“Discourse and Legitimation in Singapore: The Case of Anti-Smoking Policy”
Date and time:
Wednesday, 7 September 2011
15:30pm – 16:30pm
CNM Playroom, AS6/03-38
Political legitimacy represents the moral basis of public support. From a Habermasian perspective, the legitimation of political domination in modern democratic societies is rooted in citizens’ rationally motivated agreement. Only when citizens agree with a political authority’s proposals or when they perceive opportunities to seek a shared understanding with the authority would they consider a decision-making process legitimate. This study examined communicative action by using two sets of conditions, validity claims and speech conditions. Legitimacy appraisals are assumed to be associated with perceived validity claims and perceived speech conditions jointly and separately. A random-digit-dial telephone survey of 2,081 Singaporeans was conducted to test the empirical bond between legitimacy and communicative action. The selected setting involves citizen assessments of the government’s authoritarian approach to controlling cigarette use. Results of the study indicate that perceived validity and speech conditions jointly account for citizen attributions of legitimacy. However, validity claims play a more influential role than speech conditions in describing the legitimacy of political imperatives in Singapore. Findings from this study suggest that the communicative action approach can be useful in monitoring the extent to which citizens are satisfied with government-public communication and levels of support for the government’s political control.
Dr. Leanne Chang’s biography can be found here http://ap3.fas.nus.edu.sg/fass/cnmclyl/