Thursday, July 03, 2014

Star Meat, Cebu Siopao, and the Anti-Muslim Ilaga: The Rat in Philippine Politics (A Free Public Lecture by Patricio Abinales, PhD)

Star Meat, Cebu Siopao, and the Anti-Muslim Ilaga: 
The Rat in Philippine Politics
A Free Public Lecture by Patricio Abinales, PhD
Friday, 25 July 2014
3:00 - 5:00 pm
Seminar Room, GT-Toyota Asian Cultural Center, 
University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City

About the lecture
What happens when we add rodents into the discussion of postwar Philippine politics? This multidisciplinary presentation tries to explore possible answers to this question, and in the process argues for giving unlikely actors like rats a place in this politics.

About the lecturer
Patricio N. Abinales is Professor at School of Pacific and Asian Studies at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. He obtained his Ph.D. in Government and Southeast Asian Studies from Cornell University and is the author of, among other books, Making Mindanao: Cotabato and Davao in the Formation of the Philippine Nation-State (2000); Images of State Power: Essays of Philippine Politics from the Margins (1999); and Orthodoxy and History in the Muslim-Mindanao Narrative (2010). He recently served as Visiting Professor at the Asian Center, University of the Philippines Diliman and was former Deputy Director of the Third World Studies Center.

Asian Center
Third World Studies Center

Monday, June 30, 2014

Thailand: The Lessons of Protest, A Public Lecture by Dr. Kevin Hewison

Thailand: The Lessons of Protest
A Public Lecture by Dr. Kevin Hewison
14 July 2014 (Monday), 10:00 AM - 12:00 NN
Seminar Room 206-207, GT Toyota Asian Center, 
University of the Philippines-Diliman, Quezon City

Since late 2004 and until the military coup in May 2014, Thailand has seen almost unending street protests, ranging from various ginger groups protesting against incumbent governments to months-long and highly aggressive anti-government street protests by red shirts and yellow shirts mobilizing hundreds of thousands. While there are many lessons that may be drawn from this decade of often unruly and uncivil political contestation, this paper concentrates on four “lessons” that bear on several assumptions associated with the broad literature on democratic transitions. These are: (i) the political intransigence of a conservative elite unwilling to make necessary political compromises that would accommodate the rise of electoral democracy and subaltern claims for political voice; (ii) the challenges posed to notions that the middle class and civil society have certain “historical roles” as the ballast for successful democratization; (iii) the capacity for so-called independent institutions and agencies, created as checks-and-balances on elected politicians and to enhance human rights in a developing electoral and representative democracy may be politically captured and become the tools of anti-democrats; and (iv) the link between high rates of inequality and political rebellion cannot be assumed but must be examined in terms of political context.

Dr. Kevin Hewison is Sir Walter Murdoch Professor of Politics and International Studies and Director, Asia Research Centre, Murdoch University.



Tuesday, May 13, 2014

From Migrant to Worker: New Forms of Migrant Labor Activism in Asia A Public Lecture by Professor Michele Ford

From Migrant to Worker:
New Forms of Migrant Labor Activism in Asia
A Public Lecture by Professor Michele Ford
27 May 2014 Tuesday 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
GT-Toyota Asian Cultural Center Seminar Room, Asian Center
University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City

Please click here for the audiovisual recordings of this lecture.


3:00 – 3:15    

3:15 – 3:25    
Welcome Address
Eduardo T. Gonzalez, PhD
Asian Center
University of the Philippines-Diliman

3:25 – 3:30   
Introduction of the Speaker

3:30 – 4:15    
Professor Michele Ford, PhD
Director, Sydney Southeast Asia Centre
University of Sydney

4:15 – 5:00   
Open Forum

Professor Jean Paul Zialcita
Assistant Professor
Department of Political Science
College of Social Sciences and Philosophy
University of the Philippines-Diliman

Department of Political Science
Third World Studies Center
Asian Center
University of Sydney

About the lecture
Every year millions of people in our region—including hundreds of thousands of Filipinos—cross borders in search of work. Governments consider these people to be migrants first and workers second, and limit their access to basic labor rights accordingly. Until recently, civil society organizations, too, dealt with these foreigners as migrants. But now this has changed. This paper traces a fundamental shift in civil society responses since NGOs and international labor bodies began involving local unions in migrant worker issues in countries of origin such as Indonesia and the Philippines, but also in destination countries in East and Southeast Asia. Using a comparative case study approach, this paper interrogates the genesis of these initiatives and analyses their impact in Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand. It argues that, while much remains to be done, the conceptual shift from ‘migrant’ to ‘worker’ has created a space in which temporary labor migrants’ positionality can be re-imagined.

About the lecturer
Professor Michele Ford is an ARC Future Fellow and Director of the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre at the University of Sydney. Her research interests focus on the Southeast Asian labour movements, trade union aid, and trade union responses to labour migration in East and Southeast Asia. Michele is the author of Workers and Intellectuals: NGOs, Unions and the Indonesian Labour Movement (NUS/Hawaii/KITLV 2009) and co-editor of Women and Work in Indonesia (Routledge 2008), Women and Labour Organizing In Asia: Diversity, Autonomy and Activism (Routledge 2008) and Labour Migration and Human Trafficking in Southeast Asia: Critical Perspectives (Routledge 2012).

Photos from the event


Monday, April 14, 2014

Cartography and Psychological Warfare: China and the South China Sea

Cartography and Psychological Warfare: China and the South China Sea
25 April 2014 (Friday), 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Seminar Room, Hall of Wisdom, GT-Toyota Asian Cultural Center,
Asian Center, University of the Philippines Diliman

Bill Hayton, a British journalist from the British Broadcasting Company (BBC), will look at how Chinese cartography has shaped Beijing’s claims on the South China Sea; in his second lecture, he will examine how Chinese media employ ‘psychological warfare’ strategies vis-à-vis Philippines and the United States.

Lecture 1: The Origins of China's South China Sea Claim 
(10:00 AM - 12:00 NN)

Broadly describes the story of how, between 1909 and 1947, the U-shaped line came into being and was drawn and redrawn by different cartographers; how translation errors from British maps created misunderstandings; how the Beijing government didn’t know where the Spratlys were in 1933; and how the ‘Nansha' moved around the sea.

Please click here for the playlist of the audiovisual recordings of this lecture.

Lecture 2: The Power of ‘Enemy Work’
(2:00 - 4:00 PM)

Illustrates how Beijing is making use of deliberate psychological warfare strategies towards the Philippines and the US through the use of ‘hawks’ in the media. This paper will show how these hawks are directly connected to military propaganda departments and ponder on what role they play in China’s overall strategy towards the South China Sea.

Please click here for the playlist of the audiovisual recordings of this lecture. 

Bill Hayton has been with the BBC since 1998. The author of South China Sea: Dangerous Ground (2014, forthcoming) and Vietnam: Rising Dragon (2010), he has reported on the Middle East, and Central and Eastern Europe. Mr. Hayton has also been a trainer and a media consultant for various news organizations in Myanmar, Georgia, and Vietnam. He maintains a website at

Please confirm your attendance by filling out this form or by emailing Janus or Kat at You may also call 981-8500 local 3586. Kindly note that registering does not entail a seat reservation; seats are limited and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Lunch will not be served. For directions to the Asian Center, please view a vicinity map here.



Thursday, April 03, 2014

Internship Opportunity at TWSC

The Third World Studies Center (TWSC) welcomes applicants to its Volunteer-Internship Program (VIP). The TWSC VIP is designed for social science undergraduate, graduate, and foreign exchange students of the University of the Philippines with particular interest in critical political economy, democratization, and political culture. The program provides an opportunity for volunteers-interns to assist in and learn from the various research, publications, and training projects and activities of the Center. It is a non-salaried program and does not guarantee future employment in the organization.

The TWSC only selects four volunteer-interns. Applicants must at least:

  • be 18 years old,
  • have junior status and be enrolled in the University of the Philippines at the time of application,
  • be in good academic standing,
  • have good writing skills (English),
  • have a background in technical writing and research methodologies, and
  • be able to complete specific assignments on deadlines.

Preference will be given to students who require internship credits, and/or whose academic work (thesis, etc.) relates with any of the TWSC’s research focus. TWSC encourages long-term internship work, and will give preference to applicants who can stay with the Center for a minimum period of three months and can work for at least 50 hours a month.

Application Process
To apply, please send the following:
  • a comprehensive curriculum vitae,
  • a true copy of grades for all previous semesters (or a printout of grades from CRS), and
  • an application letter addressed

Dr. Ricardo T. Jose
Third World Studies Center
College of Social Sciences and Philosophy
Palma Hall Basement
University of the Philippines
Diliman 1101 Quezon City

Submit requirements to Emerald O. Flaviano at the Third World Studies Center via email (