Paul Hutchcroft

Research activity per year

Personal profile


Paul Hutchcroft is a scholar of comparative and Southeast Asian politics who has written extensively on Philippine politics and political economy. He is professor of Political and Social Change in the Australian National University’s Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs (of which he was founding director, 2009-2013). While on secondment from the ANU, between late 2013 and late 2017, Hutchcroft served as Lead Governance Specialist with the Australian Embassy in Manila. From 2018 to 2021, he was the overall chief investigator of a A$2.1 million Australian government grant to the ANU to support a range of research and advocacy projects on democracy, human rights, and the rule of law in Southeast Asia (see

Hutchcroft is the author of Booty Capitalism: The Politics of Banking in the Philippines (Cornell 1998); co-author (with Edward Aspinall, Meredith Weiss, and Allen Hicken) of Mobilizing for Elections: Patronage and Political Machines in Southeast Asia (Cambridge, forthcoming 2022); editor of Mindanao: The Long Journey to Peace and Prosperity (Anvil 2016 and World Scientific 2018) as well as Strong Patronage, Weak Parties: The Case for Electoral System Redesign in the Philippines (Anvil 2019 and World Scientific 2020); and co-editor (with Edward Aspinall, Allen Hicken, and Meredith Weiss) of “Global Pandemic, Local Politics: COVID-19 in Urban Southeast Asia,” a special roundtable published by Contemporary Southeast Asia (2021). He has published in Governance, Government and Opposition, Journal of Asian Studies, Journal of Democracy, Journal of East Asian Studies, Philippine Political Science Journal (forthcoming 2022), Philippine Review of Economics, Political Studies, TRaNS, and World Politics, and contributed chapters in edited volumes published by Ateneo, Cambridge, Cornell, Georgetown, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Oxford, National University of Singapore, Wisconsin, and other university presses as well as by Asia Society, Freedom House, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (forthcoming 2022), and Routledge.

Hutchcroft’s interests in Southeast Asian politics can be traced to 1980-81, when he first lived in the Philippines and witnessed mounting opposition to the rule of Ferdinand Marcos. This eventually led him into Southeast Asian studies at Yale University, where he completed an M.A. in International Relations (1986) and a Ph.D. in Political Science (with distinction, in 1993). He finished his dissertation while at the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies (1991-1993), and proceeded to fifteen years of service on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1993-2008, where he was Associate Chair of the Department of Political Science from 2004 to 2007). He joined the ANU in 2008 and was chair of the Department of Political and Social Change in 2008-2009.

In addition, Hutchcroft was a Visiting Associate Professor at the Asia Research Institute of the National University of Singapore in 2004 and has received fellowships from Fulbright-Hays (1989, 1995-96, and 2003), Social Science Research Council (1990-91), American Council of Learned Societies-SSRC (1999), U.S. Institute of Peace (2001), and the Asia Research Institute (2005). In 2007, he was Program Chair for the annual meeting of the Association for Asian Studies in Boston, Massachusetts. At the ANU, he has been a part of teams that obtained Australian Research Council grants for two major collaborative research projects in Southeast Asia: on money politics (2012-2017) and urban politics (2018-present).

Research interests

Comparative politics and Southeast Asian politics, with particular interests in state formation and territorial politics, the politics of patronage, political reform and democratic quality, state-society relations, structures of governance, and corruption.


Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, Ph.D. in Political Science (with distinction), 1993. M.A. in International Relations, 1986. Winner of 1986 Academic Excellence Award.

Macalester College, St. Paul, Minnesota, B.A. in History (summa cum laude), 1980. Studied at Stirling University, Scotland,1978-79, as part of Stirling-Macalester Exchange.


Other work

“Philippines,” a chapter in Countries at the Crossroads: A Survey of Democratic Governance (New York: Freedom House, 2007).                     

“Paradoxes of Decentralization: The Political Dynamics Behind the Passage of the 1991 Local Government Code of the Philippines” in KPI Yearbook 2003, ed. Michael H. Nelson (Bangkok: King Prajadhipok’s Institute, 2004).

“Political Economy” (co-authored with Emmanuel S. de Dios), in The Philippine Economy: Development, Policies, and Challenges, ed. Arsenio Balisacan and Hal Hill (New York: Oxford University Press, 2003 and Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2003).

“Centralization and Decentralization in Administration and Politics: Assessing Territorial Dimensions of Authority and Power,” Governance 14, no. 1 (January 2001): 23-53.        

“Colonial Masters, National Politicos, and Provincial Lords: Central Authority and Local Autonomy in the American Philippines, 1900-1913,” Journal of Asian Studies 59, no. 2 (May 2000): 277-306.

"Obstructive Corruption: The Politics of Privilege in the Philippines," in Rents, Rent-Seeking and Development: Theory and Evidence in Asia, ed. Mushtaq H. Khan and Jomo K.S. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000).

“Neither Dynamo Nor Domino: Reforms and Crises in the Philippine Political Economy,” in The Politics of the Asian Economic Crisis, ed. T.J. Pempel (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1999). (Also Singapore: Graham Brash Ltd., 1999).                

“After the Fall: Prospects for Political and Institutional Reform in Post-Crisis Thailand and the Philippines,” Government and Opposition 34, no. 4 (Autumn 1999): 473-98.

Booty Capitalism: The Politics of Banking in the Philippines. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1998. (Also Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University Press, 1998, reprinted 2000.)

"Sustaining Economic and Political Reform: The Challenges Ahead," in The Philippines:  New Directions in Domestic Policy and Foreign Relations, ed. David G. Timberman (New York: Asia Society, 1998).

"The Politics of Economic Liberalization: Promise and Prospects, The Ramos Years and Beyond," Public Policy (a journal of the University of the Philippines) vol. 1, no. 1 (1997).

"The Politics of Privilege: Assessing the Impact of Rents, Corruption, and Clientelism on Third World Development," Political Studies 45, no. 3 (September 1997): 639-58. Reprinted in four venues, including Political Corruption: Concepts and Contexts (3rd ed.), ed. Arnold J. Heidenheimer and Michael Johnston (New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers, 2002).

"Assessing Recent Political Developments in the Philippines: Continuity amidst Change or Change amidst Continuity?," the "American response" to papers presented at the November 29, 1994 dialogue of the "Focus on the Philippines," a public education project of the Asia Society and the Asian Institute of Management. Published in Focus on the Philippines: Dialogue on Political Developments (New York: The Asia Society, 1995).

"Oligarchs and Cronies in the Philippine State: The Politics of Patrimonial Plunder," World Politics 43, no. 1 (April 1991): 414-450.


Other work

Media Engagement: Op-ed and other contributions published in Inside Story (, Newsbreak (, Canberra Times, East Asia Forum (, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Hong Kong Standard, Korea Herald, Wisconsin State Journal, International Herald Tribune, Hartford Courant, and Asian Wall Street Journal Weekly. Numerous radio and television interviews on Philippine politics for Philippine, Australian, U.S., and Canadian media.

Languages: Advanced Tagalog (studied at Christian Language Study Center, Quezon City, 1986-87), advanced Cebuano (studied at CLSC, Cebu City, 1995-96), intermediate-level Indonesian (studied at Universitas Kristen Satya Wacana, Salatiga, Central Java, December 1986-January 1987; now used only occasionally), and a former reading proficiency in French.

External positions

Lead Governance Specialist, Development Cooperation, Australian Embassy, Manila

Oct 2013Sept 2017

Visiting Associate Professor, National University of Singapore


Professor ('07-'08), Associate Professor ('00-'07), Assistant Professor ('93-'00), University of Wisconsin-Madison


Academy Scholar, Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies


Expertise Areas

  • Government and Politics of Asia and the Pacific


Dive into the research topics where Paul Hutchcroft is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • 1 Similar Profiles