For more than a century now, the Philippines has been at the forefront of democracy in the Southeast Asian region. Since the early 1990s, the country has sought to institutionalize democratic processes, which aim to meaningfully engage Filipinos in the public and political spheres. In line with its efforts of strengthening its electoral systems, it has also taken a leading role in the region in promoting and protecting the rights of voters with disabilities by becoming one of the first States Parties to ratify the United Nations convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). A key provision of the UNCRPD is affording voters with disabilities the equal opportunity to engage in every electoral process on an equal basis with other abled-bodied voters. However, in spite of recent developments, the Philippines has yet to effectively implement disability-inclusive electoral policies and processes that would not only engage able-bodied Filipino voters but also one of the country’s largest minority community—Filipino voters with disabilities. This paper examines the effectiveness of the Philippine government in ensuring that Filipino voters with disabilities are guaranteed with and are able to exercise their right to suffrage. Using a mixed method approach and the disability convention (DisCo) policy framework, this research evaluates the content of existing legislative measures relating to the country’s electoral system, the corresponding executive and budgetary support to implement electoral laws and policies for Filipino voters with disabilities, the administrative and coordinating capacity of implementing electoral agencies, the prevailing attitude of the society towards Filipino voters with disabilities, and the degree of participation of Filipino voters with disabilities in the development of Philippine electoral laws and policies.
Ron Bridget T. Vilog and Marie Donna M. Ballesteros
This paper examines the risk perception of Filipino nurses who worked in Libya during the height of post-2011 crisis. The narratives reveal that Filipino nurses took advantage of the massive hiring campaign organized by Libya’s Ministry of Health in 2012, hoping that their migration experiences would result in economic and social rewards as they established their careers in the healthcare industry. After 2 years of adjustment to the conflict-ridden environment, they found themselves situated in another episode of civil war, once again defying the Philippine government’s mandatory repatriation program. Guided by Carretero’s (Risk-taking in unauthorised migration, 2008) thesis, we observed the mechanism of defiance that entails risk-taking as the political crisis loomed. Filipino nurses, especially those who initially refused to leave Libya, embraced an “illusion of control” that eventually reinforced an “unrealistic optimism.” These risk-minimizing strategies have successfully undermined the protective powers of the state. The paper argues that Filipino migrants in crisis zones like Libya undertake risk calculation and reduction, albeit with a tendency to commit risk denial and a false sense of empowerment and exceptionality. In the end, however, it is emphasized that these mechanisms have limitations, depending on the experiences, timing, and risk interpretation of the migrants.
Benjamin A. San Jose
The Philippines is one of the top migrant sending countries and is often lauded as a model migrant country due to its skilled migrant labor force, high remittance rates and forward-thinking government policies. However, it is often criticized for its policies of exploitative labor migrant export, its dependency to migrant remittances, and its failure to offer migrant protection. In recent years, scholars and policy makers have suggested using human security as an approach to address the challenges of migration. By bringing the focus away from the state to becoming people-centered, human security aims to address the problems of statelessness, the lack of migrant protection, human rights, and offers long-term solutions to migration. Since the Philippines is highly dependent on migrant labor and is in the forefront of promoting migrant conditions in the international arena, some relevant questions can be raised: what are the role and benefits of using a human security approach for migrants? How does the Philippines attempt to secure human security for its migrants? Has the Philippines achieved human security for its migrants? This paper argues that as the Philippines grew more dependent on labor migration, human security for migrants is attempted by the state through an institutionalized set of policies and assumptions. The promise of migrant welfare and human security is premised on the following points: creating better policies and institutionalizing migrant state agencies, creating national laws together with bilateral and multilateral agreements on migration and in recent years, and the promotion of migration and development initiatives. While these attempts may hold promise, they suffer from limitations on implementation and sustainability. In the final analysis, human security can only be achieved by working towards a national dialogue on migration where stakeholders from the state, civil society organizations, and migrant groups participate in the national debate on the future of migration. Only by reaching a national dialogue on responsive and long-term policies that are grounded in human security can the country go beyond the view that migration and development policies are a catch-all panacea to the problems of migrant protection and long-term economic development in the homeland.
Elaine Tolentino and Myungsik Ham
This paper aims to analyze the asymmetric dilemma facing the Philippines and China in the South China Sea tensions. Among American East Asian allies, the Philippines seems to stand on the frontline between two rival powers, the United States and China. Since the US declared its Pivot to Asia policy, the Philippines’ foreign policy towards China has become assertive and sometimes appears reckless with some military adventures against Chinese maritime patrols and naval ships, which also further forced China to take a tougher foreign policy against the Philippines. Considering the distinctive asymmetric indicators between China and the Philippines based on military forces, economic capacity, territorial size, and population, the aggressive policy behaviors that the Philippines and China have been displaying against each other cast an inquiry on what drives the two countries into head-to-head collision. While China as the larger power vis-à-vis the Philippines as the smaller power in the relationship has aimed for control and domination of their disputed territory, the Philippines’ drastic defiance has also led to China’s irritation and possible frustration. Furthermore, the US’ renewed attention to Asia has caused shifts of asymmetric bilateral dilemma to triangular entanglement between the US–China–Philippines. It is vital therefore to pay attention to the asymmetric interaction of states and their varying views in order to find possible solutions to the SCS tensions.
Innocent Chirisa, Elmond Bandauko and Nyasha Takawira Mutsindikwa
This paper is a case in distributive politics (and hinges on land-based power dynamics) arguing that in the absence of state capacity to provide for housing, housing cooperatives have emerged and controlled largely by patronage. In this case, there is exclusion of those individuals, households and families not politically connected; and this has deep and undesired consequences in the management of urban areas in the end. In the Greater Harare urban (and peri-urban) landscape, the housing cooperatives have the power to control their members with respect to the contributions that each member can make in terms of finance and sweat equity (labor). Nevertheless, land as a resource remains a prerogative of the state, which the ZANU PF regime has controlled for a span of more than 30 years now. Housing cooperatives in Harare, as elsewhere in the country, try to identify with ZANU PF as a party identifying with conservativism enshrined in the existing laws (albeit the New Constitution that came about in 2013) and a party advocating for equity in the distribution of the land. Cooperatives have become a tool in which ZANU PF has re-asserted its influence and hegemony.
N’Dri Therese Assie-Lumumba
In their respective struggles for liberation the Asians and Africans, as oppressed people, joined forces in the first half of the 20th century by forming several pre-Bandung organizations. On the African side people of African descent, from the continent and the Diaspora, united to provide the leadership for substantive participation to the common African-Asian front that led to the Bandung conference of April 18-24 1955. The intelligentsia of African descent, including young students in Western Europe and the United States, played leadership roles in shaping the movements. Among them are W. E. B. Du Bois of the United States and Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana. In terms of the post-Bandung establishment of enduring legacies, it is worth indicating that the resolutions and some of their applications led to global coalitions including the Non-Aligned Movement and G77 within the United Nations. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary that was marked by the April 22-24 2005 Asian-African Summit held in Indonesia African and Asian leaders decided to rekindle the spirit of Bandung and renew their commitment to attain its goal through renewed cooperation between Asia and Africa in adopting the New Asian-African Strategic Partnership (NAASP). Despite the continued challenges that African countries face in varying degrees, a regained confidence building on their assets, especially with different generations of people of the continent and historic and recent Diaspora, with it would be possible to build a global front toward the reaffirmation of global common humanity guided by the spirit of Bandung.
Muhammad Faisal Awan
This paper attempts to explore the socio-political and economic dimensions of increasingly becoming popular rise of the Global South. It is argued that the slogan of the rise of Global South which seemingly implies that the Global South in its pursuit of development as an ideal will end up being different than the North is questionable. Scholars have long debated on the nature and spirit of development in South and explain the rising South either in terms of gradual expansion of Westernization or in terms of emerging indigenous alternate model of development or alternate modernity. This distinction in describing the emerging economies rely primarily on the specific use of notion of capital as somewhat Western and the culture it produces as Western culture or either in the sense of internalizing the spirit of capital yet maintaining distinctive identity (other than the Western) which tends to reflect in the vocabulary of the Global South. This is to argue here that the spirit of capital is neither West nor East. And similarly it is neither North nor South. It is only the question of when and how the forces underlying capitalism will emerge in particular geography. The development discourse emerged primarily after the WWII put all post-colonial nations pursuing development instead of questioning it. There may have been changes in the vocabulary of development in the Global South to adjust in local cultures and perhaps also in the structure. There may have been call for alternate modernity. Notwithstanding the spirit remains the same. It is in this backdrop locating or understanding the very notion of the East not as a homogenous civilization but rather a pool of civilizations intending to express power of traditions in transitions becomes important. The purpose of this paper is to understand the withering traditions of East in the Global South development process dominated by the spirit of Capitalism. It is asked in environmental debate that can capitalism go green, in the political and cultural realm I would try to explore can capitalism go East in the Global South; can traditions survive in transitions? If not then Why?
In April 1955, a historic conference was held in Bandung, Indonesia. Political leaders from 29 Asian and African countries gathered on the initiative of the leaders from China, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, and Myanmar, to address the issues about economic co-operation, self-determination, decolonization and the peace. These ideas contributed to the creation of the non-alignment movement (NAM). However, in Africa, Nkrumah’s proposal for political unity was defeated, which led to the creation of the Organization of the African Unity as a compromise. NAM was later penetrated from within by the forces of imperialism, notably dictatorships and authoritarian regimes supported by the United States, the Soviet Union, the former colonial powers and their local cronies, weakening its functionality.
Mohhamed Anwar Hossen
This paper explores the ecological effects of the top-down Ganges Basin water management systems in Chapra, Bangladesh, based on my ethnographic fieldworka data collected in 2011-12. An example of this top-down system is the Farakka Barrage in India that causes major ecological system failures and challenges to community livelihoods. The reduction in Ganges Basin water flow in Bangladesh based on the pre and post Farakka comparison is helpful in understanding these failures and their effects on community livelihoods. My argument is that basin communities are capable of becoming empowered by Ganges Basin water management and failures in the management create major challenges to the livelihood of these communities. In this context, I analyze the current Ganges Basin management practices, focusing specifically on the Joint River Commission and the 1996 Ganges Treaty between India and Bangladesh, and their effects on the basin communities in Chapra. My fieldwork data point out that the current shortcomings in basin management can be overcome with an improved management system. Water governance based on a multilateral approach is a way to restore the basin’s ecological systems and promote community empowerment. Based on this empowerment argument, this paper is divided into the following major sections: importance of the basin ecosystems for protecting community livelihoods, limitations of current basin management practices and community survival challenges, and proposed water governance for community empowerment.