Flirting with Authoritarian Fantasies? Rodrigo Duterte and the New Terms of Philippine Populism

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This commentary aims to take stock of the 2016 presidential elections in the Philippines that led to the landslide victory of the controversial Rodrigo Duterte. It argues that part of Duterte’s electoral success is hinged on his effective deployment of the populist style. Although populism is not new to the Philippines, Duterte exhibits features of contemporary populism that are befitting of an age of communicative abundance. This commentary contrasts Duterte’s political style with other presidential contenders, characterises his relationship with the electorate and concludes by mapping populism’s democratic and anti-democratic tendencies, which may define the quality of democratic practice in the Philippines in the next six years
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-153
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Contemporary Asia
Issue number1
Early online date18 Oct 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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