Electoral Dynamics in the Philippines: Money Politics, Patronage and Clientelism at the Grassroots

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Edited by Allen Hicken, Edward Aspinall and Meredith Weiss

with contributions by Paul Hutchcroft, Ronald D Holmes, Duke Thomas G Dolorical, Margie A Nolasco, Michelle Sta. Romana, Armida D Miranda, Cleo Calimbahin, Jose Aims R Rocina, Gerardo V Eusebio, Mary Joyce Borromeo-Bulao, Ladylyn Lim Mangada, Donabel S Tumandao, Regina E Macalandag, Juhn Chris P Espia, Neil Pancho, Tetchi D Aquino, Acram Latiph

The role of clientelism, political machines, and money politics in grassroots electioneering in the Philippines is much discussed, but rarely studied in detail. Combining in-depth ethnographic fieldwork in localities across the Philippines during the 2016 election, with polling data, and offering national comparative scope, this study sheds light on the organisation of elections and electioneering across the Philippines.

How do candidates choose to appeal to voters and to get out the vote? How do voters respond to different kinds of appeals?  How important are patronage and clientelism? What are the networks within which patronage is delivered? What do  political machines look like in elections influenced by social media? The book identifies commonalities and differences across the Philippines while speaking to current debates in the political science literature about elections in developing democracies, the structure and organisation of clientelism, and the role of money in elections.

“This volume reaffirms the continuing utility of the local political machine by asserting that it is the ‘foundational building block’ of the Philippine patronage that is constructed to support the political ambitions of individual politicians or political clans. It is an important addition to the rich literature on the pathologies of patron-client politics in the country.”
– Julio C Teehankee, De La Salle University

Allen Hicken is professor of Political Science, a Research Professor at the Center for Political Studies, and the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at the University of Michigan.

Edward Aspinall is a professor of politics at the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs, Australian National University.

Meredith Weiss is professor of Political Science at the University at Albany, State University of New York.