A new penal populism? Rodrigo Duterte, public opinion, and the war on drugs in the Philippines

Journal article


Kenny, Paul D. and Holmes, Ronald. (2020) A new penal populism? Rodrigo Duterte, public opinion, and the war on drugs in the Philippines. Journal of East Asian Studies. 20(2), pp. 187 - 205. https://doi.org/10.1017/jea.2020.8
AuthorsKenny, Paul D. and Holmes, Ronald
Abstract

Drawing on evidence from the Philippines, this paper investigates the so-called penal populism thesis. Penal populism refers to an understanding of justice in which criminal and anti-social activity should be harshly punished. The paper tests whether support for harsh penal policies, including the use of extrajudicial killings, is associated with underlying populist attitudes and preferences for charismatic leadership. Since coming to power in 2016, President Rodrigo Duterte has waged a violent and highly popular campaign against drug-related criminality. Based on survey modules fielded in 2016 and 2017, the paper demonstrates a positive relationship between populist attitudes and support for the campaign against illegal drugs in general and the extra-judicial killing of suspected drug users and dealers in particular. It also demonstrates a relationship between belief in the charisma of Duterte and support for the campaign against illegal drugs. The implications of the theory and results for the fields of populism and penal populism research are discussed.

Keywordspopulism; criminal justice; war on drugs; penal policy; charisma
Year2020
JournalJournal of East Asian Studies
Journal citation20 (2), pp. 187 - 205
PublisherCambridge University Press
ISSN1598-2408
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1017/jea.2020.8
Page range187 - 205
Research GroupInstitute for Humanities and Social Sciences
Publisher's version
File Access Level
Controlled
Place of publicationUnited States of America
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