PANEL 4: Non-State Actors and Transnational Relations

Chair and Discussant: Satwinder Rehal (Philippine Women’s University or PWU)
– PhD candidate in Sociology at UP Diliman and faculty member at PWU.

4.1 Religious Actors as Epistemic Communities in Regime Compliance: Philippine Socialization to the Progressive Norms of MDGs and CEDAW during the Aquino Administration
Brian U. Doce (Jilin University, China)
– Master in International Relations candidate
Abstract: This study intends to provide an alternative account on the institutionalization attempts of reproductive health and divorce laws in the Philippines. Commencing by arguing the fact that legislating reproductive health and divorce laws in the country is a necessary act of compliance to the sub-regimes of the United Nations, this research disputed the conventional view that it is the leadership factor of President Aquino which ushered the Philippines in institutionalizing the reproductive health norm being imposed by the MDGs and the shelving of divorce as non-compliance to CEDAW. In contrast, this study explores on played by progressive religious actors. Using the epistemic communities approach, this paper argues that the Philippine socialization to progressive global norms is dependent on the approval of progressive religious actors based on the country. Aiming to reinforce the idea that religious actors are also epistemic communities, this study specifies two ways how they influence decision-making: via spiritual directors and independent civil society organizations. In relation to regime compliance, progressive religious actors are influential because they provided an alternative source of legitimacy for politicians who advocated for the legislation of the two bills. Thus, this study argues that the strong unified support from progressive religious actors is the cause for the passage of Reproductive Health Law as a compliance to the MDGs while their weak and fragmented approval to the Divorce Bill serves as the reason for Philippine non-compliance to the CEDAW during the Aquino administration.

4.2 Resistance in Public Space: Dissent of the Mass Movement against Neoliberal Policies in the Philippines
Jeconiah Louis Dreisbach (De La Salle University, Manila)
– MA student in Philippine Studies
Abstract: Nationalist and democratic mass movements consistently resist the implementation of neoliberal policies by the Philippine government. The government’s affirmation to the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), inclusion of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), possible undertaking in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and the hosting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in 2015, among others, have all been dealt with protests by tens of thousands of militant activists. This paper discusses the importance of public space in increasing the engagement of the Filipino masses in the discourse of neoliberal economic policies in the Philippines. In these demonstrations, activists convert major roads into public spaces wherein not only dissent against imperialist globalization, privatization, and issues alike are expressed, but also it made an opportunity for them to further educate the people about how the said issues affect their personal and everyday lives. At the same time, local struggles turn out to be international as these mobilizations become the common ground of the Filipino and foreign activists to be in international solidarity as they participate in the larger public worlds.

4.3 International Relations in Business Management Programs: History, Cases and Challenges in the Philippines
Dr. Aliza Racelis (University of the Philippines, Diliman)
– Associate Professor at Cesar E.A. Virata School of Business
Abstract: The academic field of International Relations (IR) has been characterized by its largely Western-centric philosophical founding masters. Thus, the subject matter of IR has entailed discussions on “Wars, international conferences, diplomacy, Olympic games, espionage, trade, foreign aid, immigration, tourism, hijacking, world-wide epidemics, violent revolutions…” (Couloumbis and Wolfe, 1978). But precisely because of these issues, business and management programs worldwide have likewise incorporated the subject matter of IR. Globalization and the omnipresence of multinational corporations (MNCs), for instance, have demanded the discussion of such issues and phenomena as: peace and international crisis management, global framework agreements to regulate international labor relations, dynamics introduced by the role of language and culture, political and economic theories of global management, ethical and legal issues in relation to bribery and corruption, transnational public-private partnerships (PPPs), theoretical and practical frames for pedagogy, among many others. The rapidly changing nature of the international political economy along with its increasing complexity, poses challenges for both theoreticians as well as policymakers. This paper shall explore the pedagogy and practice of IR within business and management programs, investigate the various issues and challenges and how business programs have successfully taught them and resolved the problems, and present a theoretical framework for how these issues and challenges might be tackled and resolved in the context of Philippine institutions especially business schools.

4.4 Governments and International Business Diplomacy and Relations
Dr. Satyendra Singh (University of Winnipeg, Canada)
– Professor of Marketing and International Business
Abstract: International businesses have realized that cultivating business diplomacy skills is as important as achieving efficiency and competitiveness to have a superior business performance. Business diplomacy is generally defined as the activities deployed by international business with host government representatives and non-governmental representatives in order to establish and sustain a positive relationship to maintain legitimacy. Although broadly correct, we argue that the definition of business diplomacy should also take time horizon into account within which the diplomacy will take place. In our perspective, current literature overly focuses on direct and short-term diplomacy to achieve goals of a business. In some developing countries and emerging markets, it may not be even possible to pursue business diplomacy with host government without the assistance from the home government. It is particularly true when (1) scope of international business is small; (2) host government is risky and unstable; and (3) there is terrorism. In this situations, international businesses are more likely to seek business diplomacy assisted by their respective governments. Our alternate perspective may be a departure from the conventional wisdom that home governments and businesses may not constitute a business diplomacy overseas. In fact, several governments purse such diplomacy to advance their nations’ economic interests through international businesses. Some examples include the use of missionaries, promotion of languages and religion, and even the creation of regions such as The Colonial Pact, among others. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to develop a framework to explain applicability of the direct and indirect diplomacy in the context of business and government.

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