Disputes characterizations—”elite democracy,” “cacique democracy,” “patrimonial oligarchic state”—of Philippine politics and puts forward an alternative interpretation: contested democracy. He argues that the deepening of democracy in the country involves the transformation of an elite-dominated formal democracy into a participatory and egalitarian one. He focuses on emergent, democratically oriented, leftist parties and groups that seek to transform this formal democracy into a more substantial one and shows the difficulties they have encountered in fighting patronage politics.
Originally published in 2008. Second printing 2012.
Copublished with Yale University Southeast Asia Studies.