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Title: The Working Class and Democracy
Other Titles: Organized labor amidst democratic consolidation in the Philippines and Indonesia
Authors: Caricativo, Ruel D.
Keywords: working class
political participation
late capitalist development
Issue Date: Jul-2017
Citation: Paper presented at the 10th International Convention of Asian Scholars in Chiang Mai, Thailand on July 20-23, 2017
Abstract: Since the transition to democracy in the Philippines and Indonesia, economic, political and social changes began to manifest that warrant further analysis in relation to an equally important process – democratic consolidation. This exploratory paper reviews the literature on democratization in the Philippines and Indonesia to develop a research question on the relationship between democratic consolidation and economic (read: capitalist) development. Most of the works reviewed in the paper have moved beyond the “transition paradigm” and focused on the relationship between democratization and the structural factors associated with economic development. However, one of the outstanding issues found in the literature is the dearth of attention paid to the role of the working class in democratic consolidation. As such, the paper proposes the following general question: how do we explain the similarities and differences of organized labor‟s engagement with democratic institutions and processes in the Philippines and Indonesia since the transition from authoritarian rule? To address this general inquiry, the following specific questions are proposed: (1) why did working class parties and labor organizations experience limited electoral success in the Philippines and Indonesia from 1986 to 2016? (2) how do labor parties and organizations perceive electoral participation and competition in their respective countries? And, (3) how do labor parties and organizations perceive democratic institutions and processes in their respective countries?
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