Monograph #58

Monograph #58

Yale Southeast Asia Studies Monograph #58


by Nathan Gilbert Quimpo

When “people power” toppled the dictator Marcos, the Philippines was considered a shining example of the restoration of democracy. Since 1986, however, the Philippines has endured continuing political and social unrest and encountered tremendous obstacles to the consolidation and deepening of democracy. Scholars have called post-Marcos Philippines an “elite democracy,” a “cacique democracy,” or a “patrimonial oligarchic state.”

In this volume, Nathan Gilbert Quimpo disputes such characterizations of Philippine politics and puts forward an alternative interpretation-contested democracy. He argues that the deepening of democracy in the country involves the transformation of an elite-dominated formal democracy into a participatory and egalitarian one. He focuses on emergent, democratically oriented, leftist parties and groups that seek to transform the formal democracy of the Philippines into a more substantial one and shows the difficulties they have encountered in fighting patronage politics. The complexity of the process to deepen democracy in the Philippines becomes evident from Quimpo’s exploration of competing notions of democracy, contending versions of the “civil society argument,” and contending perspectives in governance.

Reviewers’ Comments: “A major contribution of this book is the detailed account of the origins, development and current state of the Left in the Philippines…painstakingly chronicles the divisions and permutations of communist, socialist and social democratic groups and even Southeast Asia.” - Aprodicio A. Laquian

“…this comprehensive tome (is) the first ever on segments of the Philippine Left that tries to explore and exploit the openings created by the downfall of the Marcos dictatorship and the return to constitutional democracy….One finishes reading this book with mixed feelings: a guarded optimism….and a pained analytical conclusion…” - Patricio N. Abinales

405pp / Cover design by MetaGlyfix
Paper $27.00; ISBN 978-0-938692-91-1

Cloth* $38.00; ISBN 978-0-938692-90-9
Kindle eBook $17.00

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Yale Southeast Asia Studies is a non-profit publishing entity at Yale University.