The Filipino middle class was the leading group behind democratization in Manila at the end of the 20th century, helping bring about the ouster of dictator Ferdinand Marcos in 1986. In 2016, however, the upper and middle class largely voted for Rodrigo Duterte, the country’s most anti-democratic president since Marcos, and continued to support him even after his autocratic tendencies became apparent. Ironically, Filipinos’ satisfaction with democracy hit an all-time high following Duterte’s election—86 percent in 2016, compared to an average of 51 percent between the years 1991 and 2015. To illuminate the causes of democratic backsliding in the Philippines (and implications for other middle-income developing countries), Marco Garrido’s research articulates a peculiar vision of democracy and uncovers its origins. He provides a thick description of the experience of Filipino democracy, examining its underlying social contexts interests, and sensibilities. This presentation will include survey data on attitudes towards democracy in the Philippines, clarifying the nature of the illiberal turn, and proposing a set of fieldwork-based hypotheses. Joins us to discuss structural and temporal explanations of democracy as disorder and as an experience of “unsettled times.” Presented by Marco Garrido, Assistant Professor of Sociology, and 2020-21 SIFK Faculty Seed Grant Recipient.
About the presenter: Marco Garrido's research focuses on the relationship between the urban poor and middle class in Manila in slums and upper- and middle-class enclaves. He is the author of The Patchwork City. https://sociology.uchicago.edu/directory/marco-garrido