This thoughtful book explores the enduring tensions between state and society in the Philippines by tracing its history of state formation and the corresponding conflicts and collaborations between state leaders and social forces. One horn of the dilemma is the persistent inability of the state to provide basic services, guarantee peace and order, and foster economic development. The other is Filipinos' equally enduring suspicion of a strong state. The authors explore the development of institutional weakness and ineffectual governance, explain the tension between state centralization and local power, and address major issues of government reform, communist and Islamic resistance to the state, population growth and economic crisis, and the growing Filipino labor diaspora. They focus on how the state has shaped and been shaped by its interaction with social forces, especially in the rituals of popular mobilization that have produced surprising and diverse political results.
Patricio N. Abinales is professor in the School of Pacific and Asian Studies, the University of Hawai`i at Manoa. Donna J. Amoroso (1960-2011) was visiting associate professor at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, Tokyo, and editor of the Kyoto Review of Southeast Asia at the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University.