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An Anarchy of Families: State and Family in the Philippines

An Anarchy of Families: State and Family in the Philippines

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By Alfred W. McCoy (Editor)

Winner of the National Book Award for Social Sciences, this pioneering volume reveals how the power of the country's family-based oligarchy both derives from and contributes to a weak Philippine state. From provincial warlords to modern managers, prominent Filipino leaders have fused family, politics, and business to compromise public institutions and amass private wealth-a historic pattern that persists to the present.

An Anarchy of Families explores the pervasive influence of the modern dynasties that have led the Philippines during the past century. Exemplified by the Osmeñas and Lopezes, elite Filipino families have formed a powerful oligarchy-controlling capital, dominating national politics, and often owning the media. Beyond Manila, strong men such as Ramon Durano, Ali Dimaporo, and Justiniano Montano have used "guns, goons, and gold" to accumulate wealth and power in far-flung islands and provinces. In a new preface for his revised edition, McCoy shows how this pattern of oligarchic control has continued into the twenty-first century, despite dramatic socio-economic change that has supplanted the classic "three Gs" of Philippine politics with the contemporary "four Cs"-continuity, Chinese, criminality, and celebrity.

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