This book is the result of a seminal cross-institutional collaboration among researchers from the AIM Rizalino S. Navarro Policy Center for Competitiveness (formerly the AIM Policy Center) of the Asian Institute of Management, the Ateneo School of Government of Ateneo de Manila University, the College of Liberal Arts of De La Salle University, and the National College of Public Administration and Governance of the University of the Philippines Diliman. The specific goal of the research partnership, which started in 2011, is to co-produce and disseminate the latest research and evidence on political and economic reforms in the Philippines and the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).
The specific focus of the initiative encompasses the political economy of reforms—that is, essentially, the nexus of economic and political factors that shape the possibilities for enhancing and sustaining institutional reforms with the underlying argument that the very functioning of both democracy and market economy could be at risk without such reforms. The broader goal of the partnership is to leverage the researchers’ expertise to the much wider practice of policymaking, spanning the areas of governance, anti-corruption, and institutional reforms, in order to spur a stronger understanding notably among reform advocates, development practitioners and the youth on the most effective strategies and tools to build a more inclusive democracy and a more competitive market economy.
This section contains studies on the impact of malfunctioning democratic systems and weak institutions. It features empirical research on the symptoms and effects of traditional patron-client politics in the Philippines and other countries in Asia, providing evidence on the measures and consequences of political inequality. It highlights some of the common challenges faced by societies transitioning toward a more participatory democracy.
This section contains reflections on reform efforts along the lines of citizens’ participation, transparency, evidence-based policy making, and the institutions that would underpin all these in day-to-day political and economic life. Each article outlines the wide scope of challenges in advocacy and policy, spanning issues like anti-corruption, education reforms, social protection and the advancement of the rights of migrant labor, media freedom and accountability, social surveys, and economic reforms to facilitate competition and competitiveness.