This book shows how power relations that define and challenge the concept of ""nation"" are played out in and through landscapes. Has the era of globalization neutralized the institution of ""nation?"" This thought-provoking book focuses on attempts to build ""nation"" through landscape. Specifically, it explores strategies employed by Singapore, a multiracial society, to create a Singapore ""nation"" with an emphasis on the role of landscapes. As such, the authors cast a keen eye on religious buildings, public housing, heritage landscapes, and street name changes as tangible methods of nation-building in a postcolonial society. The authors point out that notions of ""identity"" and ""nation"" are social constructs rooted in history. They then illustrate how ""nation"" and ""national identity"" are concepts that are negotiated and disputed by varied social, economic, and political groups - some of which may actively resist powerful state-centrist attitudes. Throughout this work, the role of the landscape prevails both as a way to naturalize state ideologies and as a means of providing possibilities for reinterpretation in everyday life. Insightful and informative, this is a crucial reference for geographers as well as scholars of international political economy, postcolonial and cultural studies, and Asian history.
Lily Kong is associate professor in the Department of Geography and dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the National University of Singapore. Among numerous publications, she coauthored Singapore: A Developmental City-State and coedited Globalization and The Asia-Pacific: Contested Territories. Brenda S. A. Yeoh is associate professor in the Department of Geography at the National University of Singapore. She is the coauthor of Singapore: A Developmental City-State, co-editor of Gender and Migration and author of Community and Change: The Tanjong Pagar Community Club Story.