Rise of “Business-Friendly” Local Elite Rule in the Philippines: How the Valdezes Developed San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte

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  • Kusaka Wataru
    Graduate School of International Development, Nagoya University

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<p>This paper aims to explain why reform-oriented local politics has gained ground in the Philippines. It has been argued that local politics in the Philippines is characterized by dynastic elites who employ a patron–client relationship, exploitive rent-seeking, and coercion and violence. However, a more reform-oriented local politics has emerged in many parts of the country since around the 2000s. What is the driver for the rise of reform-oriented local politics? Does this form of politics weaken or strengthen the local political dynasties? This paper answers the first question by arguing that links between the global neoliberal economy and local policy entrepreneurs have facilitated the rise of reform-oriented and business-friendly local politics. For the second question, it claims that local elites who become successful policy entrepreneurs adopting the new business-friendly politics are likely to further entrench themselves and perpetuate their dynasty by utilizing private capital investment. These arguments are based on the case of the Valdez family in the municipality of San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte.</p>


  • Southeast Asian Studies

    Southeast Asian Studies 10 (2), 223-253, 2021-08-26

    Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University

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