Making Mindanao: Cotabato and Davao in the Formation of the Philippine Nation-state

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ADMU Press, 2000 - Political Science - 235 pages

Southern Mindanao became the battleground of two major rebellions in the 1970s: one sought to create a separate Muslim state, and the other--a communist insurgency--aspired to overthrow the Philippine state. Standard explanations of these rebellions point to the explosive combination of historic ethnic disputes, massive demographic changes accompanying the closure of the frontier, rising class inequalities, the entry of transnational capital, and the militarization of southern Mindanao.

While not denying explanatory value to these arguments, this book rejects ethnicity and political economy as the dominant causes. Making Mindanao argues that colonial construction of the state and its subsequent transformation from the colonial to the post colonial period largely shaped Mindanao's political landscape. The book thus focuses on how local power was determined by state formation and how the state's ability to establish its authority was mediated by mutual accommodation between strong men who controlled this frontier zone. It compares Cotabato and Davao to show the process of state formation and the shaping of local power from the American period (1900-1941) to the eye of the declaration of martial law by Ferdinand Marcos (1946-1972).

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