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Duterte-style Populism: The Philippines in the Geopolitical Economy of Southeast Asia

November 22, 2016 - 14:15-16:00

Photo: Prachatai – President Duterte showing diagram of drug trade network

Presentation by Bonn Juego, postdoctoral researcher at the University of Jyväskylä in Finland and currently guest researcher at NIAS – Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, University of Copenhagen. Comments by Nina Trige Andersen and Mark Philip Stadler.

Newly-elected Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has been hitting the global headlines. This is mostly because of Duterte’s ‘heterodox’ yet largely ‘populist’ political style; his internationally controversial yet domestically popular ‘war on drugs’; and his sensitive ‘foreign policy choices’ that will have important implications for the geopolitical-economic position of the Philippines in particular and the whole of the ASEAN bloc at the time of intensifying rivalry between the US and China for Asian regional hegemony.

The forum will discuss emerging phenomena about present-day Philippine political economy, notably:

  • the particularities of ‘Duterte-style populism’ that had made him win the election and continue to enjoy popular support
  • the risks and limitations of Duterte’s ‘police-centric‘ approach to resolving the complex problems of criminality and illegal drugs
  • the promises of ‘Dutertenomics’  whose development strategies are founded on, inter alia, a ‘law and order’ regime for the stability requirement of business operations,  ‘peace process’ with long-running armed rebel groups, the rhetoric to put an ‘end to labour contractualization’ practices, and on ‘industrialization’ plans by ushering in a ‘golden age of infrastructure’ funded by Chinese capital
  • the likely priority areas of the Philippines under Duterte as ‘chair of the ASEAN’ at its 50th anniversary in 2017, especially as this relates to the region’s pressing issues on democratization and human rights, the ASEAN Economic Community project, and the South China Sea disputes
  • the geopolitical implications of Duterte’s emergent foreign relations strategy that seems to  ‘Look East’ – being friendlier with China, Japan, and the ASEAN member states, while strongly critical of the US.

After Bonn Juego’s presentation the two commentators Mark Philip Stadler and Nina Trige Andersen will give their input and invite questions from the audience. The presentation and comments will be in English and questions can be posed in either English, Filipino or Danish.

More information here.

Duterte-style Populism: The Philippines in the Geopolitical Economy of Southeast Asia


November 22, 2016


NIAS, room 18.1.08, CSS, University of Copenhagen, Øster Farimagsgade 5
Copenhagen, 1353 Denmark
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