Nazia Malik, Pamela’s partner, Tan Lai Yong, Pamela Beltran Manuel

One for the memory: class photo

· Oct–Dec 2012 · 57






Kishore Mahbubani Dean

Participated in the 2012 World Leadership Forum, Foreign Policy Association with Strategic Review panel session titled "How emerging powers are reshaping the world”. [New York, USA, 26 Sep]


Kishore Mahbubani Dean

Delivered a speech at the Canadian Council of Chief Executives 2012 Conference Keynote, “Lessons Canadians should learn from Asia”. [Ottawa, Canada, 23 Sep]


Kishore Mahbubani Dean

Delivered a speech at the European Leadership Platform Annual Conference Keynote, “Rise of Asia”. [Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 27 Sep]


Tikki Pang (Pangestu) Visiting Professor

Invited to convene and chair a session on “The Global Strategy and Plan of Action for Public Health, 58 · Oct–Dec 2012 ·

Innovation and Intellectual Property” at the World Health Summit. [Berlin, Germany, 22 Oct]


Razeen Sally Visiting Associate Professor

Delivered a lecture at the Gamani Corea Foundation, “Asia in the World Economy: three policy challenges”. [Colombo, Sri Lanka, 27 Sep] Delivered a keynote address on “Lessons for South Asia from East Asia” at the Eisenhower Fellowships South Asia Conference. [Colombo, Sri Lanka, 29 Sep]


Phua Khai Hong Associate Professor of Health Policy & Management

Spoke at the “New Trends in Public Policy Training in Asia”, Sabah State Public Service Department, Institut Latihan Sektor Awam Negeri (INSAN). [Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, 15 May] Spoke at the “Public Policy Training for Future Leaders of Asia”, Human Resource Management Unit, Chief Minister’s Department. [Kuching, Sarawak, 25 Sep]


Heng Yee Kuang Associate Professor & Assistant Dean (Research)

Delivered a lecture titled “The non-kinetic role of the military in Japan's soft power projection” at the East Asia Institute. [Singapore, 24 Aug]


Tikki Pang (Pangestu) Visiting Professor

Invited speaker and workshop facilitator at the First Regional Workshop of the ASEAN Member States Dengue Vaccination Advocacy Steering Committee (ADVASC). [Bangkok, Thailand, 22 Sep]


Razeen Sally Visiting Associate Professor

Chaired two panels at the World Economic Forum (the "Summer Davos"). [Tianjin, China, 11–13 Sep]


Phua Khai Hong Associate Professor of Health Policy & Management

Invited to speak at the “Trends in Pricing and Reimbursement” at the Pricing and Reimbursement


FACULTY ACHIEVEMENTS Asit K. Biswas Distinguished Visiting Professor

l i e

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Wrote an op ed ‘Give water its due importance’ with Leong Ching which appeared in Business Times on 21 August 2012. Referred to as the “world’s water advisor” in Reuters Foundation selection of “Top 10 Water Trailblazers of the World”. This is the first time any NUS staff member has been included in a “Top 10” list (a few NUS professors have been listed as the top 100 persons in the world in their fields).

j k


Boyd Fuller and Khuong Minh Vuong Assistant Professors

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Received the Best Journal Article 2011 award in Public & Nonprofit Division from the Academy of Management.

Tikki Pang (Pangestu) Visiting Professor Future Trends Workshop. [Taiwan, 31 Aug-1 Sep]


Kishore Mahbubani Dean

Attended a ADB KBE Study high-level panel meeting. [Manila, Philippines, 3–4 Sep]


Heng Yee Kuang Associate Professor & Assistant Dean (Research)

Delivered a lecture titled “Urban Order, Global Risks” at the Aoyama Gakuin University. [Tokyo, Japan, 14 Sep]


Phua Khai Hong Associate Professor of Health Policy & Management

Spoke at a roundtable discussion on “Health Systems and Population Ageing in the Asia-Pacific” at the Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University. [Canberra, Australia, 10 Sep]


Kishore Mahbubani Dean

Delivered the 2012 APPA / NZPF Trans-Tasman Conference Keynote, “Globalising Current Educational Thinking”. [Melbourne, Australia, 19 Sep]

Invited as participant to Nobel Week Dialogue on the theme of The Genetic Revolution and its Impact on Society. The Nobel Week Dialogue is a brand new element in the traditional Nobel Week programme, and takes place the day before this year's Nobel Prize award ceremony and banquet (Stockholm, Sweden, 9 Dec, 2012).

Phua Kai Hong Associate Professor Won an award from Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) for a six-month study on Health and Migration in Asia (Singapore and Hong Kong) and Europe (Austria and Italy). The small research grant of $50,000 is a 50-50 split between the Centre for Health & Migration in Europe and LKY School. ASEF will transfer $25,000 to LKY School to pay for two country consultants in Asia, research assistance and travel.

Delivered the ST Lee Lecture 2012 at the Menzies Centre for Health Policy, University of Sydney and the Australian National University. His lecture was on the topic “Health Systems and Population Ageing in the Asia-Pacific: Policy Implications and Options for the Future”. Awarded a joint research grant from the Asia-Europe Foundation to conduct a comparative study of “Health and Migration in Asia and Europe”, in collaboration with the Centre for Health and Migration, Vienna, Austria.

Toby Carroll Senior Research Fellow His article in the Journal of Contemporary Asia won the journal's runner-up prize for best article of 2012. Toby also edited the special issue, which was entitled ‘Neo-liberal Development, Risk and Marketising Asia’. The paper an important new push by international financial institutions towards broadening and deepening capitalist social relations in the underdeveloped world in ways well beyond Washington Consensus structural adjustment or even postWashington Consensus forms of institutionally-oriented ‘‘participatory neo-liberalism’’.

STUDENT ACHIEVEMENTS Alex He Jingwei PhD Candidate Presented oral presentation at coming panel session organised by Phua Kai Hong at the coming Second Global Symposium on Health Systems Research (HSR) to be held in Beijing, China, 31 Oct to 3 Nov, 2012. His topic will be on ‘Comparative Health Systems in Asia: Public-Private Participation’.

Michael Raska PhD Candidate Recently awarded a PhD from the LKY School. · Oct–Dec 2012 · 59

On the move

The Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy continues to attract leading scholars from around the world.

Yu Min Joo (Assistant Professor, 2 July 2012) holds a PhD in urban and regional planning from MIT and a Master’s degree in urban planning from Harvard University. At MIT, she was with the International Development Group, which focuses on the development issues and policy challenges in non-Western countries. Originally from South Korea, she is particularly interested in studying the political and social dynamics of development policymaking in Asia, with an emphasis on exploring them across various spatial scales from urban to national in the global economy. Yvonne Jie Chen’s (Assistant Professor, 2 July 2012) research interest lies in health economics, applied econometrics and development economics. Her past research primarily focuses on applying econometric tools in analyzing policy effects on health inequality and other issues. She has also worked on a variety of development economics projects on fertility and saving behaviours in China. Yvonne holds an undergraduate degree in Computer Science and Economics from Washington University in St. Louis. She received her master and doctoral degree in economics from Yale University. In addition to her academic career, she also worked as a senior associate at a Philadelphia-based health care consulting firm, offering strategic advice for pharmaceutical companies around the world. Krzysztof Piech (Academic Visitor, 7 Sep 2012) is a Reader (Adjunct) at the Economic Policy Department of Warsaw School of Economics (SGH). He holds a Doctorate from the same university. He is a member of the Centre for Comparative Economics at University College London. He is also a representative of economic sciences in the Council of Young Scientists by the Minister of Science and Higher Education in Poland. He established and leads the Knowledge 60 · Oct–Dec 2012 ·

& Innovation Institute in Warsaw. He is also the author, editor or co-editor of almost 40 scientific books. Namrata Chindarkar (Assistant Professor, 2 July 2012) received her PhD from the School of Public Policy, University of Maryland concentrating in international development policy. She holds a M.A. in Development Studies from the University of Manchester, U.K., and a M.Phil. in Social Sciences from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. Her doctoral dissertation was a quantitative analysis of survey data to empirically test subjective well-being theories and answer questions pertaining to international migration decisions, participation in poverty alleviation programmes, and equality of opportunity. Namrata has worked as an analyst at McKinsey & Company, as an executive at the Indian NGO Concern India Foundation, and as an intern at two international organisations, the Global Development Network and the Asian Development Bank. Her research interests are in empirical policy analysis using household and country-level survey data; and policy areas of interest are well-being, poverty and inequality; gender and development; and demography. Henry Yee Wai Hang (Assistant Professor, 4 July 2012) received his Bachelor and Master degrees from the University of Hong Kong. He examined China’s recent environmental reform for his PhD degree at the University of Southern California (USC). Since 2006, he has been collaborating with an international network of scholars, studying how political-institutional environments shape structures and performances of public agencies among OECD countries. In another research project, he has also been researching on the social movement of Home Owner Associations (HOAs) in China, with colleagues from the Civic Engagement Initiative at USC since 2011.

Irvin Studin (Visiting Senior Fellow, 6 July 2012) is Programme Director and Assistant Professor in the School of Public Policy and Governance, University of Toronto, and Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of Global Brief magazine. He worked for a number of years in the Privy Council Office (Prime Minister’s department) in Ottawa, as well as in the Australian Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet in Canberra. The first ever recruit of the Canadian government’s Recruitment of Policy Leaders programme, he co-authored Canada’s 2004 national security policy, and principal-authored Australia’s 2006 national counter-terrorism policy. He is the editor of What is a Canadian? Forty-Three ThoughtProvoking Responses (McClelland & Stewart, 2006). Erin Kim Hye Won (Assistant Professor, 4 July 2012) earned her master’s and doctoral degrees in Public Policy from Duke University. She received her B.S. and M.S. in Management from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology. Her research focuses on the interplay between family and social policy, particularly in the context of population ageing. In other projects, she examines the effect of Medicaid asset transfer rules on inter-generational transfers, how long-term care subsidies affect elders’ living arrangements, to what extent women achieve their intended fertility, and the impact of the number of hours worked on fertility. Kim taught “Population Aging, Family, and Policy in the East and West” at Duke University, and teaches “Statistical Techniques for Public Policy” at NUS in fall 2012. Zeger van der Wal (Assistant Professor, 4 July 2012) has published in the areas of public and private management, public values, organisational ethics, public service motivation (PSM) and public professionalism. His work appeared in leading academic journals as well as professional journals, books and book chapters,

On the move

The Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy continues to attract leading scholars from around the world.

research reports, and newspapers and magazines. His main publications have been translated into Russian and Chinese. Before he joined the LKY School, he was Assistant Professor at the Department of Governance Studies at the VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands, from 2008 to 2012. In 2008, he obtained his PhD (cum laude, with distinction) from that same institution. Before he became an academic Van der Wal worked as a policy advisor for the Municipality

research, methods and analysis at Swinburne University of Technology and the University of the Sunshine Coast. He is Senior Consulting Editor for the Journal of Futures Studies, and is on the editorial board of the journal Futures. Through Action Foresight he has over ten years experience facilitating workshops, applied research, multi-media production, the art of strategic conversation and dialogue, presenting and designing educational curricula.

NEW ROLES ASSUMED Scott Fritzen (Associate Professor, 16 August 2004) is on leave-of-absence for two years to serve as Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, and Visiting Professor at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, New York University. He was formerly Vice Dean (Academic Affairs) for the LKY School from 2008-2011. Jeffrey Straussman (Visiting Professor & Vice Dean (Executive Education), 25 July 2011) takes

José Ramos (Visiting Senior Research Fellow, 10 August 2012) will be with the School for Semester 1, AY2012-13, coteaching a module on Foresight Analysis for Public Policy Professionals with T S Gopi Rethinaraj (Assistant Professor). The module is a

Dennis Wichelns (Visiting Professor and Director, Institute of Water Policy, 8 Aug 2012) is an agricultural and natural resource economist. Dennis obtained his undergraduate degree in Horticulture from the University of Maryland, where he served later as Manager of the University’s Plant Research Farm. After obtaining a Master’s Degree in Agricultural Economics from the Univ. of Maryland, Dennis undertook his doctoral research at the University of California, Davis, where he received his PhD in Agricultural Economics. Dennis has served in teaching and research positions at the University of Rhode Island, California State University in Fresno, and Hanover College in southern Indiana. He has served also as Chief Economist with the California Water Institute, as Executive Director of the Rivers Institute at Hanover College, and as Dean of the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University Northwest. Most recently, Dennis has served as Principal Economist and Senior Fellow with the International Water Management Institute, based in Colombo, Sri Lanka. While in that position, he has worked closely with many international colleagues on a wide range of research projects involving water resources, agriculture, poverty, and livelihoods in several countries across Africa and Asia. He has served for many years as one of the Editors-in-Chief of Agricultural Water

Justyn Olby (Head, Curriculum & Teaching, 15 August 2012) comes to the School from Republic Polytechnic (RP) where he worked as a Senior Academic Manager for four years with the School of Technology for the Arts focusing on facilitation and curriculum design. In 2009, Justyn moved to the Centre for Educational Development, where he specialised in curriculum design, and problem-based learning in particular. One of his major roles was helping senior faculty members design and develop comprehensive academic programmes. In 2011, Justyn attained his Master of Education from University of Western Australia. He has also had extensive experience in adult education running workshops and consultancies for curriculum designers for various areas of education in Sydney, Australia, and for tertiary educators in Singapore. At the

new initiative supported by the National Security Coordination Secretariat (NSCS), PMO, Singapore. He holds a Doctorate from Queensland University of Technology in Global Studies and Strategic Foresight. He has taught and lectured on futures

Management, and he will serve as the founding Editor in Chief of the new journal, Water Resources and Rural Development, which will be launched by Elsevier during the 2012 edition of the Stockholm International Water Week.

LKY School, Justyn’s role will be to work with faculty to develop and implement curriculum of all types and to explore teaching styles, strategies, and innovations that best suit our educational objectives and strengths.

of Amsterdam and the Provincial Government of Southern Holland, between 2001 and 2003. Michael Matthiessen (EU Visiting Fellow 2012-2013, 16 August 2012) is a senior official from the newly created European External Action Service (EEAS) in Brussels. The EEAS, which started in 2011 as an important element of the implementation of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty, is a merger of the parts of the European Commission and the Council Secretariat dealing with external relations—with the addition of seconded diplomats from the EU Member States. Michael Matthiessen has a professional career of 30 years, first as a Danish diplomat for 17 years and then as a senior EU official for 13 years. As a Danish diplomat he worked both in Copenhagen and Brussels and was mostly involved in NATO and European affairs. He was the Deputy Director of the Private Office of the Secretary General of NATO (Lord Carrington) 1985-1987 and the Private Secretary to the Danish Prime Minister.

over the leadership of the School’s Executive Education as Vice Dean (Executive Education) with effect from 1 September 2012. He was formerly Dean, Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy, University at Albany, State University of New York. Kenneth Paul Tan (Associate Professor & ViceDean (Academic Affairs), 1 March 2007) takes on the responsibility of Vice Dean, Academic Affairs. Kanti Bajpai (Professor & Vice-Dean (Research), 2011) takes on the responsibility of Vice-Dean (Research) from 1 September.

· Oct–Dec 2012 · 61

empowerment groups teach us to identify, who perceive themselves to have “arrived”. visualise, plan, and attain our heart’s desires. They experience a profound and pervasive This might mean acquiring more fame, own- state of extraordinary well-being typically ing a new BMW, getting that tight body, find- brought on by a sudden, dramatic shift. These ing Prince Charming, or improving your people report that no matter what situation immune function. The methods are powerful. may arise, they are able to return to a high In fact, if you do not describe using some of baseline of wellness very quickly. They do not these psychological methods in your applica- experience any void or gnawing dissatisfaction to elite military forces, e.g., the US Navy tion with life. As one participant described it, SEALs, you will be rejected simply because “I now live in a state of sweet stillness, and I you lack the psychological skills that lead would never want to go back.” Skip the hardwork, and opt for a to resilience. While these “go get what you Neuroscientists at New York University transcranial magnetic stimulation— want” methods may help you achieve, gain, and Yale have scanned the brains of some could happiness really be that and acquire, will they bring you to really high people in this population and believe their straightforward? Jonathan Marshall well-being? Apparently not. findings substantiate these claims. While chews on a disturbing simplicity. Many people follow this path with great describing the most unusual brain examined, success only to find their rich and famous one researcher (whom I should not name here selves sitting on top of their careers and ask- as yet) described areas of blue to indicate The pursuit of happiness is high on most ing, “What is this all for?” Saint Paul, the pri- “silence,” ergo, “there are areas of his brain people’s life agenda. In fact, it is writ large mary author of the New Testament, described that show ‘blue’ on our scans. That means in political manifestos—in the Singapore this ennui as a “groaning” for God that cannot silence. He lives in a world of incredible peace, pledge of allegiance, the U.S. Declaration of be satisfied this side of heaven. The Buddha with a feeling of being connected to all things, Independence, and in Bhutan’s case, even as explained that pain as an inherent dissatisfac- and in a continuous sense of flow or presence. a measurement of progress: “Gross National tion with the unenlightened life. And clinical It’s truly remarkable.” Happiness”. So what actually contributes to psychologists call it a mid-life crisis—I had This state is characterised by “positive happiness? my first one at age 11. surrender”. Unlike the previously described Clearly, wealth has something to do with Many people respond by borrowing one stage, where people are actively trying to let it but it is only a fraction of the equation. of the 19 million copies of the self-help book go of the need to control, in this stage, surResearchers, including Nobel Prize winner The Secret by Australian television writer and render is a natural state of being. One might Daniel Kahneman, have shown that on aver- producer Rhonda Byrne, and adopting a minor be excused for thinking this “blue”-brained lot age the more wealthy a nation, the greater modification to the same ineffective grind. A would be lazy, un-achieving, and impractical. the well-being of its citizens. Denmark is at few, however, move on. In fact many have demanding executive level the top of the curve; the USA, a wealthier jobs. They describe conducting their lives as a nation as measured by purchasing power, is Profound and pervasive well-being natural expression of who they are rather than not far behind—but it is on the same level as The second, more mature stage of seeking with the goal to achieve something in particVenezuela—a very much poorer nation. As for well-being, is characterised by accepting ular. Jeffrey Walker, ex-Chairman and CEO Singapore, despite its wealth per capita (11th one’s mental and emotional states. People of CCMP Capital, explained to me that this in the world according to Gallup’s research- focus on accepting what they have, and population makes exceptionally good bankers. ers), ranks poorly. Singaporeans described changing previously unrealistic expecta- One reason may be because their emotions do themselves as “struggling” significantly more tions. They start to see that discontentment not interfere with their clarity of thought. than the citizens of other countries. Money, exists in the space between what is, and what So how can any of us get to this stage? it seems, is like hygiene: it can protect peo- they think should be. Many atheists, agnos- While some people claim they achieved ple from the lows of disease and discontent- tics, and spiritual practitioners seek progress it through spiritual practice, many others ment, but it cannot take a person or a popula- along this path. Its essence is described well describe it suddenly happening to them despite tion to the highs of thriving and well-being. by Reinhold Neibuhr’s prayer: “Grant me the having no particular practice. One person So once we have met the basic factors of life serenity to accept the things I cannot change, became obsessed with mirrors, the reflection (food, shelter, and health), what are the causes Courage to change the things I can, of mirrors within mirrors, and the question of of happiness? And the wisdom to know the difference.” “What is reality if everything can be a seen The self-help section in your local bookAccording to well-being researcher Dr. as a reflection?” He found himself questionstore is likely to shed some light of the issue, Jeffery Martin, director of the Centre for the ing the nature of reality and then suddenly… but it is unlikely to describe more than one Study of Non-Symbolic Consciousness, 99 pop! He claims his baseline of well-being proof the three paths researchers have found percent of the population is able to improve foundly changed forever. that actually increase well-being. The strat- well-being incrementally using a variation of egies you will read reflect the ideals and the standard techniques alluded to above. But, Electric awakening goals of a society oriented to commercial sadly, they rarely arrive at their goal—perma- In an attempt to harness technology to effect success. Motivational can-do guru Anthony nent well-being. this change, Dr. Martin’s research privately Robins, life coaches, sport psychologists, and Dr. Martin has interviewed 1,200 people funded group has created a “happiness hat”.

to happiness

62 · Oct–Dec 2012 ·


It uses transcranial direct current stimulation to invoke a prolonged state of well-being by sending an electrical signal to the relevant parts of participants’ brains. I interviewed one of the first participants, Sally. She described profound and increasing amounts of joy for the three to four hours following her treatment. “It wasn’t giddy. It was deep. I felt an immense, imperturbable peace and joy throughout my body.” She went on to explain having a very tricky and potentially painful discussion with her romantic partner during that period. “It was the kind of discussion that might have made me afraid that we were heading toward separation. But I felt such well-being inside, I just wanted to communicate with him in a straightforward way, completely uncensored. It’s the kind of thing you would never normally do, but everything just felt so right. I was in a place where what was being said to me could not affect me emotionally or decrease the well-being I was feeling.” Since then a number of people have experienced this electrical impulse with varying degrees of success. According to Dr. Martin, it is likely that sometime between tomorrow and 20 years from now, well-being is going to be available in the zap of a happiness hat. If he is right, the impact on our society will, literally, be mind-boggling. But it may not be the kind of “surrender” one envisioned. If the job of our governments is to increase the well-being of its populations, should they start investing in electrode-filled hats rather than roads or schools? And if this hat were to be very successful, would we all use it? Some part of me wonders if in fact a cheap road to well-being would be a good thing. It does not seem natural but perhaps that does not matter. The last time I saw Sally I asked for her thoughts. She beamed as she described her experience. She also explained that she and her partner had just bought a home and regardless of the impact on society, she wants another shot at the machine. As I watched her glow with joy as she talked, I could not help but wonder how much had been caused by her experience in the happiness hat and… I wanted to give it a try myself.

In 2010, more than 90 percent of the world’s youth, aged 15 to 24, lived in developing countries, and more than half (55 percent) lived in Asia, according to the International Labour Office, Geneva. The realities of ageing societies in developed countries and predominantly youthful societies in developing countries present opportunities and challenges, demanding a mindset change. Post-crisis, the greatest challenge may be to create employment but the issues are myriad. The next issue of Global-is-Asian features young leaders, experts and young minds, who will address the issues facing the generation in the wings.

All confidential identifying information has been anonymised. Jonathan Marshall is Assistant Professor of Leadership Studies at the LKY School. A psychologist and executive coach, he teaches leadership and maintains a consulting, coaching and counselling practice. His email is · Oct–Dec 2012 · 63

64 · Oct–Dec 2012 ·

Global-is-Asian #15  

The Magazine of the LKY School of Public Policy