Migrant Remittances and Democratization in the Republic of the Philippines

Master's Thesis, 2013

65 Pages, Grade: A+



Research Question and Thesis Statement
Objectives of the Study
Limitation of the Study
Definition of Key Terms

Chapter 1: Literature Review

Chapter 2: Research Methodology
Freedom in the World Index
Corruption Perception Index
Civic Society study
Press-Freedom Index
People under Threat Index

Chapter 3: Findings and Analysis
Assessment of the Philippine Democracy
Political system
Economic situation
GINI Index
The labor export scheme
Financial remittances
Civil Society
Press freedom
Peace and security
Social remittances
Summary of democratic assessment
Democratization impact of remittances in the Philippines

Conclusion and recommendations for further research



Figure 1: Democracy in the Philippines operationalized based on Historical Institutionalism

Figure 2: Freedom House Index rating in South East Asia, 2001-2012

Figure 3: Transparency International, Corruption Perception Index in South East Asia, 1995-2012

Figure 4: Real GDP per capita in the region, 1980-2010 (1980 = 100)

Figure 5: Labor force unemployment rates in selected countries of the region 1980-2010

Figure 6: GINI Index in the region, various years, periods 1981-2009

Figure 7: Annual migration flow in the Philippines, 1975-2007

Figure 8: Yearly personal transfers (remittances) by households in the Philippines, year 1977-2011

Figure 9: Personal transfers by households (remittances) in per cent from annual GDP, 2003-2011

Figure 10: Civil Society Index (CSI) Diamond Philippines 2011

Figure 11: Press Freedom Index position of selected South East Asian countries, 2002-2013 (figures reflect situation in prior year)

Figure 12: People under Threat in the region, 2007-2012

Figure 13: What do you think about a democratic political system as a way of governing the Philippines?

Figure 14: Level of satisfaction with the way democracy is developing in the Philippines, 2001


Table 1: Summary scores for Civic Engagement of Philippine Civil Society in 2011

Table 2: Summary scores for impact dimension of Philippine Civil Society in 2011

Table 3: Summary scores for 'external environment' dimension of Philippine Civil Society in 2011

Table 4: Distribution of land-based temporary Philippine migrants by occupation, 1975-2010

Table 5: Overview development of democratization indices in the Philippinevarious periods between 1995-2012


Migration is not a new phenomenon. People have always migrated to gain access to resources be as hunter-gatherers, traders, pastoralists or laborers (Eversole, 2008). Worldwide, we do not live in an age of unprecedented migration. The proportion of international migrants a century ago stood at similar levels to today’s, that is to say 2.5 – 3 per cent. Primarily the direction of movement (South-North) has changed, impelled by the economic growth of Western societies after World War II. The Southern migrants’ contrasting appearance among the Northern hosts might have accounted for the false number perception (De Haas, 2005).

Development has for long time been understood as a process bound to a geographical region, an evolution of countries, regions or villages. When it came to migration, the host nations deemed the movement problematic whereas the migrants’ states welcomed it as a solution. The situation culminated in a costly process for both sides as “invaded” countries fought hard to stem the flow with restrictive policies while migrants tried to circumnavigate increasing restrictions or comply with them (Eversole, 2008). Undoubtedly, migration involves considerable risks and costs as well as social networks, knowledge and aspiration. It concerns not only the poor and vulnerable but also those well-educated, with access to information and financial means to overcome the imposed restrictions. Most sending countries, therefore, (Philippines, Turkey or Mexico etc.) are not necessarily the poorest. Development assistance and policies aiming to prevent or reduce migration seem to be the right solution for the wrong reason (De Haas, 2005).

Most of the research on the nexus between migration and development focuses on how economic remittances affect social outcomes whereas it is obvious that social relations have a considerable impact on economic transfers. Skills’ and knowledge’ transmission is implicitly acknowledged but skimmed over. A growing body of scholars’ works on migration focuses on the transfers of ideas and resources and its impact on family and household level. How social remittances affect organizational settings or influence governance and institution building is however not well understood (Levitt et al., 2011). Migration comes in many forms, each one bringing its own particular specificity. The positive association between development and its affect can be biased. Extensive infrastructure and other development projects have resulted in the displacement of 15 million people in the year 2012. Technical and natural disasters have forced yet another 15 million individuals to move (IFRC, 2012).

This paper examines the nexus between social/financial remittances and democratization within a migration context. Remittances are however just one of the many outcomes of migration. Analyzing migration entails focusing on it in a systematic way and not concentrating only on its outcomes. The author uses the terms migration and emigration as one because, in a globalized world and in the face of transnational migration approaches (See Levitt, 2008), the distinction between the meanings for this paper becomes more indefinite. The physical distance and the individual length of time spent away do however carry weight for the individual.

Many of the scholars cited in this paper closely link development and remittances without making any specific reference to any political development and democratization. The political sphere is many-faceted. A myriad of factors can influence it in many diverse ways. One could argue that financial remittances may bear upon many secondary factors which, in turn, would impact on democratization. One of the major challenges of this paper was to single out those elements and look beyond mere payments.

Migration is in itself a selective process. Remittances are awarded to specific social groups, they may address inequality, modify gender norms, alter education standards, influence value and social norms, impact on media and information flow. They chiefly seem set out in context and related to the subject in hand. This paper found it therefore challenging to draw valid conclusions concerning a potential democratization remittances nexus.

On the methodological side, two major challenges arose. Firstly, if researchers want to measure the democratic progress over time in a system, they need, from the onset, a clear benchmark to monitor any change. This paper did not lack literature and/or indexes describing or measuring a variety of democratic deficits in the Philippines from different perspectives at varying times. It was however challenging to condensate information and come to a valid conclusion to answer the question to how the democratic system had evolved over time. Secondly, the same argument is valid for remittances. Whereas the challenge does not arise so much about how to measure financial remittances, it certainly does for social remittances. Even though it is possible to estimate value and ideas in individuals or in a society, it is difficult to say how powerful these factors are when changing a system. It further appears that scholars (e.g. Pfutze, 2008, Yu-Sung Su, 2007) identify a positive impact of remittances on democratization though from different perspectives and with different arguments. Others (e.g. Levitt, 1998, Kapur, 2008, Rother, 2009, Solomon, 2009) simply emphasize the altering power of migration and remittances but stay more general when assessing impact on social or in particular political systems. This paper concludes that despite a continuous significant increase of migration remittances, the various tools used to analyze the democracy level in the Philippines do not point to improvement.

Research Question and Thesis Statement

This paper will assess the role of social and economic remittances in the democratization process in the Republic of the Philippines, focusing on the period between 2000 until present (depending on data availability). It asserts that remittances as a result of labor migration did not have a measurable overall positive impact on democratization in the Republic of the Philippines.

Objectives of the Study

Essentially, the objective of this research is to contribute to the discussion about the importance of migrant remittances to democratization in the Philippines. It illustrates that despite an increasing number of Filipino labor migrants leading to a steadily increase of financial remittances and presumably increased social remittances, a number of democracy indices in the Philippines have actually worsened in the period under review. Although several scholars have claimed that remittances impact positively on democratization, however, a range of democratization indicators for the Philippines, belie this assertion.

Limitation of the Study

The study stresses the complexity of various individual migration experiences. It goes beyond the possibility of this paper to isolate remittances from other factors which certainly have had an impact on democratization in the Philippines.

This paper resorted to a number of internationally renowned indices which by nature simplify context, leading to general conclusions. They are relevant not so much for their individual values but as an indicator for the overall trend over time under consideration of various aspects of democracy.

Definition of Key Terms

Civil Society: Its broad definition refers to “the aggregate of civil institutions and citizen’s organizations, distinct and autonomous from state structures and private business. In legal terms, Philippine Civil Society belongs to the class of “non-stock, non-profit corporations”. A non stock corporation is an association or organization in which no parts of its income is distributed as dividends to its members, officers or trustees and in which profits incidental to operations are used only to further the organization’s purpose. Under the Philippine Corporation Code, non-stock organizations are formed for charitable, religious, educational, professional, cultural, literary, scientific, social, civic service or similar purposes (CIVICUS, 2011).

Corruption is the abuse of entrusted power for private gain which eventually hurts everyone who depends on the integrity of people in a position of authority. (Transparency International)

Democracy deficits or democratic deficits occur when ostensibly democratic institutions or organizations fall short of fulfilling the principles of democracy (e.g. accountability, scrutiny, respect of procedures, citizen participation etc.) in their practices and/or operation against a benchmark (Levinson, 2007)

GINI Index measures the extent to which the distribution of income or consumption expenditure among individuals or households within an economy deviates from a perfectly equal distribution. A Lorenz curve gauges the cumulative percentages of total income received against the cumulative number of recipients, starting with the poorest individual or household. The Gini Index measures the area between the Lorenz curve and a hypothetical line of absolute equality, expressed as a percentage of the maximum area under the line. Thus a GINI Index of 0 represents flawless equality, while an index of 100 implies perfect inequality (World Bank).

Minority is a term universally defined and interpreted differently in diverse societies. This paper uses the definition to refer to disadvantaged ethnic, national, religious, linguistic or cultural groups who are smaller in number than the rest of the population and may wish to maintain and develop their identity. In the Philippine context these groups include indigenous peoples, Moro (Muslims) and Chinese (Minority Rights Group International).

Remittances (financial) are defined by two elements: firstly, personal migrants’ transfers consisting of all current transfers in cash or in kind made or received by resident households to or from non-resident households. Personal transfers thus include all current transfers between resident and non-resident individuals. Secondly, compensation of employees refers to the income of border, seasonal, and other short-term workers who are employed in an economy where they are not resident and of residents employed by non-resident entities (World Bank).

Remittances (social) refers to normative structures (ideas, beliefs, values, behaviors), systems of practice, actions shaped by normative structures and social capital acquired abroad, migrants remit back to their sending communities (Levittt, 1998).

Real gross domestic production (GDP) per capita is gross domestic product divided by midyear population. GDP is the sum of gross value added by all resident producers in the economy plus any product taxes and minus any subsidies not included in the value of the products. It is calculated without making deductions for depreciation of fabricated assets or for depletion and degradation of natural resources. The inflation is deducted in order to keep values on the level of the base year (World Bank).

Chapter 1: Literature Review

Newer theories view migration and in particular the labor side of it, as a poverty alleviation strategy. Quantitative studies show that migration can easily surpass the impact of development projects and programs. The amount of money migrants send home is often more significant than any official development assistance provided by other states (Eversole, 2008). The benefits of a direct link are numerous: the aid goes straight to the needy, no costly bureaucracy is involved, there are no political stakes dictating when and how much aide is sent, succinctly, this method is less volatile and cyclic than foreign aid and direct investments (De Haas, 2005).

It is widely recognized that financial remittances (estimated at 406 Billion US$ in 2012)[1] which shift some of the world wealth to comparatively less prosperous regions, have vastly contributed to poverty reduction (Eversole, 2008). Their impact is disputed though by some scholars who claim that they generate a state of dependence and are misused in unproductive investments. Others (e.g. Taylor et al., 1996, De Haas, 2003) have counter-attacked the argument, affirming that payments accrued wealth and favored the economy. They retorted that people’s well-being did not have to be measured on a productive scale. Betterment in housing, health care, food, sanitation, schooling etc. was, according to them, a non-negligible factor and the key aim for traditional development assistance (De Haas, 2005). Collective or individual financial remittances are only one of many visible outcomes of migration and should therefore not be discussed outside of that context. Policymakers must adopt a more holistic approach to further increase the development benefits of migration (Eversole, 2008). These studies do not set out a clear link with democratization but provide an insight into a wider context of remittances and migration. In line with other scholars’ works, they surmise that if development impacts on democratization, it is not always, undoubtedly, in a positive way.

Levitt et al, when studying migrants from the Dominican Republic, observed that their outlooks changed according to individual experiences. Their aspirations and self- image altered radically. Migrants’ experiences abroad totally changed what they had yearned for their community and the way they had intended to fulfill their longings. Those interviewed, for example, did not expect their sending state to provide basic services prior to their migration but they considered it as part of good governance afterwards. The authors analyzed migration, in a more holistic way by looking at the dynamics in both home and host countries as suggested by Eversole. They looked at migration through a transnational lens. The writers coined the term ‘social remittances’ in which they perceived migration as a cultural act. They identified four types of social remittances: social capital, identities, practices and norms. According to the authors, ideas and practices were of a circular nature. They did not move in just one direction. They maintained that migrants entered the host nation with preconceived ideas which shaped their future experiences and altered what they brought back to their homeland (Levitt et al., 2011). In another paper, Levitt provided useful insight into the transnational model of migration. From such a perspective, non-migrants and migrants from the same country continued to occupy the same socio-political space, even when separated by physical distance. In such a circular model, people did not need to roam to make an impact or to be affected by changes in their common social space. Migrants did not linearly swap “membership” from one country to the other but rather moved backwards and forwards in different socio-political spaces with various degrees of intensity. Physically separated from their sending country, they stayed nevertheless part of it as much as they became part of the receiving country (Levitt, 2008).

Pfutze (2008) observed the way Mexican families voted in municipality elections. He commented that those benefitting from remittances sent by a family member abroad expressed their preferences differently. He concluded that these financial transfers exerted political influence. In Mexico this has, according to the author, improved the quality of democratic institutions at a local level, having a similar effect to that of an economic growth in a country. His main argument was that the government had no control over these money transfers. It entailed a power shift to the population. In his view, any provision between the electorate and the political elite would be weakened. Elections would become more competitive as voters voted according to their ideological beliefs, not spurred on by direct economic rewards as in a client-patron system (Kapur put forward the same argument, see further down in the text). Pfutze referred to Goodmann’s and Hiskey’s (2008) studies to strengthen his theory. They had figured out that municipalities with a high number of migrants had a lower level of political participation and a lesser amount of voters and political organizers. He mentioned that there were contradicting studies, some supporting the theory that higher incomes promoted democracy, others rejecting the same thesis. He explained the casual mechanism between migration and political outcomes by quoting De-la Garza and Hazan who very vaguely referred to a process through which migrants learned their host countries’ political values and took them back to their countries of origin. His study established that the average amount of money transfers significantly increased the probability of a municipal opposition victor. He acknowledged that international migration might affect democratization through other channels than remittances. The international element in migration seemed to be important. In another study, he found that national and international migration had a different effect on the political participation of migrants (Pfutze, 2008). One could argue that the victory of an opposition party might simply replace an existing clientele system by a new one. That theory would somehow contradict Pfutze’s findings. It would not reveal much about remittances’ democratization effects but simply confirm that they could change power structures. Change might not always bring more democracy especially if driven by a selective group.

Rother (2009), mentioned Lauth and Pickel (2009) who based themselves on Everett M. Rogers. He strove to explain how new democratic ideas spread across the sending country. He used the term “diffusion” when referring to a usually voluntary and unintended process through which innovation, seen as enticing, is communicated through certain channels and transferred over time from one country to another. This dissemination could be spread through four ways: migration, secondary socialization (work in companies or education), media and networks. It is note-worthy to point out that values are carried through on a non-intentional level by, for example, migrants. It has been assumed that migrants would compare the state performance in their host country, link it to the respective political system of their country of origin and alter their political remittance. He pointed out that the concept of political socialization had to be taken into consideration. A widespread consensus maintains that political attitudes and values are acquired through family and education at an early stage and are difficult to change at a later stage. Other scholars have retorted that exposure to shocks and crises could significantly alter values and altitudes at a later stage. Migrants, living in stressful and unfamiliar environments for a long time might experience such traumas and therefore alter their values. Lastly, Rother (2009) stressed that the diffusion model had the potential to strengthen or alter existing political attitudes and that it also helped diffuse the migration experience’s negative effects.

Kapur (2008) adhered to the transnational approach, put forward by Levitt. He identified three channels through which migrants could exert political influence on their country of origin: absence, diaspora and return. In the absence channel, he not only referred to the brain drain, and the lack of talented individuals, he also deplored the absence of influential voices calling for reforms. He used the migration of almost half the Christian population in Iraq in the years prior to the war in 2004 to illustrate this point. In his view, Iraq was then deprived of its liberal, pro-Western and politically moderate population at a critical point in its history. The absence of such an important group impacted on the political power balance and left more room for extremists. The diaspora channel analyzed the role of migrants from afar. The author stressed the importance of cheap and fast transportation and communication as well as the relevance for a transnational perspective of migration. In his opinion, migration’s political and economic effects are not well studied. The ripples from small amounts of remittances in a very poor country can prove tidal. Migration remittances bypassing the state, for instance, temporary weakened Yemen. Kapur (2008) made an allusion to migration and global criminal networks becoming enmeshed. He recalled the international Haitian drugs network and the important role it played in the narco-coup in 2004. The Diaspora can exert political influence through long distance nationalism. It can connive at activities like lobbying in the receiving country or/and ethnic patriotism. The Tamil Diaspora masterminded political and military events in Sri Lanka (see also ICG, 2010). In the return channel he brought forward the “Chicago Boys”’ case (1970), they were Chilean economists trained at a Chicago University, who, back in their homeland, fought for neoliberal reforms. The author put forward reasons for the dual and potentially negative use of new skills. Criminals extradited from the US to South America had become more violent and organized during their time abroad. Their ‘newly acquired skills’ helped them increase the level of violent crimes in their countries. He stressed the importance of the migrants’ reasons for going abroad, like in the case of the Tamil Diaspora. It held, according to him, the key to the varying effects of these poorly understood phenomena (Kapur, 2008) With regard to our case study, the Philippines, Huang et al (2012) believed that the Diaspora support in the Moro conflict in the South Philippines played no significant role (Huang et al., 2012).

Goldring (2008) considered that the context of reception would help shape the patterns of transnational engagement. A study in the Netherlands and Germany has shown that assimilation pressure combined with exclusion have led to higher transnational involvement of migrants. The scholar singled the “developmentalization of the diaspora” as a new biased trend (p. 219). He alerted us to the fact that any anti-political approach to development converted political problems into technical ones. Remittances from migrants for small scale projects are seen as a contribution to technical solutions. Alluring migrants to increase financial remittances, a ploy advocated by some development organizations, would not solve the underlying structural and political issues which spurred on the migration. Additionally, such a strategy bears the risk that the responsibilities for development fall on the shoulders of the already disadvantaged migrants (Goldring, 2008).

The literature review reveals that most scholars agree that migration impacts on individuals. It is however not clear how and if this unique, individual experiences becomes a driving factor for social change, in our case for more democratization. There are different definitions and interpretations of what exactly remittances are especially the nature of social remittances seem to be difficult to grasp. Financial remittances can be measured more easily and while Pfutze (2008) concluded that financial transfers exerted political influence he referred to other studies in which no positive correlation could be measured between an income increase and the promotion of democracy. The nature of the link between social remittances and democratization remains rather obscure. If it existed it would not necessarily need to be one that promoted democracy or as Rother (2009) mentioned there was also the possibility of negative diffusion in the system. In summary, it seems to be challenging to measure, in particular, social remittances and to establish a clear link between remittances in general and their impact on democracies.

Carlos et al. (2010) proffered a very detailed account of the democratic deficits in the Philippines. The authors stressed the need for reforms in a variety of fields, spanning Political, Justice, Government, Health, Educational and Security reforms. The detailed reports gave an insight into the current challenges and described the paragon Philippine democracy but the book did not assess the feasibility, in the current political context, of the suggested reforms. The authors were lavish with their suggestions of additional social benefits and pro-poor strategies but overlooked the element of costing. The authors akin to Hutchcroft (see next paragraph) identified the absence of cohesive and programmatic political parties as the key contributor to the current democratic deficits.

Hutchcroft et al. (2003) and Regilme (2010) explained the deficits in the Philippine democracy through historical institutionalism. According to them, the democratic shortfalls in the Philippines could be understood by looking at American colonial times. They stressed the elites' pivotal role in the general population's impoverishment. They had, under different presidents, made a fortune at the cost of the rest of the community. Very early on in the Philippine history, the oligarchs had established a patron-client system which still prevails today. It is hampering democratic progress. The authors recounted the various presidents' democratic achievements and failures and exposed the evolution of political parties. The analysis concluded that the electoral process was dominated by personalities rather than programs. Family dynasties who wanted to retain their wealth and power position rather than serve the public interests; they controlled legislative institutions. To remedy the situation, the writers, suggested shielding government structures from the oligarchy's particular demands and promoting the creation of more cohesive, effective and program oriented political parties (Hutchcroft et al., 2003 and Regilme, 2010).

Chapter 2: Research Methodology

This chapter describes the different tools used to underline the thesis statement. The two major research fields of this paper are the democratization process in the Philippines and the effect remittances can have on this process.

To examine and explain the prevailing democracy deficits in the Philippines, many scholars resort to Historical Institutionalism. This paper tries to shade light on the nexus between democratization and migrant remittances. It will therefore not look back into colonial times, when remittances only played a minor role, but analyze the years that followed the Marcos’s dictatorship when the Philippine labor export schema was in full swing. Historical Institutionalism is nevertheless an important factor to understand the challenges that the Philippine democracy faces today because events in the colonial times have shaped today’s modern democratic system. To strengthen the argument and try to look beyond institutions this paper resorts to additional indices and studies which complement the analysis.

Historical Institutionalism developed in the 1960s and 1970s in response to structural-functionalism and group theories of politics, two prominent thematic bodies in political science. From group theory, it accepted that conflict among different factions for scarce resources rested on the heart of politics but sought better explanations for the inequalities that marked the political outcomes. The institutional way the policy was organized and its economic structure privileged some interests against others were deemed one explanation. Structural-functionalism influenced the held view that the structure of the polity was more relevant than ‘functionalism’ to explain the outcomes of political systems.

How institutions affect individual behavior is central to any institutional analysis. There are however different schools which all fall under Historical institutionalism. Rational choice institutionalism relies heavily on a quantitative approach and threatens history as an outcome of rational and purposeful behavior. In Sociological institutionalism, culture aspects become more dominant and are seen as the guiding principles of human action which define institutions. Uneven power distribution among social groups is central to historical institutionalisms. It is assumed that institutions give some interests or groups disproportionate access to the process of decision-making. Determining which outcome makes everyone better off is of a lesser importance than ascertaining which groups lose or win. Another focus is the question of how a nation structures its response to a new challenge. Scholars see the flow of historical events divided by ‘critical junctures’ on which substantial institutional change could take place and historical development move onto a new path. Historical institutionalists accept that institutions are only one of other many possible causal forces in politics. They usually embrace socioeconomic development and the diffusion and importance of ideas and beliefs in their analysis (Hall, 1996).

In order to provide a contemporary assessment of the state of democracy in the Philippines, this paper has defined five major fields of interests based on the framework used by Regilme (2010). They incorporate the Philippine Political system, the Economy, Civil Society, Peace and Security and Press freedom. In each field, one or several indicators were identified to analyze and assess the degree of democracy in the system. This quantitative assessment was linked with qualitative scholar texts to substantiate the argumentative base. One assumption in this framework is that a democratic system acquired part of its legitimacy through its economic performance. This hypothesis translates positive economic indicators as a proof of a working democracy. The second assumption is that, the level of democracy can be assessed through the government's willingness to protect its minorities and guarantee their basic rights together with the general level of peace and security in the system.

The chart below summarizes the methodical framework used in this paper to assess the Filipino democracy.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 1 : Democracy in the Philippines operationalized based on Historical Institutionalism

Source: own creation inspired by Regilme, 2010

The analysis of the nature and effect of remittances is based on the work of various scholars. Whereas it is relatively easy to measure and describe financial remittances, determining social remittances remains more elusive. Only very few case studies broached social remittances in the Philippines. The literature reviews have shown that migration is a highly complex process which, in many cases, is driven by a selected group of individuals. It means that each case study is unique. It might be difficult at times to transfer findings from one context to another. One could measure and describe certain individual or group remittances. It is impossible nowadays to evaluate conclusively the impact of this plurality of remittances on a polity and its influence on the democratization process.

The next section provides a brief description of the indices and the Civil Society study used to assess the level of democracy in the Philippines.

Freedom in the World Index

The survey provides an annual evaluation of the state of global freedom as experienced by individuals. The survey measures freedom—the opportunity to act spontaneously in a variety of fields outside the control of the government and other centers of potential domination—according to two broad categories: political rights and civil liberties. Political rights enable people to participate freely in the political process, awarding them the right to vote freely for one of distinct alternatives in legitimate elections. They allow them to compete for public office, join political parties and organizations, and elect representatives who have a decisive impact on public policies and are accountable to the electorate. Civil liberties sanction the freedom of expression and belief, associational and organizational rights, the rule of law, and personal autonomy without interference from the state. The survey does not rate governments or a regime performance per se, but the real-world rights and freedom enjoyed by individuals. Freedom House considers the presence of legal rights, although it dwells more on whether these rights are implemented in practice. Furthermore, freedoms can be affected by government officials, as well as by no state actors, including insurgents and other armed groups. Freedom House does not maintain a culture-bound view of freedom. The methodology of the survey rests on basic standards of political rights and civil liberties, derived in large measure from relevant portions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The survey surmises that freedom for all is best achieved in liberal democratic societies. The 2012 survey includes both analytical reports and numerical ratings for 195 countries and 14 select territories. Each country and territory is assigned a numerical rating—on a scale of one to seven—for political rights and an analogous rating for civil liberties; a rating of one indicates the highest degree of freedom and seven the lowest. The survey findings have been secured through a multi-layered process of analysis and evaluation by a team of regional experts and scholars. Although there is an element of subjectivity inherent in the survey findings, the ratings process shows intellectual rigor as well as balanced and unbiased judgments (Freedom House).

Corruption Perception Index

In democracies, the constituency delegates authority to representatives in the government. Corruption conveys the abuse of power by government officials for illegitimate private gains. The office holder does not respect his democratic mandate which leads to a flawed system and a reduced level of democracy.


[1] http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTPROSPECTS/Resources/334934-1288990760745/MigrationDevelopmentBrief19.pdf-

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Migrant Remittances and Democratization in the Republic of the Philippines
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Migrant, Remittances, Democracy, Democratization, Philippines, democracy deficit, social remittances, financial remittances, Migration, labor migration
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Marcel Reymond (Author), 2013, Migrant Remittances and Democratization in the Republic of the Philippines, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/279611


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