Political Economy in the Developmental State: Comparison on Comprehensive Agrarian Reform in the Philippines to Select Latin American and East Asian Countries

6576 Words Dec 5th, 2015 27 Pages
Following the end of the Marcos dictatorship in 1986, a new hope had dawned in the eyes of the Filipino people. A new president was put into power, along with a list of demands and requests by citizens, ultimately seeking a new direction leading to a better life. One of the issues needed to be tackled was the longstanding problems in the agriculture sector. Considered an integral part in the country’s economy, the agriculture sector accounts a significant portion of the total employment, which ranged from 45-50% during the 1980s. On the other hand, this sector also attributed significant portions of the total poor in the country for decades. Thus, in June 1988, the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) was signed into
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Under the rich literature that has investigated CARP, we follow the same major stumbling block to such sweeping policy reforms (Putzel, 1992, Rivera, 1994, Riedinger 1995, Hutchcroft 1998, Balisacan & Fuwa, 2004). Using the comparative approach of many-country studies situated in the developmental state, we look to dissect the Philippine agrarian reform experience and compare it to similar instances undertaken by Latin America (with attention to Brazil and Mexico), while deviating it to its regional counterparts in South Korea and Taiwan which have gone on to become Newly Industrialized Countries (NICs). On the contrary, this study will not find its basis on the similarity of agrarian reform policies between the countries. Instead, we will focus modes of comparison on the basis of how their respective reforms became a policy, how such a policy was identified as a problem, and the political interplays by which such reforms either failed or was made possible. In other words, we incorporate the triangulation of the policy process into the study through pinpointing the key historical juncture inevitably leading to different (or similar) outcomes. The first section of this paper will discuss the history of the Philippine agrarian reform experience and the entrenched origins of oligarchic politics dating as far back as the Spanish colonial era up until

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