Human Rights and the “State”
The conventional wisdom has been that any potential human rights advancement lies in strengthening the state. This has been especially convenient as it matches the goals of the international economic and political community to strengthen the system of states for self-serving reasons. The two-level research project investigating both elite and grass-roots perceptions of how governance works, and the paired case studies of two human rights initiatives, a nuanced view emerges of the strengths and weaknesses of a statist discourse in a place that is considered to be an etatization and democratization success story. The international forces that have produced the hollow state are not going anywhere, and in fact may be strengthening with globalization. Environmental non-governmental organizations (NGOs) took stands against such bills, organizing grassroots campaigns with the full and very visible involvement of the local barangay captains.