The Muslim separatist movement in Southern Philippines that began in 1968 has been pursued through several organisations ripe of internal faction and competing ideologies. One of Southeast Asia’s longest armed conflict, the violence in Mindanao reflects not only a lack of unitary vision for its multi-ethnic and multi-linguistic Muslim communities, but also inadequate policies and poor governance on the part of the central government in Manila. In light of the new promises and actions of the Duterte government, the seminar will assess the factors that have historically motivated violence as well as the peace prospects in Mindanao. First, it will trace the shifting definitions of Muslim ethno-nationalism, in an attempt to understand the genesis and plight of Bangsamoro, currently represented by the influential Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). The seminar will also address the tension between the right to self-determination and the defence of territorial integrity by the sovereign Philippine state, especially since the presence of foreign intervention and transnational terrorist movements. Lastly, the seminar will analyse the factors that affect the security landscape on the ground, from patronage networks and inter-clan rivalry to the rise of militias and the involvement of external security forces.
About the Speaker:
Nathan Gilbert Quimpo is a long-time political activist in the Philippines before turning to an academic career, is currently an associate professor of political science and international relations at the University of Tsukuba, Japan. He has taught at the University of the Philippines, University of Amsterdam and Sophia University (Tokyo). Quimpo has authored Contested Democracy and the Left in the Philippines after Marcos (Yale University Southeast Asia Studies and Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2008), co-authored Subversive Lives: A Family Memoir of the Marcos Years (Ohio University Press, 2016, and Anvil 2012), and co-edited The U.S. and the War on Terror in the Philippines (Anvil, 2008) and The Politics of Change in the Philippines (Anvil, 2010). He has published articles in Comparative Politics, Pacific Review, Asian Survey, Southeast Asian Affairs, Critical Asian Studies and Journal of Asian Security and International Affairs. His research and teaching interests include: democracy, democratization and democratic governance; conflict and peace studies; political corruption; and Southeast Asian politics.