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Philippine Social Movements and Contemporary Contestations over Models of Economic Development

Teresa S. Encarnacion Tadem


This paper provides an overview of Philippine social movements that have challenged the dominant models of economic development through three major periods in the country’s history, i.e., the pre-martial law, martial law, and post-martial law periods. The major bone of contention was the need to address poverty, underdevelopment, and glaring socio-economic inequalities. A foremost advocacy is the need for agrarian reform, as well as the search for a development alternative to the International Monetary Fund/World Bank development model which emphasizes liberalization, the market, and privatization, as enshrined in the current neo-liberal development framework. The struggle of social movements and their advocacies and strategies is contextualized during the changing political and economic dispensations during these time periods. Gains and increments have been attained in pursuing their goals and objectives, but social movements continue to confront an arduous challenge, given the hegemony of the alliance of local and global elites.

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