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Identity-building and democracy in the Philippines: national failure and local responses in Mindanao

Identitätsbildung und Demokratie auf den Philippinen: nationale Erfolglosigkeit und lokale Antworten in Mindanao
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Neumann, Hannah

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Abstract The case of the Philippines provides an interesting example of how post-colonial governments in Southeast Asia are trying to govern multi-ethnic nations. The Philippines, despite being the country in Asia with the most vibrant civil society, is still dealing with a war on the southern island of Mindanao – a war fuelled by, rather than abated by, national dynamics of identity-construction and social practices of democracy. This paper looks into these protracted national dynamics and their influence on the conflict in Mindanao. It further contrasts those with local, predominantly civil-society-based, approaches of identity re-construction and decision-making that have changed the situation for many communities on the ground, but that haven't so far had much impact on the national setting. Therefore, the final part of the paper assesses the impact of local civil-society initiatives and draws conclusions on how those could provide blueprints for national solutions and complement high-level peace talks.
Keywords Philippines; Southeast Asia; developing country; post-colonial society; democratization; civil society; construction; influence; peacekeeping; conflict; Islam; Christianity; ethnic group; local factors; decision making
Classification Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture
Method descriptive study
Free Keywords Area Studies; Peace and Conflict Studies; Philippines; Mindanao; civil society; democracy; identity; Southeast Asia; Mindanao; 1900-2010; ethnographic research combined with literature review
Document language English
Publication Year 2010
Page/Pages p. 61-90
Journal Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs, 29 (2010) 3
ISSN 1868-4882
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works