Authoritarianism and Democratic Governance 1
February 9, 2017, 1:30-3:00 PM, GT-Toyota Auditorium

Authoritarianism may hold an attraction for some leaders and/or technocrats because of its apparent simplicity—checks and balances exist only on paper (if at all), direct lines to an autocrat can be tapped to jump over bureaucratic quagmires, and civil society can be relegated to the background of decision making processes, if not totally suppressed. Does this partly account for the prevalence and persistence of authoritarianism, even in an age of transnational civil society networks and ostensibly “people-centered” intergovernmental associations? Or are the limits of democratic governance tied to civil society co-optation by ruling coalitions, leading one to ask, “who watches the watchers?” Or does the allure of authoritarianism reside outside of formal, institutional, governance structures and thrives in the realm of memory, in the consciousness of a people nostalgic for an imagined well-ordered past? This panel aims to outline signposts in navigating the gridlock underlying these questions.

Teresa Encarnacion Tadem
Maria Lourdes Rebullida
Susan Tamondong
Ric Reyes

Authoritarianism and Democratic Governance 2
February 10, 2017, 1:00-2:30 PM, GT-Toyota Auditorium

The nascent academic discussion on Rodrigo Duterte and his administration have placed him in a regional/global/historical context, explaining that his rise is symptomatic of a worldwide rightwing-populist/fascist tide, brought on by factors ranging from global terrorism to “liberal neglect.” Sometimes lost in such discussion is an in-depth look into Duterte’s centerpiece policies—national healing by accommodating the Marcos view of history, an aggressive (and deadly) campaign against drugs, and a shift from a unitary form of government to a federal one—and the ties thereof to his “authoritarian tendencies.” Can one support the Marcoses and still legitimately claim to be an advocate of democratic governance? Whose voices are suppressed in the seemingly interminable war on drugs? What form of federalism can arise alongside these other policies?

Raissa Robles
Nex Bengson
Maria Ela Atienza
Neil Pancho