"If your destabilisation is taking place and there is chaos already, I will not hesitate to declare a revolutionary government until the end of my term," warned firebrand Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in October, amid growing domestic opposition to his presidency. The threat of suspending the country's democratic constitution was just another iteration in Duterte's long-running flirtation with authoritarian rule. However, over the succeeding weeks, as the Southeast Asian country prepared to host world leaders for the East Asia Summit, the Filipino leader tried to downplay the provocative statement. He insisted that the threat wasn't final policy (yet), but, instead, just an exploration of various scenarios to address the country's need for order and stability.  Yet this didn't prevent Duterte's supporters from openly calling for the suspension of the country's democratic constitution in favour of an imperial presidency. On November 30, pro-Duterte civic organizations held rallies in major cities, where they advocated for an outright establishment of a "revolutionary government". Philippine democracy has never looked as brittle in recent memory, with a growing number of Filipinos brazenly expressing their profound disenchantment with democracy and embracing authoritarian fantasies in the person of Duterte. And what's happening in the Philippines is eerily echoed across emerging market democracies, ranging from India to Turkey and Indonesia. Populist art of governance Like any modern populist, Duterte has presented himself as the voice of the Filipino people, the knight in shining armour who shields the nation against criminals and foreign threats, and, without lacking a tinge of millenarianism, as the Philippines' last hope for national salvation.  As Jan-Werner Muller argues in his latest book, "What is Populism?", populists are inherently illiberal and, over the long run, risk sliding into full-fledged authoritarianism as they implement their vision of collective revival. This is precisely because of their exclusive claim to represent what French Philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau termed as the "general will" - namely, the collective interest of the