New Publication: Arugay and Baquisal, Bowed, Bent, & Broken: Duterte’s Assaults on Civil Society in the Philippines

Prof. Aries A. Arugay and Justin Keith Baquisal (MA Political Science) published a journal article entitled, “Bowed, Bent, & Broken: Duterte’s Assaults on Civil Society in the Philippines”, in the Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs.

The abstract reads:

The Philippines has historically been known to have one of the most robust and politically active civil societies in the world. With a deep affinity with democracy, civil society became a reliable bulwark against abuses of power and endemic corruption. However, it came under attack under the populist, illiberal Duterte administration (2016–2022) through intimidation, persecution, massive disinformation, and even outright violence. This article examines why Philippine civil society – despite its attempted pushback against democratic erosion – was generally neutralized by Duterte. Apart from its weakened state given polarizing elite conflicts in the 2000s, Duterte engaged in executive assaults against civil society through the four strategies of exploiting divisions within civil society; securitizing public; regulating civic space to weed out opposition voices; and controlling the media environment. This article concludes by examining the implications of a weakened civil society and prospects for its reinvigoration under a restored Marcos dynasty, which won the 2022 Philippine presidential elections.

This article is OPEN ACCESS. Access it here: