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Civil society fragmentation may have significant implications for rural development initiatives, such as agrarian reform program implementation. This paper assesses the issue by looking at civil society participation and cleavages in the enactment of the 2009 Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms (CARPER) in the Philippines. CARPER was promoted by a coalition of social and political movements, including the Catholic Church and peasant and farmer groups aligned with centre-left political organizations. It was however opposed by two discordant groups: the leftist national democratic bloc of people’s organizations and legislators, and conservative landlords. A Gramscian framework is adapted to describe the hegemonic relations affecting three engaged organizations from the civil society spectrum and to assess potential convergences among them.

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In: Asian International Studies Review

Historians of colonial-era Java have produced considerable debate about how the Dutch colonial era Cultivation System (1830-1870) brought prosperity to the Netherlands in contrast with the fortunes of Javanese societies under the imposition of mandatory production quotas. Separately, palm oil plantation agriculture in contemporary Indonesia, since the mid-1990s, has sparked a different debate on the state’s power to direct development over biodiversity and the rights and existence of Indigenous People. In comparative-historical analysis, the structures of domination in each era provide useful symmetries: the speed of implementation; the realization of extraordinary profits; the adverse incorporation of local communities; and environmental impacts. However, the enabling conditions that underpinned and sustained both the colonial era Cultivation System and the contemporary palm oil boom remain to be explored and applied to the paired agencies of investment capital and the developmental state. From historical accounts, four enabling conditions emerge: a catalyzing crisis; close control over information flows; maintaining an official monopoly over order and violence; and an official discourse intolerant of dissent or resistance. These symmetries in comparison permit an assessment of the state’s role as an agent for an antidevelopment double-action: what Harvey calls “Accumulation by Dispossession” and Santos (2007) calls “Epistemicide.”

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In: Asian International Studies Review

Extraordinary political transitions in 2016 in two middle-income developing countries, Brazil and the Philippines, may adversely affect efforts to reduce poverty and gender/social inequalities through Conditional Cash Transfers (‘CCTs’). This paper investigates institutional conditions governing CCTs in these two countries and reflects on the potential impacts of policy incursions. The proposition here is that sound developmental programmes can produce broad and compelling within-institution influences as well as causal cross-institution linkages in other domains. New and quickly successful programmes can also be targets for policy assaults and subversions. How resilient are social protection institutions like CCTs to political shocks? Applying Levitsky and Way’s (2015) concept of timing and sequencing in authoritarian regime durability to the question of institutional resilience, this comparative-historical case study aims to examine three issues: the processes traced by CCT evolution that in each case relate to institutional resilience, the factors contributing to policy shocks, and the resilience of CCTs in response to seismic macro-political change. The approach takes varieties of knowledge as a valuable alternative to neoliberal structures of domination and contributes to the important and urgent need to understand social protection institutions as human development resources of variable durability.

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In: Asian International Studies Review

Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) programs disburse cash grants to targeted recipient families under requirements for education and maternal health. These programs have been widely adopted with international donor assistance since the 1990s. Most CCT research examines program effectiveness at the demand level-the cash provision and compliance outcomes. This paper considers the respective supply-side question of health and education budgeting in Brazil and the Philippines during the relevant period of CCT implementation. The data provide that whereas Brazil has improved such access to services to complement its CCT programs, the Philippines has underinvested in supply-side provision. Brazil thus exhibits an integrated conceptualization of social protection for development. The Philippines exhibits a patchwork scheme for short term goals.

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In: Asian International Studies Review