a1 Australian National University
Thirty years ago, a theory of Philippine politics emerged that until now remains the most influential among academics and is widely adopted by journalists, diplomats and other observers of the Philippines. Its argument, in brief, is that Philippine politics revolves around interpersonal relationships — especially familial and patron-client ones — and factions composed of personal alliances. I refer to this as the patron-client, factional framework pcf, for short). It deserves to be influential; after all, patron-client and other personal relations are indeed significant in Philippine political life. These are also important features in many other countries; hence, the pcf framework developed for Philippine studies has contributed as well to comparative political studies.