Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/143843
Title: ‘MARITIME FORCE FOR A MARITIME NATION’: THE REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE NAVY AS A STATE INSTRUMENT TO EXERCISE SOVEREIGNTY AND SECURITY OVER MARITIME SPACES
Authors: POH KHOON SHENG EUGENE
Keywords: sovereignty, maritime spaces, security, discourse analysis, Republic of Singapore Navy
Issue Date: 2017
Citation: POH KHOON SHENG EUGENE (2017). ‘MARITIME FORCE FOR A MARITIME NATION’: THE REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE NAVY AS A STATE INSTRUMENT TO EXERCISE SOVEREIGNTY AND SECURITY OVER MARITIME SPACES. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: States have often regarded territory to mean spaces that must be defended. Yet, studies on the political geography of territories have been focusing on land and giving inadequate attention to maritime spaces. Given that maritime spaces have different physical properties that are distinct from that of the land, states would employ different strategies to exercise sovereignty over their maritime spaces. As Singapore identifies itself as a maritime nation with its economy being reliant on maritime trade, the state justifies the necessity for a robust maritime force to ensure the security of Singapore’s sea lines of communication (SLOC). Hence, using the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) as my case study, through a discourse analysis of the RSN’s Navy News magazines published since 1983, this thesis aims to examine and interrogate how and where the RSN operates as a state instrument to enact sovereignty and security. First, I argue that the RSN employs a repertoire of “inward” strategies– ranging from technological advancements to formulating protocols for intergovernmental agency cooperation – to ensure maritime security within Singapore’s delimited maritime spaces and to prevent any infringement of sovereignty. Second, I argue that Singapore is implicated in external geopolitical events and the RSN looks “outwards” – establishing both proximate and strategic partnerships with other states’ Navies to enhance cooperation, enact sovereignty, and ensure security of Singapore’s SLOC. Furthermore, looking outwards means that the RSN also takes on the responsibility to project Singapore’s sovereignty and interests in distant maritime spaces to create safe and secure SLOC for trading. In so doing, this thesis engages with concepts of political geography to arrive at two main goals: one, to reconsider maritime spaces as a worthy subject of political geographical enquiry, and two, to demonstrate the military’s significance in the enactment of the geographies of sovereignty.
URI: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/143843
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