Book Talk: Rise of Duterte by Dr. Richard Javad Heydarian

BOOK TALKRise of Duterte: A Populist Revolt against Elite Democracy


By Richard Javad Heydarian


The book talk draws from extensive literature on populism, democracy, and emerging markets as well as interviews with senior government officials, experts, and journalists in East Asia and beyond. It discusses the unlikely electoral success of President Rodrigo Duterte of the Phillippines, a provincial mayor with limited resources, who astutely tapped into widespread grievance among a disillusioned electorate, which was fed up with broken promises of the liberal oligarchy. Drawing on the works of Hannah Arendt, Karl Polanyi, and Samuel Huntington, among other leading thinkers, it analyzes how Duterte’s brand of right-wing populism has gained traction in a booming economy like the Philippines. The book places the rise of Duterte within a broader wave of populist ascendancy across Asia, from Türkiye (Erdoğan) to India (Modi) and Indonesia (Jokowi/Prabowo) and beyond, as the liberal establishment failed to inspire public support and cope with new challenges of globalization. It also places populists like Duterte within the geopolitical ambit of rising Sino-American rivalry in Asia and beyond. As China’s power in the Pacific grows rapidly, nations that have traditionally been US allies, such as the Philippines, are experiencing political convulsions; Duterte’s open willingness to realign towards China (at the expense of America) in exchange for infrastructure investment is one of the clearest indicators of what China’s rise might look like for nations around the world.


Short Bio of the Author:

Richard Javad Haydarian is the most prolific and interviewed geopolitical analyst currently writing and speaking not only in the Philippines but arguably in Southeast Asia as well. In addition to the 2017 book that entitles his talk, he has written two others: Asia’s New Battlefield: US, China, and the Struggle for Western Pacific (2015) and How Capitalism Failed the Arab World (2014). He lectures widely; has taught political science at Ateneo de Manila University and De La Salle University in the Philippines; has published in leading scholarly journals on Asian politics and security; and is a regular contributor to the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Council on Foreign Relations.


Date: February 22, 2018

Time: 4 pm-5:30 pm

Venue: SOS 104 (CSSH Building)


Coffee/Tea and snacks will be served