Capital, Coercion, and Crime: Bossism in the Philippines
This book focuses on local bossism, a common political phenomenon where local power brokers achieve monopolistic control over an area's coercive and economic resources. Examples of bossism include Old Corruption in eighteenth-century England, urban political machines in the United States, caciques in Latin America, the Mafia in Southern Italy, and today's gangster politicians in such countries as India, Russia, and Thailand.
For many years, the entrenchment of numerous provincial warlords and political clans has made the Philippines a striking case of local bossism. Yet writings on Filipino political culture and patron-client relations have ignored the role of coercion in shaping electoral competition and social relations. Portrayals of a "weak state" captured by a landed oligarchy have similarly neglected the enduring institutional legacies of American colonial rule and the importance of state resources for the accumulation of wealth and power in the Philippines.
The author, by contrast, argues that the roots of bossism in the Philippines lie in the inauguration of formal democratic institutions at a relatively early stage of capitalist development. Poverty and insecurity leave many voters vulnerable to clientelist, coercive, and financial pressure, and the state's central role in capital accumulation provides the basis for local bosses' economic empires and political machines. These contradictions have encouraged bossism in the Philippines, as well as in other countries.
The book elaborates these arguments through case studies of bosses in two Philippine provinces, Cavite and Cebu. The contrast between single-generation gangster politicians in Cavite and enduring commercial dynasties in Cebu reveals variation in the forms of bossism that reflect variations in the local political economies of the two provinces. Comparisons between bosses over successive historical periods highlight the gradual transformation of bossism through capitalist development. In sum, Capital, Coercion, and Crime provides a comparative historical analysis of bossism, drawing conclusions of great interest not only to scholars of Southeast Asia but to students of comparative politics as well.
Bossism and State Formation
The Provincial Warlords
The SmallTown Dynasties of Cebu
The DistrictLevel Dynasties of Cebu
Bossism in Comparative Perspective
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Abines Aguinaldo archipelago bailiwicks Bantayan barangay bossism Bureau capital accumulation Carmona Casal Cavite and Cebu Cavite City Cavite town Cavite's Cebu City Cebu Province Cebu's century Chinese mestizo clan coconut coercive colonial Commission on Elections congressional Constabulary Cuenco Daily Mirror Danao City district Durano dynasties economic electoral elite emergence empire entrenched Escario estates example Filipino fishing franchise hectares illegal industrial Justiniano Justiniano Montano land landholdings landowners longtime Manila Chronicle Manila-based Manuel Marcos Marcos's mayorship mestizo Metro Manila Mojares monopoly Montano moreover municipal municipal mayors muro-ami Nacionalista November Osmefia patron-client patrons pesos Philippine Daily Inquirer Philippines Free Press police political machine politicians postwar President proteges provincial board provincial bosses provincial governor Quezon Ramon real-estate reelection Regional Trial Court Remulla Senate September Sergio Osmena small-town bosses smuggling Spanish sugar Sun-Star Daily tion town mayors urban versus violence Visayas vote-buying voters votes