The Political Economy of Brain Drain and Talent Capture: Evidence from Malaysia and Singapore, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Political Economy of Brain Drain and Talent Capture

Evidence from Malaysia and Singapore, 1st Edition

Edited by Adam Tyson


172 pages | 9 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781138366077
pub: 2018-10-25
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Brain drain and talent capture are important issues globally, and especially crucial in countries such as Malaysia and Singapore, which aspire to be innovation-driven advanced economies. This book provides a thorough analysis of the impact of brain drain on middle-income Malaysia and high-income Singapore, where the political salience of the problem in both countries is high. It discusses the wider issues associated with brain drain, such as when rich countries increase their already plentiful stocks of, for example, medical practitioners and engineers at the expense of relatively poor countries, examines the policies put in place in Malaysia and Singapore to counter the problem and explores how the situation is further complicated in Malaysia and Singapore because of these countries’ extensive state interventionism and sociopolitical tensions and hierarchies based on ethnicity, religion and nationality. Overall, the book contends that talent enrichment initiatives serve to construct and secure privilege and ethnic hierarchy within and between countries, as well as to reinforce the political power base of governments.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction: The Political Economy of Brain Drain and Talent Capture - Adam Tyson
  2. Brain Drain and Talent Capture in Malaysia: Rethinking Conventional Narratives - Kee-Cheok Cheong, Kim-Leng Goh and Ran Li
  3. Singapore’s Quest for Foreign Talent: Chinese Migrant Workers and the Growing Citizen-Foreigner Divide - Jean Michel Montsion
  4. Overseas Singaporeans, Coming-of-Career Narratives, and the Corporate Nation- Cheryl Narumi Naruse
  5. Ethnicity-based Policies as the Main Factor of Malaysian Brain Drain? Re-examining the Distribution of Opportunities for Education and Employment - Riho Tanaka
  6. Talent and Technological Innovation in Malaysia, with Lessons from China - Chan-Yuan Wong, Boon-Kwee Ng, Amirah Shazana, and Kee-Cheok Cheong
  7. Talent, Teams and Training: Managing Muslim Markets in Malaysia and Singapore - Johan Fischer
  8. Conclusion: The Comparative Political Economy of Talent, Identity and Ethnic Hierarchy - William S. Harvey

About the Editor

Adam Tyson is Associate Professor of Southeast Asian Politics in the School of Politics and International Studies at the University of Leeds.

About the Series

Routledge Malaysian Studies Series

The Routledge Malaysian Studies Series publishes high quality scholarship that provides important new contributions to knowledge on Malaysia. It also signals research that spans comparative studies, involving the Malaysian experience with that of other nations.

This series, initiated by the Malaysian Social Science Association (MSSA) to promote study of contemporary and historical issues in Malaysia, and designed to respond to the growing need to publish important research, also serves as a forum for debate on key issues in Malaysian society. As an academic series, it will be used to generate new theoretical debates in the social sciences and on processes of change in this society.

The Series covers a broad range of subjects including history, politics, economics, sociology, international relations, geography, business, education, religion, literature, culture and ethnicity. The series will encourage work adopting an interdisciplinary approach.

New proposals for the series are welcomed.  Prospective authors should in the first instance contact the series editors, whose email addresses are:;; and


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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / Asian American Studies
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies