Presented by the Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology and the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University together with the School of Social Sciences of the Ateneo de Manila University.
Half a century after Ferdinand Marcos Sr. put the Philippines under the grip of authoritarian rule, his son is elected as the republic’s 17th president. The election of Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to the nation’s highest office, on the same year that the 50th anniversary of Martial Law is being commemorated, heralds a turning point in Philippine history necessitating a critical reassessment of the country’s darkest years in the 20th century. What has the historic authoritarian turn, embodied by the enactment of Martial Law, meant for the political economy of development in the Philippines? This question gathers particular significance as the return of a Marcos to national power fuels fears of historical revisionism, particularly in the portrayal of touted achievements of Marcos Sr. The deployment of political economy lens in assessing the consequences of Martial Law also enriches contemporary debates on industrialization, sustainable development, neoliberalism and global market integration, and inclusive growth.
This paper revisits the lasting imprint left by privatizations after the EDSA Revolution on the development of capitalism in the Philippines in the early 21st century, with an emphasis on path-dependence, unintended consequences, and domestic technocratic and bureaucratic actors.
Focusing on the efforts of the Presidential Commission on Government Reorganization (PCGR) in the late 1980s, it re-evaluates how a specific understanding of the state’s role in the economy was developed through the reorganization of crony- and state-owned enterprises. It proposes that consequential features of privatization were not the outcome of an ideologically-coherent liberalization. Instead, they were part of a moralized “De-Marcosification” process: liquidating crony-owned or inefficient state investments to fund agrarian reform. This practice of linking proceeds from privatizations to specific policy objectives, in the form of “special accounts”, had since proliferated across the Philippine government. Key development and policy objectives were linked to the speed and constancy of asset liquidation, and became decisive in how privatizations in the 1990s and 2000s were implemented.
Critical urban scholarship has an unstated canon. The core concepts of this canon had been developed in response to North/Western experiences by North/Western experts, have been circulated and universalized through knowledge practices with roots in Empire, and now exert a distortive influence on scholarship from and on, the global South.
In this paper I propose an epistemic sense of “countermapping”: naming the ways mundane practices of critical urban scholarship reinscribe the cartographic practices of Empire, and showing how key features of present landscapes of class power and dispossession may be better described by explicitly Southern modes of knowing.
Enclosed and deliberately-idled land is a persistent feature of urban Philippine landscapes. These are dispossessions: their presence means land is withdrawn from beneficial use, and they contribute to artificially-high land prices.