Singapore Junior Scholar Seminar: 4 April 2023

Financialising welfare subjectivities: CPF, neoliberalism and state power

Eve Yeo, PhD candidate in Sociology, University of Liverpool

Tuesday, 4 April 2023, 7.30pm Singapore time (UTC +8), via Zoom

How do state processes create subjects and what are they subjected to? To address these questions, this junior scholar presentation offers an exploration of state power and welfare through a case study of the Central Provident Fund (CPF). In its function to ensure a ‘good’ retirement for individual account holders, the workings of the CPF often result in the privileging of certain behaviours and identities to activate the welfare subject through specific financial practices and habits. In approaching CPF as a representation of state power, contemporary policy processes are implicated in the reproduction of subjection.

Eve Yeo is a PhD candidate in sociology at the University of Liverpool. Her research interests lie in welfare governance and subjectivities. She hopes to develop an approach to understanding the cultural political economy of welfare within Singapore.


Karen Lai is Associate Professor in the department of Geography at Durham University. She is an economic geographer with research expertise on finance, global cities and FinTech. Her research focuses on issues of financialisation, knowledge networks, financial centres in Asia and their wider global financial networks. She is deputy editor-in-chief of Finance and Space and associate editor of Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, with editorial/advisory board service on other journals such as Geoforum, Progress in Economic Geography and the Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography. More.


The Singapore Studies Junior Scholar Seminars are organised by AcademiaSG, an international and independent collective of Singaporean scholars, as part of our mission to promote research on Singapore. If you are a PhD student or post-doctoral scholar with research to share, read our Call for Proposals. We also welcome essays and commentaries for our Academic Views section. Write to our editors through our contact form to pitch an idea.