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PANEL 2: Critical Perspectives in Security and International Relations

Chair and Discussant: John Harvey D. Gamas (Ateneo de Davao University)
– Assistant Professor and Chair of International Studies department

2.1 Critic of Realism towards a Normative Theory of International Relations
Francisco III Riodique (San Sebastian College Recoletos, Manila)
– MA student and Lecturer
Abstract: This paper deals with the question what are the possibilities of a Normative Theory of International Relations to supplant Realism in promoting not only a better understanding of IR but of promoting better international relations as well. This is done by first outlining how realism became a dominant force in IR theorizing thus affecting the multitude of IR scholarship. Realism has been seen as a perfect lens for capturing the objective reality of international relations. This paper will provide for a critique of realism (scientific realism) in order to prove that IR is not comparable to a physical science hence cannot objectively capture the reality if international politics. This will be done by pointing out that IR scholarship greatly affects international relations itself. Discussions on this part will be facilitated by my critique of Wendt’s defense of the objectivity of scientific realism. IR theories cannot capture the objective stance of international politics because IR theories influence the discourse and outcomes of international relations. This will now in turn pave the way for a more normative approach to IR theorizing. As a conclusion, since realism cannot really capture objectively international politics, a more normative theory of IR is possible to supplant it. In effect IR theorizing can discuss how scholarship in IR can influence international relations for the better.

2.2 The Security Predicament of a Weak State: Imprints of Colonial Legacy and Bureaupathologies in Philippine South China Sea Policy 1987-2015
Robert Joseph P. Medillo (De La Salle University, Manila)
– MA candidate in Political Science
Abstract: The propensity of scholars to provincialize the Third World in security studies is motivated by the dominance of Western orthodoxy in International Relations (IR). This study argues that in order to integrate the Third World, it requires a deconstruction of the Westphalian State via enquiry on state-making with focus on colonial legacy and bureaucratic politics. Using Ayoob’s theory of Subaltern Realism with the aid of the historical method, this study takes off from an observation which presupposes that the twin pressures of late state making and late entry to the international system are generative of Third World security predicaments. The study’s examination of Philippine SCS policy decisions under different leaderships since democratic transitions of1946 and 1987 confirmed that the twin pressures operated in two general ways: (1) The imprints of US colonial legacy remain componential in the assessment and calculation of national security interests; (2) The cultivation of traditional-elitist democracy weakens bureaucratic mandate to constitute sustainable and credible policy. To overcome these problems, the solution lies in a sustained capacity building of policy institutions to withstand external and internal political realities. Furthermore, the Philippines’ experience in dealing with the South China Sea dispute offers unit-variable insights necessary for the indigenization of national security and foreign policy.

2.3 The Cosmopolarity of Sex Trafficking: Liquefying Solutions to a Liquid Problem
Archill Niña Capistrano (University of San Carlos, Cebu)
– Faculty member of the Department of Political Science, School of Law and Governance
Abstract: The nation-states’ role as traditional guarantor of people’s security has been under attack given the rise of non-traditional security threats particularly from increased mobility and interconnectedness in a globalizing world. However, the fluidity of security threats continues to be met with state-centric remedies. This paper directs attention to trafficking in persons as a human security issue arising from increased mobility within and beyond nation-states. It points out how these conditions of fluidity polarize privilege and vulnerability amidst the cosmopolitan trappings of globalization. In problematizing security, it argues for consciousness to a “cosmopolarity” that harkens to the North-South divide with security-based tension situated from the shared vulnerability of “sending” states and of both local population and “labor exports” to the dangers of sex tourism and of human (sex) trafficking as against destination states. This cosmopolar framework provincializes Zygmunt Bauman’s concept of liquid modernity in the context of the Philippines in general and in Cebu in particular. In contrasting frames and approaches of states and non-state actors such as the global civil society in tandem with their local counterparts, this paper contends that “liquid” problems such as trafficking in persons in general and sex trafficking in particular require more than “solid” state-centric solutions.

2.4 Understanding Global Ethical Practices of HIV-AIDS Program of Selected Asia and African Regions and its Implications for International Relations
Jed P. Acero (University of Mindanao or UM)
– Sta. Ana High School teacher and a visiting instructor at UM
Abstract: The International ethical dimension framework of HIV-AIDS could help support HIV-AIDS victim that could live just like an ordinary man living in a normal life. Discrimination to HIV-AIDS victim should be criminalized. The lack of knowledge and stigma should be in the front line to be addressed by the government because, if this case is taken for granted, it could worsen the problem. It is by understanding its ethical dimension and its relation to international relations and at least, it comprehends global ethical practices of HIV-AIDS epidemic. HIV-AIDS is pandemic and a transnational disease. It is a world’s health threat; hence, relationship exists between health and nation’s security. To control, if not stop this fatal disease, is every citizen’s concern. When everybody has knowledge of HIV-AIDS and without stigma of it, we could actually expect a low prevalence of HIV-AIDS. It is one’s sexual behavior that determines HIV-AIDS regardless of gender and sexual orientation. This means to reduce or eliminate is to educate the people on matters of human’s sexual behavior. International relation plays an important role in understanding HIV-AIDS. Mutual cooperation or bilateral could actually an approach on how to address world’s HIV-AIDS problem. It is on its nation’s foreign policies that international relations among nations be able to sustain HIV-AIDS’s world program. This foreign policies’ commitment leader could be able to stop if not eliminate HIV-AIDS disease. HIV-AIDS testing, treatment and research should be conducted with careful planning, study, and consultation to come-up a framework on how to address, reduce, control and stop HIV-AIDS. Hence there is a need of international framework on understanding aids through international relation. Understanding its ethical dimension serves as basis on its moral justification for international program on HIV-AIDS. These ethical dimensions should be understood to clarify issues to avoid violation of basic universal human rights.

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