AbstractsPolitical Science


The thesis analyzes five national peace coalitions that emerged in the Philippines from 2001-2010 and that advocated a peaceful resolution of the armed conflict between the National Democratic Front and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines. By drawing on the literature on social movements within sociology and political science, it discusses what role political opportunities and mobilizing structures played in their formation. Secondly, it seeks to map out which functions of peacebuilding the five coalitions have played in the armed conflict. Finally, it looks at whether the coalitions have been able to form broad alliances with civil society groups, churches and different sectors of the society that cross political and ideological boundaries, and whether they have been able to form linkages with grass roots groups at the regional and local level. The main finding is that the shifting political climate after the 9/11 attacks in 2001 and the all-out war policy of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was the most important reason for the formation of the “second wave” of peace coalitions from 2001-2004. For the "third wave" of peace coalitions from 2005-2010, however, The influence of foreign donors and internal, organizational factors played the major role, not political conjunctures. Furthermore, there was a shift in the nature of peace coalitions in the two periods. The peace coalitions that originated in the “second wave” were confined to the Metro Manila region, were ideologically divided and focused on protest-oriented advocacy. The two peace coalitions that emerged from 2005-2010, however, were able to transcend ideological divisions. In addition, they expanded their geographical outreach to the provinces and local communities, and broadened their repertoire of peacebuilding functions from advocacy to peace education, monitoring and protection.