Constitutional Amendment in Dominant Party States: Amending for Autochthony in Singapore

This paper engages the question of why governments in dominant party states employ formal amendment procedures to bring about constitutional changes. It examines the constitutional amendment practice of Singapore, a dominant party state, arguing that amendments are often perceived as legitimate because they purportedly re-indigenize and reclaim the countries’ constitutions from their colonial roots, and are thus characterized as ‘tailored’ to local conditions. It is this juxtaposition of an autochthonous constitution, as opposed to a colonial one, that provides the key to understanding how amendments to the constitution are both seen as legitimate and legitimating of the government.