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Exploring the relationship between democratization and corruption in the Philippines, 1986-2006

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Thesis type
(Research Project) M.A.
Date created
This project examines why corruption levels in the Philippines did not perceptibly improve during the periods of 1986-2006 when the country embarked upon a series of democratization measures. The research finds that several factors were involved: an entrenched political culture of patronage politics; weakness in the judicial system; decentralization of corruption networks; and deficiencies in civil servants’ wages. The research concludes that these factors are unlikely to be effectively addressed in the Philippines until democracy is consolidated. While the democratizing processes that came into being at the end of the Marcos regime established an ‘institutional democracy,’ democratic norms, values and practices have not yet become entrenched in the deeper fabrics of society. Without developing these, it is likely that corruption will continue to plague the country. Democratic consolidation―that is, enhancing institutions and making politicians and bureaucrats more accountable to civil society―is therefore most important in reducing corruption.
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