Rodrigo Duterte: Macho populism and authoritarian practice (born 1945)

Nicole Curato, Yvan Ysmael Yonaha

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapterpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The Philippines have had a habit of electing macho populists since electoral democracy was restored in 1986. This chapter investigates this phenomenon by focusing on the micro political foundations of populism in the Philippines and how populism descends into authoritarian practice. Drawing on sociological and media studies literature, the authors argue that populism is not a unilinear relationship where a populist leader such as Rodrigo Duterte commands the loyalty of a naïve constituency but one that is dynamic and reciprocally constructed in micropolitical and often overlooked ways. This essay outlines that populism in the Philippines is constituted by everyday demands of compassion over competence, indistinction between entertainment and politics, and the politicization of latent anxieties. By understanding the micro politics of populism, the chapter demonstrates how populist performances can result in legitimizing authoritarian practices and corroding democratic cultures.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDictators and Autocrats
Subtitle of host publicationSecuring Power across Global Politics
EditorsKlaus Larres
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781003100508
ISBN (Print)9781000467550
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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