From Southeast Asia to Europe: Tracing the Roots and Routes of Transpacific Radicalism
Time & LocationSession 3
Wed 13:30–15:00 Room 1.401
- Vina A. Lanzona University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
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- Filipinos and Fascism Florentino Rodao Universidad Complutense
The ideas related to Fascism arrived to the Philippines in different ways, first mostly associated with Mussolini and after 1936, influenced by the impact of the Spanish Civil War in the Philippines and the internal disputes within the Spanish community. The main character was Miguel R. Cornejo, who besides compiling and publishing the Cornejo's Commonwealth Directory of the Philippines (1939) strove to find a political space in the Philippines. After being a two-term Municipal President (Mayor) of the City of Pasay, and an elected member of the Philippine Legislature (Congress) in the 1920s, Cornejo founded the Philippine's Fascist Party and after 1937 moved to different alliances.
- From Manila to Madrid: Filipinos and Filipino-American Brigadistas in the Spanish Civil War Vina A. Lanzona University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
The Spanish Civil War (1936-39) was a watershed in the history of modern Spain, but its impact was not confined to Spain. The war sparked fierce international debate and Spain quickly became a symbol of the conflict between fascism and democracy in the 1930’s. These issues engaged Filipino radicals and activists in the Philippines and in the diaspora, some of whom joined the Communist Party (CPUSA) and enlisted in the International Brigades. Despite the recent explosion of memoirs and books about the International Brigades, these Filipino brigadistas have been largely ignored, their experiences hardly mentioned in books about the Spanish Civil War. My paper traces Filipinos and Filipino-Americans who fought in the Spanish Civil War, reconstructs the networks of transpacific radicalism from which they came, and explores the debate about the Spanish Civil War in the Philippines and the United States in the period before World War II. The stories of Filipinos and Filipino-Americans who served in Spain are important in themselves, and telling them will help reconstruct an important but largely submerged history of transpacific radicalism.
- From Manila to Utrecht: Diffusion and Scale Shift of the Philippine Revolutionary Movement Sharon Quinsaat Grinnell College
Using social movement theory, I provide an analysis of the organized resistance against the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos in the Netherlands—a non-traditional country of destination for Filipino migrants and exiles. I show that two processes were central in the emergence and development of this movement—the political socialization of transnational movement adherents (Dutch solidarity activists) in the Philippines and migration of political entrepreneurs (members of the National Democratic Front [NDF]) to the Netherlands. Both actors possessed social and cultural capital and served as brokers—the former to European social movements while the latter to the transnational network of the NDF—to facilitate the mobilization of material and symbolic resources based on the political culture in those countries. Thus, I argue that the histories of the Philippine revolutionary movement and European solidarity activism are inextricably linked as they interacted and influenced each other in the course of political contention. In analyzing the rise and evolution of diaspora movements in relation to and dependent on other actors in contention—such as solidarity groups, political parties, and nongovernment organizations—I provide insight into the development dynamics of transnational resistance.
- Giving Back Ownership and Control of Water Services to the Public Sector: The Philippine Experience in the Context of Global Civil Society Movements Across Regions Teresa Tadem University of the Philippines Diliman
Starting in the 1980s, privatization became the preferred policy of governments for economic development and the delivery of public services. This was a response to the global economic crisis in most of the developed and developing countries. Following World Bank and International Monetary Fund conditionalities and prescriptions for structural adjustment loan packages to stem the impact of the crisis on developing countries, privatization policies were introduced. In general privatization went hand in hand with deregulation and economic liberalization – the three mantras of a neo-liberal development strategy. The promise of privatization, however, remains unfulfilled. Patronage and corruption have accompanied privatization efforts and it has brought about inequalities as well as inefficiency in the delivery of services.
This has spawned a global movement across developed and developing regions to reclaim public services. The Philippines is of no exception and this paper will highlight its experience as it is mirrored with those of other countries in Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas. This has led to active campaigns and actual initiatives for alternatives to water privatization by citizens’ movements and local governments under the concept of bringing back ownership and control of water services to the public sector. The underlying principle informing these alternatives is that access to water is a human right rather than a market transaction driven by the corporate profit motive.
Since the 19th century, Southeast Asian nationalists from Jose Rizal to Ho Chi Minh traversed national and colonial boundaries and crossed oceans in pursuit of what Benedict Anderson calls as educational and political “pilgrimages.” In Europe and America, they found kindred spirits and allies for intellectual enlightenment and political solidarity, and these relationships helped shape nationalist and independence movements in Southeast Asia.
In the 20th century, Southeast Asian activists and radicals continued this tradition. Many enlisted in the Spanish Civil War, studied in Russia, organized labor unions in the United States, forged alliances with international radical organizations to raise funds and support causes back home. This panel looks at the roots and nature of such movements—these circuits of transpacific and transoceanic radicalism—and to trace the routes Southeast Asian radicals took to support revolutionary causes at home and abroad.