Wednesday, April 12, 2006

People, Profit, and Politics

The TWSC is pleased to announce its latest publication, People, Profit, and Politics, edited by Ma. Glenda S. Lopez Wui and Teresa S. Encarnacion Tadem. The book is based on the findings of TWSC's research project on state-civil society relations in the context of globalization, which focused on four sectors widely known to have been affected by economic globalization: vegetable, hog, garments, and telecommunications. The project investigates two interrelated aspects of state-civil society relations: how civil-society actors engage with official state agencies through various formal and informal strategies of dialogue, negotiation, and bargaining; and the extent to which civil-society actors have been able to influence governmental policy making.

"It is both significant and interesting that this study undertakes the examination of state-civil society engagement within the context of globalization—a dimension to the analysis that gives the exercise a timely and particularly enriching perspective. Indeed, it was the process of globalization and the problems that accompanied it that spurred intensified civil society activity within countries around the globe, and in the international arena. The empirical focus on four particular sectors of the Philippine economy is another dimension of the study that gives it concrete significance and lends direct policy implications to its analyses."
--Cielito Habito, Professor of Economics, Ateneo de Manila University and former Secretary of Socioeconomic Planning and Director-General of the National Economic Development Authority

"This study will be of great interest to various types of readers: social scientists of various disciplines who are interested in state-society relations in developing countries, the stakeholders in the policy areas discussed in the cases, various multilateral donor agencies and international financial institutions, and promoters and serious critics of the principles that constitute what has come to be known as 'globalization.' The strength of the collection lies in the provision of important information on state-society relations that is industry-specific, and the articulation of an evaluation per industry based on a unified framework built around the concept of political opportunity structure."
--Jose Magadia, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Ateneo de Manila University and author, State-society dynamics: Policy making in a restored democracy

"The case studies of four industries presented in this book show the complex, contradictory, and highly contextual nature of the relations between the state and civil society organizations amidst the often intractable problems as well as the rare opportunities attendant to globalization, revealing these as falling far short of the ideal. They demonstrate the interplay of often conflicting interests, with the national interest and the specific interests of the more numerous but politically weaker sectors losing out to the bigger players in a far from even field. They also provide hard lessons and difficult challenges for social movements still seeking to make change happen through constructive but no less critical engagement with the state, knowing that to a great extent, the state has been captured by the elite."
--Rosalinda Pineda-Ofreneo, Professor of Social Work and Community Development, University of the Philippines-Diliman

"People, Profit, and Politics is an excellent collection of studies that looks at how civil society organizations in economic sectors subjected to trade liberalization and deregulation have mobilized to defend their interests within a liberal democratic state. The picture that emerges is both reassuring and disconcerting. Reassuring in that civil-society organizations can easily establish political spaces or beachheads from which to exert pressure on key political actors in the executive or in parliament. Reassuring, too, in that there is a great space for coalition building with many other interest groups facing the challenge of globalization. But disconcerting in that no amount of skilled mobilizing and coalition building appears to have been able to save key groups, such as the Benguet vegetable producers and textile and garment workers, from massive dislocation brought about by cheap imports or capital flight. Active lobbying by hog raisers and poultry producers appears to have mainly bought them time, not eliminate the threat of ruinous competition from cheap imports. The picture of the Philippine state that emerges is one that allows significant space for pressure groups opposed to liberalization, to the point where key actors within both the bureaucracy and parliament can, in fact, be mobilized as allies. And yet, when push comes to shove, liberalization wins out. What emerges is a resilient state that can entertain opposition, but where the ideology of neoliberalism so permeates the bureaucracy and the legislature that it can override the coalitions and coalition formations that the threatened sectors can put together... This is, of course, just one lesson that one draws from the case studies of this book. There are other dimensions of the state-civil society relationship in the Philippines that are illuminated here. The authors and editors are to be congratulated for bringing out an indispensable guide to the topic."
--Walden Bello, Professor of Sociology, University of the Philippines-Diliman (from the Foreword)
The book is published in cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme-Philippine Office.

Lopez Wui, Ma. Glenda S. and Teresa S. Encarnacion Tadem, eds. 2006. People, profit, and politics: State-civil society relations in the context of globalization. Quezon City: Third World Studies Center. ISBN 971-912464-4. PhP 350.00. Available at leading bookstores in the Philippines. For overseas orders, please issue a US$40.00 check payable to SSPRF-PDA. Send check to: Third World Studies Center, Basement Palma Hall, PO Box 210, University of the Philippines, Diliman, 1101 Quezon City, Philippines. For inquiries, send e-mail at

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