A 'magic formula' for the 4G leadership and beyond

Consider the strengths of collective leadership at a time of complex challenges.

PM Lee Hsien Loong and Finance Minister Lawrence Wong during a press conference at the Istana on April 16, 2022. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
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In 1968, Dutch political scientist Arend Lijphart considered a puzzle: How is it that countries with ethnic, religious and linguistic divisions remain stable despite the likelihood of undesirable outcomes such as communal violence?

Focusing on his native Netherlands, he concluded that if leaders are cognisant of such negative scenarios, they pre-emptively overcompensate through inclusive policy-making and power-sharing agreements. The process of anticipating worst-case outcomes and taking premeditated steps to avoid them is now known as the "Lijphart effect".

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