Proteste gegen Polizeigewalt in New York. Foto: dpa/picture alliance

Tödliche Polizeigewalt in den USA. Rassismus, Armut, Ungleichheit, Gewaltkriminalität

Ist tödliche Polizeigewalt in den USA rassistisch geprägt oder verdeckt die Brille des individuellen und institutionellen Rassismus andere wichtige Bedingungsfaktoren wie das hohe Maß gesellschaftlicher Gewalt und die für ein Land des wohlhabenden Nordens extrem hohe Armutsrate und ungleiche Verteilung des gesellschaftlichen Wohlstands? Ist Polizeigewalt mithin ein Spiegel gesellschaftlicher Verhältnisse? Dieses Spotlight zeigt, dass es keine einfachen Antworten gibt. Der gegenwärtige Fokus auf „race“ („Rasse“) führt aber nicht nur zu verzerrenden Feindbildern, sondern steht auch einer umfassenden Bearbeitung der Gewaltdynamiken entgegen.


Tausende seiner Anhänger.innen nahmen im April 2017 an einer Kundgebung zur Unterstützung der Regierungspolitik von Präsident Duterte teil. (Foto: © picture alliance/ZUMA Press)
Tausende seiner Anhänger.innen nahmen im April 2017 an einer Kundgebung zur Unterstützung der Regierungspolitik von Präsident Duterte teil. (Foto: © picture alliance/ZUMA Press)

Der autoritäre Patron, der liefert? – Weiterhin breite Unterstützung für Präsident Duterte in den Philippinen

Im Mai 2016 wurde mit Rodrigo Duterte ein Politiker zum Präsidenten der Philippinen gewählt, der versprochen hatte, Drogenkriminalität in wenigen Monaten auszurotten, vor allem durch das Töten von Dealern und Süchtigen. Deren Leichen würden „die Fische in der Bucht von Manila fett machen.“ Seit er diese Ankündigung umsetzt, sind seine Zustimmungswerte auf 80% gestiegen. Die liberale Mittelschicht unterstützt ihn, obgleich er Menschenrechte und liberale Freiheiten ignoriert, und die Armen unterstützen ihn, obgleich die mörderische Anti-Drogen-Kampagne fast ausschließlich Arme ins Visier nimmt. Warum ist das so?


President Rodrigo Roa Duterte at the Caraga State University in Cabadbaran City, Agusan del Norte. | Photo: Joey Dalumpines | Public Domain

Duterte, Estrada, Thaksin and the Battle Cry of Populism

The current and former leaders of the Philippines and Thailand, Rodrigo Duterte, Joseph Estrada, and Thaksin Shinawatra and their policies have in varying degrees been described and explained through the distinct lens of populism. I argue that in these East Asian cases, this category does neither fit the leaders nor their policies. To members of the domestic establishment elites and upper middle class intellectuals it rather serves as a political weapon to fend off political alternatives that threaten to sideline them.


Philippines Drug War Protest, New York City, in 2016
Philippines Drug War Protest, New York City, in 2016 | Photo: Vocal-NY | CC BY 2.0

Duterte’s war against drugs in the Philippines: Continuity and change

Since the election of Rodrigo Duterte to President of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police has waged an unrelenting war against drug crime that cost the lives of thousands of suspects.  A spatial and temporal analysis of the past 30 months suggests that violence is slowly receding. While the situation is still highly problematic, a number of positive developments suggest that in an increasing number of provinces police violence is slowly returning to its pre-Duterte levels. While the master-key for ending the killings lies with the central government, provincial governments can do their share to mitigate the deadly repercussions of the Duterte government’s drug war.


Rodrigo Duerte
Rodrigo Duerte | Photo: Prachatai | CC BY-ND 2.0

Populism, executive assertiveness and popular support for strongman-democracy in the Philippines

Populists are supposed to thrive on their ability to mirror, condense and radicalize popular demands ignored by establishment politicians. This sketch on the election-promises and later policies of Philippine strongman Rodrigo Duterte suggests that their success is less dependent on any pre-existing radical popular demands, but on their authenticity as leaders who get things done […]


Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2016
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2016 | Photo: Philippine Government | Public Domain

A “Ripe Moment” by Accident? The Turn-Around in Sino-Philippine Relations

In July 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) rejected most of the Chinese claims in the case on disputed “islands” in South China Sea brought to the Court by the Philippines. The verdict triggered widespread fears of a further escalation of the conflict between China and the Philippines as well as the other claimants and the United States. Yet, the near simultaneous ruling by the PCA and the change in Philippine administration from President Benigno Aquino to Rodrigo Duterte created a “ripe moment” for a fundamental transformation of the crumbling Sino-Chinese bilateral relations. 


Subi Reef, Spratly Islands in the South China Sea
Subi Reef, Spratly Islands in the South China Sea | Photo: United States Navy via Wikimedia Commons | Public Domain Mark 1.0

One Year after the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s Decision on the South China Sea

On July 12, 2016 the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague handed down its verdict on the case against China brought to the Court by the Philippines in 2013. The award nullified most of the Chinese claims in the South China Sea. Following China’s rejection of both the Court’s jurisdiction and its adverse decision, confrontation seemed looming. Yet, a year later the storm clouds have dispersed. The rather surprising absence of any crisis in the region rests on two coinciding factors: the legal standards for “islands” developed in the verdict and the change in government in the Philippines.


Rodrigo Duterte showing a diagram of suspected members of a drug trade network | Photo: Prachatai | CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The Philippines after One Year under Duterte: Still Majority Support for Killing Suspected Criminals

June 30, 2016 saw the inauguration of Rodrigo Duterte as President of the Philippines. The next day Ronald Dela Rosa became the new Director General of the Philippine National Police. With the two came their longstanding strategy for dealing with crime from Davao City to the Philippine nation: tolerate or actively endorse the killing of suspects. One year later, several thousand people have died at the hands of on-duty policemen and vigilantes in a ferocious campaign that aims at eradicating a problem through “social cleansing”. Although public support for Duterte continues, the Philippines staggers towards an increasingly authoritarian state.