The Anti-Development State: The Political Economy of Permanent Crisis in the Philippines

By Walden Bello, Herbert Docena, Marissa de Guzman and Mary Lou Malig

Publisher: Zed Books (March 3, 2006)

Seven million Filipinos live or work abroad. One in five wants to emigrate. What has gone wrong in the 20 years since the popular ousting of President Marcos? In this analysis of the roots of failure, Walden Bello shows how the political system remains dominated by a competitive elite who oppose any significant attempts to address the country‘s huge social inequalities. He pinpoints the unravelling of land reform, the overwhelming power of private interests, the foreign debt service burden, WTO pressure to adopt free market policies, and how sustainable and environmentally friendly development has been consistently undermined by structural adjustment. The way out, he argues, is through the wholesale overhaul of the system of governance, leading to a new development strategy based on more, not less, state intervention, the domestic market as the driver of growth, and working together with other countries in the South.

“Though the book may be too harsh in its judgment of some well-meaning economic managers of the country, it does argue convincingly that the markets and the private sector need to be governed, and they cannot in any way substitute for bad governance and irresponsible government.”

Joseph Lim, Bureau for Development Policy, UNDP

and former Professor, UP School of Economics

“In shining their spotlight on the Philippines, Bello and his associates illuminates the quagmire of the elite democracy ushered in by “people power”.  And they do so with verve and sight.  Globally renowned as a scholar and activist on globalization and peace, Bello is clearly one of today’s great critical minds.”

Robin Broad, Associate Professor, School of International Studies, American University

“This book offers a powerful indictment of the neoliberal economic policies pursued in the Philippines since the overthrow of Ferdinand Marcos.  The authors make a straightforward but compelling argument: the main obstacle to broad-based development has not been too much state intervention in the economy, but rather too much inequality in the distribution of wealth and power.”

James K. Boyce, Professor of Economics, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

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