Associate Professor See Seng Tan; S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University

The study of terrorism in post-9/11 Southeast Asia by Singaporean or Singapore-based security scholars and analysts has been panned by critics as an enterprise in ignorant expertise. Labelled the ‘Singapore School’, the work of counterterrorism experts at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) based at the Nanyang Technological University has been singled out for presumably having advanced dubious claims about the nature of the terror threat in Southeast Asia, exaggerated its extent and depth, and proposed policy prescriptions that aggravate rather than resolve the problem. This chapter contends to the contrary that terrorism analysis and expertise development in Singapore is in fact a richer, contested and more ambivalent enterprise than its critics have allowed. While the enterprise includes elements associated with the ‘Singapore School’, they do not fully represent the complete oeuvre of Singapore terrorism studies, which has its fair share of counter-narratives.