Democracy and Human Rights Program
Welfare and Violence in Contemporary Philippines: Hoping for “Rebirth”
DateNovember 15 (Wed.), 2023
PlaceRoom #3302, Mercury Tower
Event Outline

On November 15, the Institute for Global Governance Research (GGR) hosted the 22nd GGR Brown Bag Lunch Seminar “Welfare and Violence in Contemporary Philippines: Hoping for ‘Rebirth,’” with Wataru Kusaka (Professor, Graduate School of Global Studies, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies). Professor Kusaka began his field research in 1997 and has been studying contemporary Philippine society and politics.

Professor Kusaka analyzed why the Filipino people, who were once at the forefront of the People Power Revolution, now seek a strong government, viewing this change as a “rebirth” of Filipino society. He explained that around the year 2000, freedom prevailed, with relationships as the foundation of people’s lives. However, since the 2010s, “discipline” (disiplina), which is neither freedom nor democracy, has permeated Philippine society. He analyzed that although the global service industry has contributed to economic growth, a significant number of people who haven’t attained stable success resonate with the concept of disiplina. He argued that the narratives of “new heroes” and “self-sacrifice” functioned as a discourse pushing individuals into the neoliberal labor market. This discourse demands “discipline” for those who avoid “self-sacrifice” and pursue illicit interests (traditional elites and criminals), while requiring “care” from the state for those who sacrifice, resulting in the coexistence of welfare and violence.

【Event report prepared by】
Minhee JEONG (Doctoral student, Graduate School of Law, Hitotsubashi University)