The AWARE Saga: Civil Society and Public Morality in Singapore

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Edited by Terence Chong

ebook available at: NLB link and

In March 2009, the Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE) was briefly taken over by a Christian faction. Their coup was overturned within a matter of weeks, but the episode highlighted a variety of issues, including the role of religion in civil society, sex education, homosexuality, state intervention and media engagement. Although the immediate issue was control of an activist group concerned with women's rights, it has implications for the agendas and concerns of NGOs, 'culture wars', the processes of citizenry mobilization, mass participation and noisy democracy, and liberal voices in contemporary Singapore.

In this book, academics and public intellectuals examine the AWARE saga within the context of Singapore's civil society, considering the political and historical background and how the issues it raised relate to contemporary societal trends. In addition to documenting a milestone event for Singapore's civil society, the authors offer provocative interpretations that will interest a broad range of readers.

"The AWARE saga heralds a call to establish new perspectives on Singapore society and politics."
Kai Khiun Liew

Terence Chong is a Sociologist and Senior Fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS), Singapore.

Publication Year: 2011
208 pages, 229mm x 152mm
ISBN: 978-9971-69-551-4, Paperback

NUS Press