The Philippines is a fascinating example of a "poor country democracy" where issues of economic development and poverty, political participation and stability, as well as ethnicity and migration are crucial. The Routledge Handbook of the Contemporary Philippines provides a comprehensive overview of the current political, economic, social, and cultural issues of the country. The Handbook is divided into the following four sections concentrating on a different aspect of the Philippines:

  • domestic politics;
  • foreign relations;
  • economics and social policy;
  • cultures and movements.

In terms of domestic politics, chapters discuss clientelism, bossism, dynasties, pork barrel and corruption as well as institutions - the presidency, congress, the judiciary, the civil service, political parties, and civilian-military relations. The Philippines is confronted with many overseas challenges, with the foreign relations section focused on the country’s relationship with China, Japan, and the USA as well as assessing the impact of the Filipino diaspora community around the world. Regarding economics and social policy, authors examine industrial policy, capital flight, microfinance, technocracy, economic nationalism, poverty, social welfare programs, and livelihoods. The final section on Philippine cultures and movements highlights issues of customs, gender, religion, and nationalism while also examining various social and political forces - the peasantry, the middle class, indigenous peoples, NGOs, the left, trade unionism, the women’s movement, and major insurgencies.

Written by leading experts in the field, the Handbook provides students, scholars, and policymakers of Southeast Asia with an interdisciplinary resource on the evolving politics, society, and economics of the Philippines.

chapter |14 pages


ByMark R. Thompson, Eric Vincent C. Batalla

part I|144 pages

Domestic politics

chapter 1|9 pages

Clientelism revisited

ByMasataka Kimura

chapter 2|12 pages

Patrons, bosses, dynasties, and reformers in local politics

ByJohn T. Sidel

chapter 3|17 pages

The political party system 1

ByAllen Hicken

chapter 4|18 pages

Combating corruption

ByJon S.T. Quah

chapter 5|12 pages

The civil service

Weaknesses and constructive informal practices
ByRupert Hodder

chapter 6|12 pages

House of clans

Political dynasties in the legislature
ByJulio C. Teehankee

chapter 7|10 pages

Pork transmogrified

The unending story of particularistic spending
ByRonald D. Holmes

chapter 8|11 pages


Separate but not equal
ByDiana J. Mendoza, Mark R. Thompson

chapter 9|12 pages

The presidency

A relational approach
ByMark R. Thompson

chapter 10|14 pages

The judiciary under threat

ByEric Vincent C. Batalla, Michelle Sta. Romana, Karen Rodrigo

chapter 11|15 pages

Civil-military relations

Norming and departures
ByRosalie Arcala Hall

part II|50 pages

Foreign relations

chapter 12|11 pages

Foreign relations between the Philippines and the United States

ByHoward Loewen

chapter 13|14 pages

From antagonistic to close neighbors?

Twenty-first century Philippines–China relations
ByRenato Cruz de Castro

chapter 14|11 pages

Towards strategic partnership

Philippines–Japan relations after seventy years
ByDennis D. Trinidad

chapter 15|12 pages

Diaspora diplomacy 1

ByJoaquin Jay Gonzalez

part III|110 pages

Economics and social policy

chapter 16|14 pages

Bypassing industrial development

ByEric Vincent C. Batalla

chapter 17|10 pages

Capital flight

ByEdsel L. Beja

chapter 18|19 pages

The changing configuration of capitalism

ByAntoinette R. Raquiza

chapter 19|8 pages

Economic nationalism and its legacy

ByYusuke Takagi

chapter 20|11 pages

Technocracy and class politics in policy-making

ByTeresa S. Encarnacion Tadem

chapter 21|11 pages

The allure of Pantawid Pamilya

The conditional cash transfer program
ByMa. Victoria R. Raquiza

chapter 22|9 pages

Informality and legality in women’s livelihoods in Baguio City

ByB. Lynne Milgram

chapter 23|14 pages

Persistent poverty and elite-dominated policymaking

ByDavid G. Timberman

chapter 24|12 pages

From Pamilya to grasya

ByAsuncion Sebastian

part IV|143 pages

Cultures and movements

chapter 25|9 pages

A syncretic culture

ByPaul A. Rodell

chapter 26|11 pages

Gender, nation, and Filipino Catholicism past and present

ByCoeli Barry

chapter 27|11 pages

Between rights protection and development aggression

Indigenous peoples
ByOona Paredes

chapter 28|11 pages

The resilience of the peasantry

ByEduardo C. Tadem

chapter 29|13 pages

The middle class in society and politics

ByTemario C. Rivera

chapter 30|10 pages

NGOs in the post-Marcos era

ByGerard Clarke

chapter 31|10 pages

Crossovers double-crossed

NGOs, semi-clientelism and political reform
ByBen Reid

chapter 32|9 pages

The left

Struggling to make a comeback
ByNathan Gilbert Quimpo

chapter 33|13 pages

Trade unions

“Free” but weak
ByCarmel Veloso Abao

chapter 34|9 pages

The women’s movement

Policy issues, influence and constraints
ByDiana J. Mendoza

chapter 35|12 pages

Bangsamoro Secessionism

ByRizal G. Buendia

chapter 36|9 pages

Moro insurgency and third party mediation

ByBruce E. Barnes

chapter 37|14 pages

The problem with a national(ist) method

ByPatricio N. Abinales