ADRi Occasional Paper: “The Politics of Institutional Reforms: Promoting Economic and Electoral Democracy”

We are pleased to share with you our Occasional Paper for October, written by our president, Dindo Manhit, entitled “The Politics of Institutional Reforms: Promoting Economic and Electoral Democracy.” Reforming institutions is a colossal task. The history of institutions in different societal settings is admittedly challenging and at the least entails a larger political will to change. However, an immediate and practical way of reforming or even transforming them is to initiate inclusive development and political inclusion.

This paper intends to promote the role of institutions as development agents and enablers of democracy. As President Duterte cruises into its third year in office, his promises or pronouncements to reform a dysfunctional government and to achieve inclusive growth are once again at stake. Institutional reforms are a necessary first step to achieve the said promises.

The first part of the paper explains the author’s perspective on institutional reforms. The second part delves into the economic role of institutions in forging reforms and arrangements under which benefits from economic programs could be inclusive. Attuned to the pre-election period, the third part looks into the politics of electoral contestations and presents some viewpoints on electoral democracy, reforms and dynamics. The last part makes some overtures regarding the economic and political role of institutions.


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