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Dividing ASEAN and Conquering the South China SeaChina's Financial Power Projection$
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Daniel C. O'Neill

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9789888455966

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888455966.001.0001

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Comparative Political Systems

Comparative Political Systems

Family Dynasties in the Philippines and Cambodia

(p.93) 5 Comparative Political Systems
Dividing ASEAN and Conquering the South China Sea

Daniel C. O'Neill

Hong Kong University Press

This chapter presents a comparative study of politics and political institutions in Cambodia and the Philippines, which were long at the extremes within ASEAN regarding whether the members should work collectively to negotiate with China over competing South China Sea claims. Noting the similarities in informal political institutions in both states, including high levels of corruption and the dominance of family dynasties of both political economies, the chapter, nevertheless, emphasizes the differences in formal political institutions in the two countries, as well as the oligarchic political competition of elite families in the Philippines, termed “dynastic pluralism” compared to the dominance of Hun Sen’s family through intermarriage in Cambodia. While patron-clientelism is entrenched in both systems, the chapter argues, in the Philippines there are many more patrons. The chapter concludes by suggesting that Cambodia’s even more corrupt environment and less democratic institutions provide relatively wider avenues for Chinese influence over Cambodia’s government.

Keywords:   Aquino family, authoritarianism, Cambodia, Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), democracy, dynastic pluralism, Hun Sen Marcos family, Philippines, political institutions

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