Social representations of democratic transition: Was the Philippine People Power a non‐violent power shift or a military coup?

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This research looked at social representations of the 1986 People Power in the Philippines among Filipino civilians and the military. Using mixed qualitative–quantitative methods, the research collected military narratives, ran a survey of civilians and military personnel and reviewed newspaper accounts of People Power anniversary celebrations over 20 years. Civilians saw People Power as a strong and positive power shift, while the military viewed it as an aborted coup led by military officers that was weak and bad. The findings about the social representations of transition are linked to civilian–military social identities after 1986 and illuminate the subjective landscape of State power contests in a new democracy.