Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Insurgents, Clans, and States: Political Legitimacy and Resurgent Conflict in Muslim Mindanao (A Round Table Discussion with Francisco "Pancho" J. Lara Jr., PhD)

14 November 2011 (Monday)
10:30 a.m.-12:00 noon

Conference Room
Third World Studies Center
Lower Ground Floor
Palma Hall
College of Social Sciences and Philosophy
Roxas Avenue, University of the Philippines
Diliman, Quezon City

Moro separatist insurgents enjoyed widespread legitimacy during decades of conflict with the national government. But after gaining access to sub-national state power through the “autonomous” government in Muslim Mindanao, they failed to maintain legitimacy, could not sustain their political authority and did not deliver on lasting peace and development in their region. The discussion, based on Pancho Lara’s Ph.D. dissertation at LSE, will attempt to explain the above puzzle concerning processes of political and institutional change in Mindanao since the 1996 peace agreement. 

Lara argues that explanations which understand legitimacy purely in terms of democratic institutions are inadequate and ignore the local institutional foundations from which authority evolves. Drawing upon 18 months of fieldwork in Mindanao, he examines the interaction between rival institutions that shaped political legitimacy, revealing how local strongmen harnessed clan institutions to trump other institutional sources of legitimacy. 

Insurgents who surrendered their arms in exchange for formal authority could not compete with powerful clans who delivered basic security; relied on increasing amounts of internal revenue allotments under a regime of devolution; and, enabled the spread of a shadow economy that boosted their incomes and allowed local citizens to secure their livelihoods with little taxation by the state. Political legitimacy was achieved through a process where rulers entered into bargains with other elite groups and embedded these within a larger social contract with citizens that addressed their demand for security and the basic conditions for economic survival. 



Francisco J. Lara, Jr., is the Philippine Country Director of Alert International, UK and obtained his PhD degree at the Department of International Development / Development Studies Institute (DESTIN) of the London School of Economics and Political Science. 

This round table discussion is organized by the Asian Regional Exchange for New Alternatives (ARENA Philippines) and the UP Third World Studies Center.

Please click here for the playlist of the video recordings of the discussion.

Monday, October 10, 2011

In the Philippines, Giving Birth Kills (Maternal Mortality in the Philippines): A Video Documentary

Entitled "In the Philippines, Giving Birth Kills: Maternal Mortality in the Philippines," this video documentary was produced as part of the Students for Development Program of the University of Montreal's Faculty of Education and Department of Political Science, in cooperation with the UP Third World Studies Center.

This documentary gives a general overview of current practices in reproductive health in the Philippines. It gives a special focus on the state of public health services provided for Filipino mothers.

Students Nicolas Descroix and Audrey-Maud Tardif from the University of Montreal and Barbie Jane L. Rosales and Cherry E. Sun from the University of the Philippines-Diliman constituted the production team for this documentary.

Please click here to access the documentary.

Choosing Food Sovereignty in the Philippines: A Video Documentary

This video documentary entitled "Choosing Food Sovereignty in the Philippines" was sponsored by the Third World Studies Center (TWSC), Southeast Asia Regional Initiatives for Community Empowerment (SEARICE) and Centre d'Études et de Recherches International de l'Université de Montréal (CERIUM).

Based on the workshop "Southeast Asian Perspectives on Food Sovereignty," which was held in October 2010 at the TWSC, this documentary presents the current agricultural situation in the Philippines and the challenges of adopting the food sovereignty framework in the country.

This documentary was produced by Ms. Arca Arguelles Caouette, a TWSC volunteer-intern.

Please click here to access the documentary.