Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Impact of the 2008 US Elections on Asia--A Public Lecture by Vincent Boudreau

Vincent Boudreau
Chair, Department of Political Science
Director, Colin Powell Center for Policy Studies
City College of New York

January 9, 2009 (Friday), 1:00-2:30 p.m.
Bulwagang Sala'am (Asian Center Conference Room)
Romulo Hall
University of the Philippines
Diliman, Quezon City

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Developing a Human Security Index for the Philippines

UP Third World Studies Center, Social Sciences and Philosophy Research Foundation, Inc., Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process-Conflict Prevention and Peace Building, United Nations Development Programme, and UN Act for Peace

December 4, 2008 (Thursday), 9:30 a.m. - 12:00 noon

Balay Kalinaw, University of the Philippines
Diliman, Quezon City

Registration (9:00-9:30)

Welcome Remarks (9:30-9:35)

Zosimo E. Lee
Dean, College of Social Sciences and Philosophy
University of the Philippines-Diliman

Project Overview and Presentation of Research Results (9:35-10:10)

Maria Ela L. Atienza
Deputy Director, Third World Studies Center
University of the Philippines-Diliman

Reactions (10:10-10:55)

Milo S. Ibrado
Deputy Director-General, National Security Council

Nymia Pimentel Simbulan
Executive Director, Philippine Human Rights Information Center

Raymund Jose Quilop
Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science
University of the Philippines-Diliman

Open Forum (10:55-11:40)

Concluding Comments from the Speaker (11:40-11:55)

Closing Remarks (11:55-12:00)

Teresa s. Encarnacion Tadem
Director, Third World Studies Center
University of the Philippines-Diliman


Perlita Frago
Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science
University of the Philippines-Diliman

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Global Meltdown and the Philippines: Great Depression or Great Transformation?

THE GLOBAL MELTDOWN AND THE PHILIPPINES: Great Depression or Great Transformation?
An Emergency Conference on Crises and Alternatives

Balay Kalinaw, University of the Philippines-Diliman
November 12, 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM

The world is entering what could be the worst global financial and economic crisis since the Great Depression in the 1930s – just as the food, employment, and climate crises are intensifying. These multiple crises threaten the lives of millions of already poor and suffering people across the globe, including in the Philippines. More workers could be unemployed; migrant workers could be sent home. Government services, limited as they are, could be further curtailed. Pensions and savings could be wiped out. Prices could soar just as incomes plunge. More will suffer from hunger, eviction, or displacement. The politics of authoritarianism or fascism could prevail.

But as the old paradigms and policies responsible for the crises are discredited, the crises also opens up new opportunities for pushing for the alternatives that could lead to a Great Transformation: one that will lead to raised living standards, social welfare, ecological justice, democracy, and equity.

In the face of this unprecedented historical moment and the stark choices ahead, this conference aims to provide a timely opportunity to share accurate analyses of the crises, consolidate concrete recommendations, and discuss ways of working together to push for alternatives. Working together, however, requires discussing the following key questions which we hope to tackle at the conference:
- What demands/initiatives should we be making at this point?
- What demands/initiatives are common to all/the most groups?
- What, if any, are potential contradictions among the demands/initiatives?
- What are the gaps in terms of our advocacies? On what areas/issues do we still need to come up with demands/initiatives because they’re not currently addressed by existing ones?

Tentative Program:

8:30 AM Registration

9:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Session 1 - Multiple Crises 101: The Economics and Politics of the Global Financial, Food and Environmental Crises and their impacts on the Philippines

11:00 AM to 2:30 PM
Session 2 – How should we respond?: People’s Solutions and Alternatives – Action Points, Legislative Agenda, Campaign Ideas, etc?

A. Plenary: Some initial ideas to kick-start discussions (11:00 AM to 12:00 PM)

Lunch (12:00 PM to 1:00 PM)

B. Workshops (1:00 PM to 2:30 PM)
C. Plenary – Reports from workshops and discussions (2:30 PM to 3:30 PM)

Break (3:30 PM to 3:45 PM)

3:45 PM to 5:30 PM
Session 3 – Where do we go from here?: Next steps in Pushing for our Solutions and Alternatives


The conference will have presentations to enable participants to more fully understand and to be able to discuss the dynamics and implications of the financial crisis. There will also be thematic workshops to allow participants the opportunity to exchange ideas on how to respond.

The conference is envisioned to be the broadest gathering possible of all those concerned about the impacts of the crises and committed to pushing for democratic, equitable, and just alternatives.

Given the wide interest in the issue, please confirm your participation by faxing or e-mailing the registration form below to 433-0899 or Registered participants will be prioritized in terms of seating.

To cover the cost of the venue, lunch and snacks and conference materials, we request for solidarity fees of P100/participant. This fee can be waived based on capacity to pay. We urge capable organizations to sponsor others’ fees. Inability to pay will not be grounds for refusing anyone admission.

All the best,

(See list below)

'As of 29 October 2009:

Action and Solidarity for the Empowerment of Teachers (ASSERT) | Action for Economic Reforms (AER) | Alab-Katipunan | Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL) | Balay Rehabilitation Center | Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) | Center for Labor Justice (CLJ) | Center for Rural Empowerment Services in Central Mindanao (CRESCENT) | Development Roundtable Series (DRTS) Thematic Working Group on Foreign Policy | Development Roundtable Series (DRTS) Thematic Working Group on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development | Development Roundtable Series (DRTS) Thematic Working Group on Trade and Industrial Policy | Focus on the Global South | Gaston Z. Ortigas Peace Institute | Global Call to Action against Poverty – Philippines | Individuals from the National Economic Protectionism Association (NEPA) | International South Group Network | Kalayaan! | Kilusan para sa Pambansang Demokrasya (KPD) | Kilusang Mangingisda (Fisherfolk Movement) | Labor Rights and Democracy (LARIDE) | League of Urban Poor for Action (LUPA) | Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center (LRC) | Manggagawa para sa Kalayaan ng Bayan (MAKABAYAN) | Makabayan – Pilipinas | Mindanao Peoples' Peace Movement (MPPM) | Mindanao Tri-People Women’s Resource Center (MTWRC) | Migrant Forum in Asia (MFA) | Pagkakaisa ng Kababaihan para sa Kalayaan (KAISA-KA) | Pambansang Katipunan ng Makabayang Magbubukid (PKMM) | Pambansang Samahan ng mga Kilusang Magsasaka (PAKISAMA) | Partido Kalikasan Metro Manila Airshed | Partido Manggagawa (PM) | Peace Women Partners Inc | Progresibong Alyansa ng mga Mangingisda (PANGISDA) | Popular Education for People's Empowerment, Inc. (PEPE) | Resource Center for People's Development | Rural Poor Institute for Land and Human Rights Services (RIGHTS Network) | SANLAKAS | SUMPAY Mindanao | Teatrong Bayan | Third World Movement Against the Exploitation of Women | Third World Network (TWN) | Union Network International-Philippine Liaison Council (UNI PLC) | UP Alyansa ng mga Mag-aaral para sa Panlipunang Katwiran at Kaunlaran (UP ALYANSA) | UP Center for Women’s Studies (UP CWS) | UP Third World Studies Center | UP Diliman University Student Council | Women and Gender Commission - Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines (WGC-AMRSP) | Women’s Education Development Productivity Research Organization (WEDPRO) | World March of Women – Pilipinas | Youth for National Democracy

Copies of the presentations have been made available in the Focus on the Global South website, click here to download.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Rizal: Cutting History Off the Pass--A Public Lecture by Benedict Anderson

(Please click this link to view the lecture.)

The nineteenth century marks the period in which “homogenous empty time” was globalized, signalled by the arrival and rapid spread of the world-telegraph system. One effect was the repositioning of geographically “nearby strangers” as historically “backward” fellow-nationals. Another was to conceptually reorganize the world in terms of an unstable competition along the highway of progress. For the colonial world, this opened the way for shame at being backward, but also the hope of catching up and surpassing. This change made it possible for intellectuals in the peripheries to think about the future in interesting new ways. Rizal is the outstanding example for the Philippines: If imperial Spain is “backward,” what will the Philippines be like in 100 years time? The lecture will concentrate on Rizal’s El Filibusterismo in this general context, focusing especially on his unique “time-machine” methods. The Fili is an outstanding example of manipulations of time across vast geographical spaces which has no parallel in core European literature. Is it/was it possible to write a novel in the future tense? With what consequences?

UP Third World Studies Center, UP College of Arts and Letters, and the Office of the Chancellor, University of the Philippines- Diliman

November 19, 2008 (Wednesday), 2:30 - 4:30 PM

Pulungang Claro M. Recto
Bulwagang Rizal (Faculty Center)
University of the Philippines
Diliman, Quezon City



Welcome Remarks
Jose Wendell P. Capili, PhD
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
College of Arts and Letters

Introduction of the Speaker


Professor Emeritus
Department of Government
Cornell University

Open Forum

Concluding Comments from the Speaker


Maria Ela L. Atienza, PhD
Deputy Director
Third World Studies Center

Friday, September 19, 2008

Wall Street Wobbles: Causes of the US Financial Crisis and Its Impact on the Philippines (A Public Forum)

The global financial system is in deep crisis. Three of Wall Street’s “Big Five” investment banks have collapsed, Bear Stearns in March, and Lehman Brothers and Merril Lynch over the past two weeks. Other disasters include the seizure of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by their regulator and, the shocking U.S. government takeover of a hopelessly illiquid American International Group (AIG). The remaining big investment banks, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, are also in trouble, with the former trying to sell itself to a Chinese bank. The contagion has spread worldwide with stock markets falling dizziyngly, prompting the central banks of the U.S., Canada, the European Union, England, Japan and Switzerland to pump $300 billion of short-term funds into the markets. The emerging markets of the BRICs countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) have “suffered their biggest sell-offs in years.” The Asian Development Bank warns that the turmoil in the West could affect economic growth in Asia. In the Philippines, the Central Bank announced that seven local banks have $386 million (P17.86 billion) investments in Lehman Brothers, whose bankruptcy is the biggest in U.S. history. These are Banco de Oro, Metrobank, RCBC, Standard Chartered (Phils), Bank of Commerce, and UCPB.

The Economist sees the causes of today’s financial panic in “the buying of property at inflated prices in the hope that some greater fool will take it off your hands” and that Wall Street had “too much capital devoted to products of questionable economic utility.” The Guardian opined that “the financial markets have been exposed as a vortex of artifice, a land of mirrors in which nothing was real and now everything is shattered.” The use of U.S. taxpayer money to bailout bankrupt private firms is described by economist Nouriel Roubini as “socialism for the rich, the well-connected and Wall Street – where profits are privatized and losses are socialized.” But the extraordinary government interventions are also seen as a critical stab at the heart of free market capitalism and its rhetoric about the dangers of state incursions in the economy.

Several questions desperately beg for answers. What are the real causes of the current financial turmoil? How long will it last? Are the foundations of global capitalism in danger? Given the volatility of the markets, the complexities of financial market transactions, and the lack of disclosure by corporate executives, is the situation actually worse than it appears? Is there a need for a new financial architecture? How does this crisis affect the Philippines? Are Philippine banks telling the truth about their exposure in the bankrupt firms? Are the ordinary Filipino’s bank savings safe?



Welcome Remarks
Dr. Aileen S.P. Baviera
UP Asian Center

Introduction of the Speakers


Dr. Cayetano W. Paderanga Jr
Professor, UP School of Economics
Former Director-General, National Economic and Development Authority
Former Member, Bangko Sentral Monetary Board
Former President, Philippine Stock Exchange

Dr. Sixto K. Roxas
Development Economist
Former Investment Banker (Bancom Group, PNB, BSP)
Former President, Asian Institute of Management

Dr. Edsel L. Beja Jr.
Assistant Professor, Economics Department, and
Deputy Director, Ateneo Center for Economic Research and Development
Ateneo de Manila University

Open forum

Last Comments from the Speakers


Dr. Eduardo T. Gonzalez
UP Asian Center

Download the transcripts from our multiply site:
Wall Street Wobbles: Causes of the US Financial Crisis and Its Impact on the Philippines (A Public Forum)

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Globalization, Colonization, and Prostitution: Strange Carnage in the Philippines (A Public Lecture)

Globalization, Colonization, and Prostitution: Strange Carnage in the Philippines

Kathleen M. Nadeau
Associate Professor and Applied Anthropology Coordinator
Department of Anthropology
California State University-San Bernardino

August 7, 2008 (Thursday)
5:00-6:30 p.m.
Bulwagang Sala'am (Asian Center Conference Hall)
Romulo Hall, Asian Center
University of the Philippines
Diliman, Quezon City

The research takes the position that sex tourism in the Philippines and Southeast Asia, more broadly, corresponds to Euro-American colonial forms of slavery that dealt in humans as non-human commodities. In other words, prostitution practices today are not coterminous with a pre-colonial Philippine past. Rather ancient communities in all their diversity and difference, preponderantly, treated their slaves as part of their living and related societal body. Modern policy makers, international lending bodies, military trajectories and local governments are only rationalizing, and thereby perpetuating the sex tourism industry saying that it has always existed and is an innate aspect of select Asian cultures. But, in actuality, the kind of sexuality that can be bought and sold as a commodity on the market, for example, wherein "a man can turn his desire into a thing" is not the same kind of sexuality that was integral to the social reproduction of the ancient Philippines and other, nearby, social formations. The research concludes that a brand new type of sexual slavery has emerged in postmodern times, with a more complicated way of exploiting women, gay men, and nowadays, seemingly much more than before, children.

Download the transcriptions from our Multiply site:
Globalization, Colonization, and Prostitution: Strange Carnage in the Philippines (A Public Lecture)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Indigenous Social Movements in Latin America

Chibu Lagman
Adjunct Professor of Latin American Studies
University of Alberta, Canada

August 1, 2008 (Friday)
1:00 - 2:30 PM
Palma Hall 207
College of Social Sciences and Philosophy
University of the Philippines
Diliman, Quezon City

About the Lecturer:
Carlos Chibu Lagman is a member of the faculty of the Latin American Studies Program of the University of Alberta. He is also a correspondent for Pacifica Radio Network and also Radio Canada Internacional, the Spanish news services of the Canadian Broadcasting Company. He covered the civil war in Guatemala, the Zapatista rebellion in Southern Mexico and starting 2002 started covering events in South America. Professor Lagman graduated from UP.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Burma's Road Map to Democracy (A Public Forum)

The Speaker

Win Min has a master's degree in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. At present, he is lecturer both at the Thai and Southeast Asian Studies Program of the Payap University, Chiang Mai and at the All Ethnic International Open University Program, Chiang Mai University.

Download the transcriptions from our Multiply site:
Win Min: 2008 Violet Wurfel ASEAN Lecture Series

Win Min: 2008 Violet Wurfel ASEAN Lecture Series

Effects of Burma Crisis on ASEAN
July 29, 2008 (Tuesday), 3:00 - 5:00 pm
Bulwagang Sala'am (Asian Center Conference Hall)
Office of the UP President
Office of the UP Vice-President for Academic Affairs
UP Asian Center

Public Forum: Road Map to Democracy
July 30, 2008 (Wednesday), 10:00 am - 12:00 nn
Pulungang Claro M. Recto
Bulwagang Rizal (Faculty Center)
Office of the UP President
Office of the UP Vice-President for Academic Affairs
UP Department of Political Science
UP Third World Studies Center

Leadership and Social Movements in Burma
July 31, 2008 (Thursday), 10:00 am - 12:00 nn
Palma Hall 207, Audiovisual Room
Office of the UP President
Office of the UP Vice-President for Academic Affairs
UP Department of Sociology
UP Third World Studies Center

August 1, 2008 (Friday), 10:00 am - 12:00 nn
Center for International Studies
Benton Hall, UP Diliman
Office of the UP President
Office of the UP Vice-President for Academic Affairs
Center for International Studies

The Speaker

Win Min has a master's degree in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. At present, he is lecturer both at the Thai and Southeast Asian Studies Program of the Payap University, Chiang Mai and at the All Ethnic International Open University Program, Chiang Mai University.

Download the full text papers from our Multiply site:
Win Min: 2008 Violet Wurfel ASEAN Lecture Series

Monday, July 14, 2008

Surveillance States: Philippine Colonial Police and Political Transformations in America's Insular Empire (A Public Lecture)

22 July 2008 (Tuesday), 10:00-11:30 a.m.
Third World Studies Center
Lower Ground Floor, Palma Hall
College of Social Sciences and Philosophy
University of the Philippines
Diliman, Quezon City


From the first hours of the US occupation in August 1898, the Philippines served as the site of a protracted social experiment in the use of police as an instrument of state power. Indeed, America's ad hoc innovation with colonial policing was mutually transformative, central in both the formation of the Philippine polity and an American national security state. At this periphery of empire, freed from the constraints of courts, constitution, and civil society, the US colonial regime fused new information technologies, the product of America's first information revolution, to create a modern police apparatus and fashion what was arguably the world's first full "surveillance state."

In its pacification of a deeply rooted Philippine national revolution, the US Army plunged into a crucible of counterinsurgency, forming its first field intelligence unit, the Division of Military Information, which combined sweeping data gathering and dissemenation of specific tactical intelligence. Significantly, the colony's police, called Philippines Constabulary, became the first US federal agency with a fully developed covert operational capacity. Under US rule, colonial police, particularly the Constabulary, shaped the country's political development by destroying radical nationalist movement and advancing political moderates. Colonialism, moreover, made police a central facet of the modern Philippine state, both in actual administration and in popular perception that equated good governance with effective policing.

A decade later, these illiberal lessons percolated homeward through the invisible capillaries of empire to foster domestic surveillance in America itself during the social crisis surrounding World War I. In the first weeks of war, a small cadre of Philippine veterans established US Military Intelligence, creating a counter-intelligence capacity as a unique fusion of federal internal security agencies and citizen adjuncts that persisted for the next half century, shaping a succession of controversial events from the mass surveillance of World War I to the anti-communist purges during the Cold War. Advances in policing at this periphery of empire thus served as both blueprint and bellwether for a later metropolitan transformation--as bellwether for surveillance of American citizens and blueprint for the formation of the US Army's Military Police and Military Intelligence.

The Lecturer

Alfred W. McCoy is the J.R.W. Smail Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After earning his Ph.D. in Southeast Asian history at Yale in 1977, his writing on this dynamic region has focused on two topics--the political history of the modern Philippines and the politics of opium in the Golden Triangle.

His first book, The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia (New York, 1972), sparked controversy over the CIA’s attempt to block its publication, but is now regarded as the standard work on the subject of illicit narcotics. It has been in print for over 30 years, and been translated into nine languages, most recently Thai and German. His latest book, A Question of Torture: CIA Interrogation, From the Cold War to the War on Terror (New York, 2006), continues his exploration of the covert netherworld and its influence upon U.S. foreign policy and domestic society. Its analysis served as much of the basis for the film Taxi to the Darkside (New York, 2007), which won the Oscar in 2008 for “Best Documentary Feature.”

His forthcoming book on Philippine police during the 20th Century, Surveillance States (Madison, 2009), draws together these two strands in his research, organized crime and modern Philippine history, to explore the role of police, information, and scandal in the simultaneous formation of the both the modern Philippine polity and US national security state.

Three of his books on Philippine history have won that country's National Book Award. In March 2001, the Association for Asian Studies awarded him the Goodman Prize for his career contributions to the historical study of the Philippines.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Jim Glassman Lectures

“The Provinces Elect Governments, Bangkok Overthrows Them”:Urbanity, Class, and Post-Democracy in Thailand

1 July 2008 (Tuesday)
10:00-11:30 a.m.
Palma Hall 207
University of the Philippines
Diliman, Quezon City

Urban social movements are often associated with what are considered “progressive” causes, and most activists involved in such movements are inclined to describe themselves in such terms. The Thai coup of September 2006, and the ongoing street demonstrations of the People’s Alliance for Democracy in 2008, pose problems for any such easy identification. Though executed by the military, on behalf of royalist interests, the coup was supported by an array of primarily Bangkok-based and middle class groups, many of them associated with organizations such as NGOs and state enterprise unions, and such groups have again been at the center of the 2008 demonstrations. Although some of these groups claim anti-neoliberal political orientations, their support for the coup, and now for the ouster of the government elected in 2007, effectively places them on the side of forces opposed to populist spending policies and in favor of specific forms of neo-liberalism—at least for Thai villagers. This lecture explores this development by focusing on the Bangkok/up-country and urban/rural divisions in Thai politics—which, though socially constructed, have taken on political substance, in part because of their grounding in regionally differentiated class structures.

Southeast Asia between China and the US: Neo-Liberals, Neo-Conservatives, Rising Powers, and Resurgent Militarists

2 July 2008 (Wednesday)
10:00-11:30 a.m.
Palma Hall 207
University of the Philippines
Diliman, Quezon City

After September 11, 2001, the administration of George W. Bush showed renewed interest in Southeast Asia, putatively because of the presence within the region of “terrorists” connected to the attacks on the US. However, as during the Cold War period, US interests in Southeast Asia are shaped heavily by US interests in Northeast Asia—especially Japan and China. US interests are also conflicted, involving different political blocs, with different interests and ideologies, grounded in different specific class groupings. These blocs, sometimes called “neo-liberal” and “neo-conservative,” have agendas that overlap but also contain significant tensions. Those tensions shape not only US policies towards Northeast Asia, but Southeast Asia as well, with varied consequences throughout the latter region. I explore and analyze some of the tensions in US policies with the help of ideas from Nicos Poulantzas, whose conception of the state as part of the social division of labor can be expanded to help specify relations between US neo-liberals and neo-conservatives, as well as to indicate the reasons for limited changes in US policies over time, in spite of the tensions.

The Greater Mekong Subregion: Regionalization or Spatial Fix?

3 July 2008 (Thursday)
2:30-4:00 p.m.
Palma Hall 207
University of the Philippines
Diliman, Quezon City

The Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS)—a project of transborder economic integration between Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, and Yunnan province (China), funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB)—has been portrayed by the ADB as reflecting the natural geographic expansion of market processes after the end of the Cold War and the re-orientation of Communist Party regimes. I argue that a better interpretation of the development of the GMS is that it reflects a power-laden struggle by different investors and states to procure a “spatial fix” for problems of overaccumulation. Among other things, this means (1) that the GMS is not a “natural” market area but is socially produced as a space of investment by various political economic processes, (2) that large-scale capitalist forces from both inside and outside the GMS are central to its production and do less to integrate it internally than to selectively integrate key sites within the GMS into a broader East Asia regional economy of which they are a part; and (3) that the entire process is marked by conspicuous forms of socio-spatial uneven development, rather than by the equal opportunity for betterment sometimes suggested in neo-classical and neo-liberal literature on the GMS.

Global Poverty and Inequality: Measuring Trends, Interpreting Implications

4 July 2008 (Friday)
2:30-4:00 p.m.
Palma Hall 207
University of the Philippines
Diliman, Quezon City

The recent explosion of studies by economists on global measures of poverty and income distribution has received somewhat less attention from non-economists and social activists than it should. There are various problems with measures of either poverty or inequality, but there are also tentative conclusions that can be drawn from the empirical evidence regarding both long-term and short-term trends. Interpretation of the evidence, however, also depends upon the goals and assumptions of the interpreters. In this talk I argue that for groups involved in social movements favoring redistribution of wealth and income, the implications are important and point to the necessity of shifting strategies in response to shifting geographies of global inequality.

Click the link or follow this address to download the presentations from Focus on the Global South website:

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Left Parties in Power: Elections and Governance in Latin America



Welcome Remarks
Dr. Zosimo E. Lee
College of Social Sciences and Philosophy
University of the Philippines-Diliman

Introduction of the Guest Speakers
Mr. Mirko Herberg
Resident Representative
Friedrich Ebert Stiftung
Philippine Office

Prof. Andre Singer
University of Sao Paulo, Brasil

Dr. Diego Canepa Baccino
Member of Parliament
Nueva Espacio, Uruguay

Dr. Eduardo C. Tadem
Associate Professor
Asian Center
University of the Philippines-Diliman

Open Forum

Closing Remarks
Dr. Maria Lourdes G. Rebullida
Department of Political Science
College of Social Sciences and Philosophy
University of the Philippines-Diliman


Prof. Katherine Marie G. Hernandez
Assistant Professor
Department of Political Science
College of Social Sciences and Philosophy
University of the Philippines-Diliman

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

2008 UP Third World Studies Center Training-Workshop on Globalization

Globalization: Emerging Trends and Alternatives, 19 to 23 May 2008

Supporters of globalization will acknowledge that there is dynamism inherent in any competitive market order but, in line with the principles of classical economics, they will also argue that markets tend towards long-term equilibrium, with supply eventually coming into line with demand. However, one of the many criticisms leveled against globalization is that it has a tendency towards risk, uncertainty and instability. One manifestation of this tendency is that economic decision-making is increasingly influenced by global financial markets that are inherently unstable. This is because much of their activity is speculative and driven by short-term economic considerations. This has implications for companies, industries, national economies and even regions.

The financial crisis in Mexico in 1994 and the Asian financial crisis of 1997-99 were seen as early indications of a crisis-prone and more unpredictable world economy. In January 2008, global stock markets went wild and the United States (U.S.) is on the road to recession. Commentators predict a worldwide slowdown, once again highlighting the risks, uncertainty and instability associated with globalization. Will we see the U.S. economic slowdown turn into a worldwide slump? Or has the global economy experienced change since the 1990s? Are people, countries, companies, regions and international institutions better prepared to cushion the impacts of this new economic slump or for that matter any future slump? What lessons can be drawn from the crisies in the 1990s?

Given the backdrop of the looming U.S. recession and its possible consequences for the rest of the world, particularly the Philippines and the Asian region, it is timely to take stock of the emerging trends in globalization as well as the various alternatives presented by the financial and economic sector, states, civil society, and regional organizations. What are the trends happening in the global financial and trading system? What are their impacts on cultures, states, people and regions? How are people, states and regions responding to globalization and these changes? Have they presented viable alternatives to globalization or measures to cushion the impact of risks, uncertainties and instability on their people and national economies?

Module 1: Globalization (A Critical Introduction)

From Thomas Friedman’s pop analysis in The Lexus and the Olive Tree to James Petras’ and Henry Veltmeyer’s treatise on imperialism in the twenty-first century in Globalization Unmasked, globalization remains to be the most important debate of the times. Yet, despite a burgeoning literature, no cogent theory of globalization or a systematic analysis of its primary features has been formulated. Globalization is heavily contested in terms of its meaning, form, and implication; but,as such, it has become a catchphrase that encompasses everything and thus rendering the term meaningless. It is the objective of this module to clarify this concept and its fundamental theses on the economy, politics, and culture.

As an introductory part of the course, this module will tackle basic issues in understanding globalization. It will survey and sketch the development of the concept as well as various approaches used by social scientists to explain the complexity of globalization as a concept, which include but not limited to world-system theory and neorealism/neoliberal institutionalism. It will also examine the debates about globalization concerning temporal relations. It is expected that at the end of this module, students will have a better grasp of the current discourse on globalization, particularly on the core areas that dominate public and academic debate—the nature of the world economy, the role of the state, and the fate of national culturecontestation of culture.

* Political Economic Perspectives
* Sociocultural Perspectives

Module 2: Markets

Building on the discussions in Module 1, this module gives an overview of the global financial system, economic crises and recession, the global trading system, and non-economic variables affecting economic goals. The impacts of developments in the global financial and trading system on states and societies will be discussed. These will be contextualized in the Philippines and in the Asian region where possible responses and viable alternatives can be discussed and evaluated.

* Global Financial System
* The 1997 Asian Financial Crisis and the Looming U.S. Recession
* The Global Trading System After Doha
* Cultures, Institutions and Market

Module 3: Peoples and States

The objective of this module is to investigate the impacts of globalization on peoples and states and how states, civil society and regional organizations are responding to the process based on concrete experiences and empirical studies. What viable responses and alternatives are being pursued? The objectives of this module are to investigate and assess the forms of action utilized by states, civil society and regional groupings in Asia in performing their purported role in the processes of globalization, and to reflect on the promises and pitfalls of such tactics.

* States
* Regionalism
* Democratization Process

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Revolution without Tears: Notes on People Power and the February 1986 Uprising in the Philippines

Randolf S. David

When it finally came, Ferdinand Marcos's fall from power was swift, sudden and dramatic. For more than 20 long years he had ruled the country, and it was natural that Filipinos should expect that the elimination of such entrenched dictatorship would require a protracted and ultimately bloody struggle. But the actual uprising that brought the Marcos regime down took only four days, from February 22 to 25, while the sporadic armed clashes which were more the exception than the rule claimed a total of exactly four lives, three of whom were soldiers all belonging to the Marcos troops, and one civilian. Yet, it should not be forgotten that the struggle against the dictatorship had been going on for many years--certainly long before the middle class, which was at the center of the February events, had even dared to join the growing mass actions in the streets. Moreover, it should ever be borne in mind that the Marcos regime claimed countless victims from all social classes throughout the dark period of its rule.

(Please see this link to read/download the full article.)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

MENDIOLA NARRATIVES: It's January and Who Remembers What Happened in Mendiola?

Who remembers what happened in Mendiola on January 30, 1970? Four students, Feliciano Roldan of FEU, Ricardo Alcantara of UP, Fernando Catabay of MLQ, and Bernardo Tausa of Mapa High School died in the intense battle between student protestors and the military force guarding Ferdinand Marcos's MalacaƱang Palace.

Who remembers what happened in Mendiola on January 26, 1971? Six student activists died when Marcos's troops opened fire on student demonstrators.

Who remembers what happened in Mendiola on January 22, 1987? Danilo Arjona, Leopoldo Alonzo, Adelfa Aribe, Dionisio Bautista, Roberto Caylao, Vicente Campomanes, Ronilo Dumanico, Dante Evangelio, Angelito Gutierrez, Rodrigo Grampan, Bernabe Laquindanum, and Sonny Boy Perez perished in the infamous Mendiola Massacre. And during the 21st anniversary of their death, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's administration allowed these streamers to be put up in Mendiola:

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

New Kasarinlan: Interrogating Cultures, Unsettling Identities (Vol 22, No. 2, 2007)

More than a decade after the release of a special issue on culture (Volume 12, Number 2, 1996), Kasarinlan revisits the complex and dynamic field of cultural studies. But this issue looks beyond earlier debates on Asian culture that, back then, were essentially built around dichotomies or polar opposites. This is because in recent years culture—Asian culture, in particular, has been widely problematized and contested, especially in light of fundamentalist tendencies and movements in the region and all over the world. Digital and nuclear advancements, transnational migration, and widespread political and social violence and destabilization are just few of the global developments of the twenty-first century that have profoundly reshaped the field.

The theme of the issue emphasizes the valuable place of identity, viewed as a social and conceptual construct than an immutable psychological entity. Identity occupies an important place in discourse where cultural ramifications abound; new sites and modes of social interaction often impact on conceptions and perceptions of identity.

True to the thrust of Kasarinlan, the articles in this issue also give credence to political economy. In discussions of culture and identity, the articles regard global trends as part of a political, neocolonial and imperialist project, implicitly or otherwise. Each article grounds particular social or ideological issues and the formation of identities within contentious historical or genealogical configurations.

In this volume the analysis of culture and identity is framed in a variety of contexts and persuasions. In “Imagining the Terrorist: Racialization of Asian Identities since 9/11,” Malreddy Pavan Kumar discusses the resurgence of race issues in light of the “global war on terror” from the discursive angle of anthropology and geography. The author traces the developments of the two disciplines, arguing that their colonial and imperialist legacies, as found in contemporary discourses of “area studies,” “security studies,” and “terrorology” have contributed to the otherization of Asian identities associated with Islamic political dissent.

The commingling of history, politics and art is expressed in Patrick Flores’ “Colonial Posterities: Portraiture and the Face of the Modern.” The article reflects on the socially etched concepts of intimation and intimacy through an appraisal of portrait making in three Asian countries, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines. Flores extends the discourse of self-consciousness, modernity and post-colonial art history, and illustrates how representation, or “the aesthetic of appearance and appearing,” is a broadly political gesture.

Sumit Mandal, in his article “Indianness in Malaysia: Between Racialized Representations and the Cultural Politics of Popular Music” pursues the issue of race more concretely, looking at the emergence and reconfiguration of Indian identity via popular music. Mandal explains how dominant representations of Indian Malaysians downplay the dynamic, fluid relations among ethnic groups and ignore the complexities of Indianness. Meanwhile, popular music subverts state and institutional tendencies to simplify the racial discourse. As globalization further pushes Indian identities to the margins, Indian musicians in peninsular Malaysia challenge the prevalent discourse through the creative use of foreign music genres with distinct ethnic sounds. The re-appropriation of a specific symptom of globalization (the merging of foreign and indigenous music cultures) and its politics suggests that ethnic identities, rather than identity, are more permeable than commonly perceived.

The final article shifts the analysis of culture and identity from the context of race to migration. Akiko Watanabe’s “The Formation of Migrant Muslim Communities in Metro Manila” provides an anthropological study of the Filipino Muslims’ flight to Metro Manila. Watanabe identifies geographic and social patterns of community formation and the consequences of these movements on Muslim culture and identity in the nation’s capital. Her study of migrant community formation highlights the complexity of marriage and family ties, and the nuances of self-identification that are linked, in part, to a sense of imagined community shared with fellow Muslims from their places of origin.

The two other sections of the journal also provide interesting discussions foregrounding religion and how it animates the body politic. In the Proceedings Section entitled “Seeds of Violence or Buds of Peace?” Ursula King asks whether world faiths can serve as resources for peace education. In the Perspectives Section, Kasarinlan posed this question: “Why end fundamentalism?” Four scholars share their insights and arguments on the issue. Through these essays and articles, we hope to encourage readers to reflect on, or have a renewed appreciation of the broadening field of cultural studies.