Philippine Populism: Local Violence and Global Context in the Rise of a Filipino Strongman

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Alfred William McCoy


To explore the overlooked role of political violence in global "populism," the essay explores the rise of Rodrigo Duterte from long-serving mayor of a provincial city to an exceptionally powerful Philippine president. Using an analytical frame that juxtaposes localized violence with international influence, the essay examines not only the political dynamics that elevated Duterte to power but the tensions that are already circumscribing his authority after only a year in office. Application of this model to comparable cases could both highlight the parallel role of political violence in contemporary populism and indicate the forces likely to lead to its decline.

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Author Biography

Alfred William McCoy, university of wisconsin-madison

Harrington Professor of History


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