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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

SEPHIS Lecture Tour on Social Movements in the South by Dr. Evelina Dagnino



The Third World Studies (TWSC), together with South-South Exchange Programme for Research on the History of Development (SEPHIS) and UP Department of Political Science, would like to invite you to the UP TWSC-SEPHIS lecture tour on Social Movements in the South. The idea of the lecture tour is to establish connec tions between different research traditions and networks in the South. This programme enables universities in the South to invite established scholars from another part of the South, representing a specific historical school or scholarly approach, to give one or a few lectures. During his or her tour the scholar can meet colleagues and advanced students, advise on academic programmes, and explore the possibilities for collaborative research.

Evelina Dagnino is Professor of Political Science at the University of Campinas (Unicamp), Brazil. She has a PhD in political science from Stanford University, USA. She has been a visiting professor in the United States, at Yale University, and at the University of Göteborg, Sweden; Member of the Centre Advisory Review Group for the Development Research Centre on Citizenship, University of Sussex, UK; and Chair of the Citizenship, Rights and Social Justice Track of the Latin American Studies Association. Dr. Dagnino has published extensively on the relationships between culture and politics, social movements, civil society and participation, democracy and citizenship.

Social Movements and Democratization in Latin America
December 1, 2009 (Tuesday) 10AM - 12NN
Balaw Kalinaw, University of the Philippines
Diliman, Quezon City

Welcome Remarks
Teresa S. Encarnacion Tadem
Director
Third World Studies Center
University of the Philippines, Diliman

Message
Maria Serena I. Diokno
Professor
Department of History
University of the Philippines, Diliman
and former member, SEPHIS Steering Committee

Lecture
Evelina Dagnino
Professor of Political Science
University of Campinas, Brazil

Open Forum

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

Building Democracy in Latin America: Relationships between Social Movements and Political Society
December 2, 2009 (Wednesday) 10AM - 12NN
Balaw Kalinaw, University of the Philippines
Diliman, Quezon City

Welcome Remarks
Teresa S. Encarnacion Tadem
Director
Third World Studies Center
University of the Philippines, Diliman

Lecture
Evelina Dagnino
Professor of Political Science
University of Campinas, Brazil

Open Forum

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


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Click here for DILC's coverage of the 1st lecture. And here for the 2nd lecture.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Climate Justice: A Response to Natural Disasters in the Philippines (A Larry Lohman lecture)




Focus on the Global South-Philippines is holding its bi-annual program “Deconstructing Discourse and Activist Retooling Programme" (DDARP) for 2009, together with Third World Studies Center (TWSC) and the UP department of Political Science, on the issue of climate change. A public lecture entitled "Climate Justice: A response to Natural Disasters in the Philippines" will be given by Mr. Larry Lohman, a well-known expert, activist, and researcher on climate issues for the DDARP, on November 19, 2009 from 10am to 12 noon at Palma Hall 207.

Mr. Lohman will be discussing the natural disasters the world is experiencing—including the recent ones in the Philippines. He will be giving a brief discussion of what really is the issue about climate at present, including an assessment of the international and national responses to climate change. Climate justice as a response to climate change and other alternatives will also be featured. Lastly, he will be providing updates on the progress of climate talks. An open forum will be following the lecture.

Larry Lohmann works with The Corner House, a UK-based research and advocacy organization. His books include Pulping the South:Industrial Tree Plantations in the Global Paper Economy (with Ricardo Carrere) (Zed, 1996) and the edited volume Carbon Trading: A Critical Conversation on Climate Change, Privatization and Power (Dag Hammarskjold Foundation, 2006). He is a founding member of the Durban Group for Climate Justice and his articles have appeared in journals such as Accounting, Organizations and Society; Asian Survey; Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars; Development; International Journal of Environment and Pollution; New Scientist; Race & Class and Science as Culture.



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Wednesday, October 07, 2009

The Flooding of Metro Manila

Amando Doronila's column in today's Philippine Daily Inquirer, "A panorama of zoning chaos," cited the studies done by Dr. Doracie B. Zoleta-Nantes of the UP Department of Geography on the flood hazards in Metro Manila.

Dr. Zoleta-Nant
es forwarded to the TWSC copies of said studies, with the hope that "people might be interested to read [them]; they contain some information which might convince them to put some pressures to our government officials to start paying attention to hazard mitigation, disaster loss reduction and recovery."

Download the papers here.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

The Cory Aquino Leadership: Perspectives from the Social Sciences (A Public Forum)




The Cory Aquino Leadership: Perspectives from the Social Sciences
(A Public Forum)
September 9, 2009 (Wednesday), 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Pulungang Claro M. Recto, Bulwagang Rizal (Faculty Center)
University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City

Speakers: Filomeno V. Aguilar Jr., Randolf S. David, Emmanuel S. de Dios, Amado M. Mendoza Jr., Michael L. Tan

Is there anything left to explain for the social scientists? What part of Cory Aquino have we not understood amidst the very public outpouring of grief and deep gratitude that we, the Filipino nation, have expressed during her passing last August? The University of the Philippines (UP) Third World Studies Center, together with the Office of the UP Diliman Chancellor, the UP Department of Political Science and the Philippine Political Science Association organized this event to counter precisely these concerns, which are borne out of cynicism and our haste to get over the former president’s death. The organizers believe that Cory Aquino’s life as a leader, her experiences, and the decisions she made that still strongly inform our society today, were all drawn from a wide range and sometimes conflicting mix of personal conviction and political positions. Thus, to interpret her life in the same way we attempt to comprehend the nation’s sorrow over her death, there is a need for the different disciplines of the social sciences to come together and share their understanding of her life and legacy. Equally important is the opportunity that this forum will avail to the current generation of students whose idea of her role in the nation’s history is only a faint approximation of that what their elders have lived through. The forum challenges us to go beyond the narrow sentimentality of grief; that it be an occasion not only for old war stories but also for new inquiries about a past and a leader whom we have shown so deserving of our sacrifice, too worthy of our tears.

Program

Welcome Remarks

Ma. Lourdes G. Rebullida
Chair and Professor
Department of Political Science
College of Social Sciences and Philosophy
University of the Philippines-Diliman

Introduction of the Speakers

Speakers

Amado M. Mendoza Jr.
Professor
Department of Political Science
College of Social Sciences and Philosophy
University of the Philippines-Diliman

Randolf S. David
Chair and Professor
Department of Sociology
College of Social Sciences and Philosophy
University of the Philippines-Diliman

Emmanuel S. de Dios
Dean and Professor
School of Economics
University of the Philippines-Diliman
(unavailable)

Filomeno V. Aguilar Jr.
Professor
Department of History
Ateneo de Manila University

Michael L. Tan
Professor and Chair
Department of Anthropology
College of Social Sciences and Philosophy
University of the Philippines-Diliman

Open Forum


Moderator:

Roland S. Fernando II
Senior Lecturer
Department of Political Science
College of Social Sciences and Philosophy
University of the Philippines-Diliman

A transcript of the open forum can be viewed via this link.



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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Public Lecture by Atty. Antonio Oposa Jr., 2009 Ramon Magsaysay Awardee

The Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation through the U.P. Diliman Department of History with the College of Arts and Letters, Third World Studies Center and Center for International Studies invite you to a public lecture by Atty. Antonio Oposa Jr., 2009 Ramon Magsaysay Awardee, on September 1, 2009, 10am-11:30 a.m. at the Pulungang Claro M. Recto, Bulwagang Rizal (Faculty Center), University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City.

Program

Opening Remarks

Ma. Luisa DL. Bolinao, Ph.D.
Chair, Department of History

Welcome Remarks
Elena R. Mirano, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Arts and Letters

Message
Nimfa B. Ogena, Ph.D.
Professor, U.P. Population Institute
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
College of Social Sciences and Philosophy

Lecture
Atty. Antonio Oposa
2009 Ramon Magsaysay Awardee

Discussant
Perry S. Ong, Ph.D.
Professor of Biology and Director
Institute of Biology, U.P. Diliman

Closing Remarks
Cynthia Neri Zayas, Ph.D.
Officer-in-Charge
Center for International Studies
U.P. Diliman

Master of Ceremonies
Alvin Jason A. Camba
Instructor, Department of History
U.P. Diliman


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Click here for Diliman Interactive Learning Center's (DILC) coverage of the lecture.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

U.S. Economic Policy Towards Asia (A Public Lecture)


The School of Economics and the Third World Studies Center, University of the Philippines-Diliman invite you to the lecture of Dr. Marcus Noland (2009 Fulbright-SyCip Distinguished Lecturer) entitled "U.S. Economic Policy Towards Asia," on August 25, 2009 (Tuesday), 4:00 - 5:30 p.m., at the Elizabeth Gokongwei Yu Hall (SE 114), School of Economics, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City.

Dr. Noland has been associated with the Peterson Institute for International Economics since 1985 and a senior fellow since 1994. He will become the Institute's deputy director on September 1, 2009. He has published a dozen institute books on a wide range of topics, including trade policy, industrial policy, the Asian economic crisis, Japan, Korea, the Middle East and Islam, and the Pacific Rim. He is perhaps the world’s leading expert on the economy of North Korea and a top scholar on Korea as a whole, having won the prestigious Ohira Award for 2000–2001 for his book, Avoiding the Apocalypse: The Future of the Two Koreas. Dr. Noland spent a year as a senior economist at the Council of Economic Advisers in the White House in 1993-94. He has taught at Yale University, the East-West Center in Hawaii, Johns Hopkins (where he received his PhD in 1985), the University of Southern California, Tokyo University and Saitama University in Japan, the University of Ghana, and the Korea Development Institute. He is a past president of the Association of Comparative Economic Studies and sits on the editorial boards of numerous scholarly journals.



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Friday, June 26, 2009

Peter Kwong Lecture Series on China


Focus on the Global South
UP Political Science Deparment
UP Third World Studies Center
Philippine Political Science Association

present

Peter Kwong Lecture Series on China



Lecture 1 - China’s “Peaceful rise foreign policy”: Impact and Limitations
July 7, 2009 (Tuesday), 2:30 - 4:00 p.m.
Third World Studies Center, Lower Ground Floor, Palma Hall, UP Diliman

Chinese leaders realizing the historical problems associated with rising powers, initiated “peaceful rise” foreign policy. It is to reassure the United States and the rest of the world that the rise of China will not pose a threat to them, and that they will, in fact, benefit from her economic expansion. China has begun to play a constructive role in international and regional institutions to support economic cooperation and political stability. She has also restored relationships with a host of countries by putting aside thorny problems that had previously impeded their trade and flow of investment. However, China’s arrangements to secure sources of energy and raw material with various governments for her ever growing economy have led to charges that she practices colonial-era unequal exchange – cheap manufacturing goods for raw material. Also, to assure a stable environment for trade, China is accused of building spheres of influence, often by supporting and making alliances with governments, some of whom have dubious political legitimacy. In establishing these spheres of influence, China has come into regular conflicts with the United States—the declining, but still the sole super-power power in the world . Besides, Chinese freedom of action is also constrained by her symbiotic economic relationship with the United States. It often has to operate under institutions set up that favor American interests. In the end, while reemerging on the world stage, China is narrowly focused on national interests, with little attempt to challenge the neo-liberal and neo-colonial global order into a system that would be equitable to the poor, developing and non-align world, which years ago, China claimed to be a member of. Finally, even with the economic ascendancy, Chinese consciousness is infused with the sense of a two centuries long humiliation at the hands of the west. Regular chauvinistic and nationalistic public outbursts threaten to undermine China’s attempt to project her “soft power.”

Lecture 2 - Impact of China’s rise on global labor standards
July 8, 2009 (Wednesday), 2:30 - 4:00 p.m.
Audiovisual room (PH 207), Palma Hall, UP Diliman


China’s recent spectacular expansion is predicated on the low cost of labor, made possible especially by the huge surplus of rural population that is steadily coming to the urban areas in search of work. The collapse of Chinese rural economy has already compelled 250 million farmers to migrate, and millions more every year are expected to keep packing into the labor market. Once in the labor force, these workers enjoy neither benefits nor social-welfare protection of any sort. In fact many of them do not even have “legal” residential status to live in the cities. Existing labor laws are regularly ignored by local authorities in the favor of the employers. Most of all, labor organizing is forbidden and organizers are regularly beaten, harassed and imprisoned. The government prefers this state of affairs, for improvement of labor conditions would only undermine Chinese low-wage advantages internationally, and erect obstacles to creating work for millions of rural migrants rushing to the cities for low-paying factory jobs. Meanwhile, dozens of Chinese interior regions are trying to out-bid each other for foreign investment by offering even lower wages. China’s primitive labor structure has greatly enhanced the power of global capital and placed serious downward pressure on global labor demands. However, as China becomes more and more industrialized and its workers therefore more proletarinized, they will inevitably form an effective movement in opposition to the employers, foreign investors and Chinese authorities. As the largest working class in the world, they will be the vanguard of international labor movements.

Lecture 3 - Chinese are everywhere!
July 9, 2009 (Thursday), 4:00 - 5:30 p.m.
Audiovisual room (PH 207), Palma Hall, UP Diliman

Chinese emigration has surged to produce the largest single emigrant group in the world: over 62 million by the latest estimates have spread to 150 countries around the world. The overseas Chinese population has doubled, and then doubled again during the last two decades. The Chinese emigrants today come from diverse parts of China and represent a wide range of professions. Still the most notable are Chinese emigrants of humble background, who are searching for low-wage jobs and establishing small businesses all around the world. Their number has been increasing further with the helped of Chinese government labor export programs. Not surprisingly, the increased presence of Chinese around the world has created anti-Chinese backlashes in the receiving countries. Typically, the Chinese are accused of undermining domestic labor standards and cultural values. Most often, the Chinese used by the employers in the host country to undermine the indigenous labor movement. The last anti-Chinese hysteria swept through the world during the upsurge in Chinese immigration to the New World in the 19th century. Recruited by greedy employers to work as cheap laborers, the Chinese faced resentment from earlier settlers and suffered racial attacks. Today’s simmering conflicts in many more parts of the world, mixed in with the widespread resentment against Chinese imports and the lingering Cold War-era fear of China, could easily ignite even worse reactions. Chinese government, however, remains indifferent to this ominous prospect. It has no incentive to temper with the exodus of its citizens, which is helping it solve domestic unemployment. It also benefits from the remittances the émigrés send home—some 20 billion U.S. dollars a year. At the same time, Chinese immigration has become an easy issue for politicians in host countries, who are interested in exploiting anti-immigrant sentiment to generate populist support at home.

Lecture 4 - China's one-party rule and global implications
July 10, 2009 (Friday), 2:30 - 4:00 p.m.
Audiovisual room (PH 207), Palma Hall, UP Diliman


One-party rule is the founding principle of socialist systems intended to guarantee the “dictatorship of the proletariat, i.e. the working class. Yet, at present, Chinese Communist party maintains one-party system even though the country is no longer socialist. In fact, the Tiananmen Massacre in 1989 was the party’s attempt to ward-off challenge to its monopolistic hold on the country. During the last two decades the party has enacted no political reforms. The problems of corruption and abuses of the one-party rule go on unimpeded. The result is the mushrooming of political unrests. Workers go on strikes because the government sides with exploitative owners, peasants riot to protest land encroachment by politically connected developers. Independent businessmen are unhappy because they cannot compete fairly against the monopoly of officials. And as China’s economy grew during the past twenty years, so did people’s consciousness of their rights. They are outraged by the lack of legal protection against tyrannical government decisions. Yet the party remains solely focused on maintaining “stability,” so as to hold onto its political power. It is fearful that any relaxation would lead to the dissolution of communist order, just as Gorbachev’s perestroika had done to the Soviet Union. China’s repressive system is rigid but brittle, because it lacks a fail-safe system to ward off serious popular challenges. Ironically, claiming still to be socialist, Chinese government is using the harshest methods to suppress labor organizing. It is the responsibility of labor, overseas Chinese and international human rights communities to put pressure on the government to allow the Chinese people to speak out and to force the government into political reforms. This section will be accompanied by the viewing and discussion of a HBO documentary “China’s Unnatural Disaster,” that I co-produced last year.


About the lecturer: Peter Kwong (PhD Columbia University) is Professor of Asian American Studies and Urban Affairs and Planning at Hunter College and Professor of Sociology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Pareng Barack, Filipinos in Obama's America














Lecturer: Benjamin “Boying” Pimentel

Sponsors: UP Third World Studies Center and Anvil Publishing, Inc.

Date: June 18, 2009 / 2:30-4:00pm

Venue: Third World Studies Center Conference Room

Lower Ground Floor, Palma Hall

University of the Philippines Diliman


Abstract

A little over a month after Barack Obama took the oath of office, the mood and tone in Washington DC has changed dramatically. But, as many had expected, the new American president has had to do a lot of difficult juggling of competing interests in a tough time in US and world history.


The United States is still reeling from the most serious economic downturns since the Great Depression, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are still raging. The Obama Administration has, at different times, baffled and angered the right and the left on its pronouncements and policy decisions when it comes to such issues as the financial rescue package and what to do with detainees at Guantanamo.


But there have been small and even significant signs of a more engaged government in both domestic issues and foreign policy.


For Filipinos in America, Obama’s ability to rebuild a battered economy is clearly important. More than two million people of Filipino descent live in the US, many of them immigrants who also send money to loved ones in the archipelago. The collapse of the economy has hurt them and their families in the Philippines, and Obama’s recovery efforts will be critical.


His administration’s stimulus bill included a benefits package for Filipino American World War II Veterans who have been fighting to receive the same privileges given to regular US military veterans. The package will be a major boost to thousands of Filipino families, although other community advocates say it is inadequate and falls short of true justice for these men.


Immigration and health care are expected to be major issues that Obama will be focusing on in his first year. Both also are of importance to Filipino Americans. Some Filipino American activists, veterans of many battles involving people of color, are gearing up for major changes.


In its dealings with the rest of the world, Obama has won praise for efforts to win over more allies, and reach out to adversaries. However, it’s unclear how much will change when it comes to American policy toward the Philippines. The Visiting Forces Agreement remains a controversial issue for many Filipinos, and the sudden release of the American serviceman convicted of raping a Filipina has angered critics of American presence.

Obama’s own attitude toward the Philippines remains vague. He’s likely to not take a dramatically different approach than the previous administration. That is, he will expect any Philippine administration to be an ally. Gloria Arroyo certainly cannot be expected to raise the issues that advocacy groups deem important to move US-Philippine relations forward.


Obama himself probably won’t pay attention to the issues that are important to segments of the Filipino American community and activist Filipinos in the Philippines – unless these groups manage to put in enough effort to be heard.


My book, Pareng Barack, Filipinos in Obama’s America, came out shortly after the historic election. It explored the reactions of Filipinos in America to his incredible campaign, Filipino American attitudes toward race and the potential impact of Obama’s presidency on both the Filipino community in the United States and the Philippines.


I hope to elaborate on my personal thoughts on how Obama’s leadership has made a difference, and on the questions that remain.


About the Lecturer

Benjamin Pimentel was a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle for 14 years, and now covers technology for Marketwatch. His bestselling book UG, An Underground Tale was published in 2006. His first novel Mga Gerilya sa Powell Street was adapted for the stage by the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Tanghalang Pilipino and won the National Book Award Juan C. Laya for Fiction in 2008.