Anxiety Politics in Singapore: The ‘Koro Crisis’ of 1967

Asian Journal of Public Affairs 10(2): p. 53-66. doi 10.18003/ajpa.20181

14 Pages Posted: 30 May 2018

See all articles by Max Everest-Phillips

Max Everest-Phillips

United Nations - UNDP Global Centre for Public Service Excellence UNDP Singapore

Date Written: March 1, 2018

Abstract

In 1967, many Singaporeans became convinced that their sexual organs were withering away. This mass anxiety – known as Koro – presented, perhaps, the oddest challenge for public administration in the early years of Singapore’s independence. Linked to the country’s declining pig industry and Lee Kuan Yew’s personal efforts to attract foreign investment, the episode illustrates important principles for the role of public service in state-building.

Keywords: Koro, vaccination, pork, public administration, public trust, anxiety politics

Suggested Citation

Everest-Phillips, Max, Anxiety Politics in Singapore: The ‘Koro Crisis’ of 1967 (March 1, 2018). Asian Journal of Public Affairs 10(2): p. 53-66. doi 10.18003/ajpa.20181, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3180426

Max Everest-Phillips (Contact Author)

United Nations - UNDP Global Centre for Public Service Excellence UNDP Singapore

Singapore

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