A World Divided – International Conflicts and Contending Loyalties in Singapore

Academic Views, Events / Thursday, March 17th, 2022

The Singapore government “strongly condemned Russia’s unprovoked attack” as an “existential” issue for the republic. At the United Nations General Assembly on March 2, it joined 140 other countries in voting in favour of a resolution deploring “in the strongest terms” Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, demanding that Russia “immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces”.

Behind this unequivocal official position, though, ground sentiment appears mixed. There are Singaporeans who argue that the West is no better and has no right to judge. Some express sympathy for Russia and contempt for Ukraine’s struggle.

What do such opinions reveal about Singaporeans’ sense of their place in the world, their trans-border loyalties, and their deep-set grievances with the global order? Looking beyond the Ukraine crisis, what are the implications of these attitudes for a future that will be increasingly shaped by an ascendant China? Our panel of social scientists will discuss the significance of citizen responses to events in Europe.


Kanti Bajpai, National University of Singapore. Kanti Bajpai is Wilmar Professor of Asian Studies at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, NUS. He is a political scientist whose research interests include international security and India-China relations. … more

Chong Ja Ian, National University of Singapore. Chong Ja Ian is an associate professor in the NUS Department of Political Science, focusing on international relations, security, Chinese foreign policy, and the Asia-Pacific. … more

Linda Lim, University of Michigan. Linda Lim is Professor Emerita of Corporate Strategy and International Business at the University of Michigan. She researches the political economy of multinational and local business in Southeast Asia. … more

Walid Jumblatt Abdullah, Nanyang Technological University. Walid Jumblatt, an assistant professor in the NTU School of Social Sciences, is a political scientist who writes on Singapore and  Southeast Asia, especially on state-religion relations, political parties and elections. … more


Cherian George, Hong Kong Baptist University. Cherian George is a professor of media studies at the School of Communication and Film. His research interests include media and democracy, hate propaganda, and disinformation. … more