Political Economy and Globalization 1: The Mass Transit System in Metro Manila
February 9, 2017, 1:30-3:00 PM, Japan Hall

The panel stems from an interdisciplinary project that aims to put together a comprehensive and critical survey of mass transit plans for (Metro) Manila, focusing in particular on the rail network that services the metropolis from 1879 – 2014. Reading these plans across time will be informed by a particular understanding of the political economy of ideas and institutions. This particular strand of political economy relies on the critical examination of the idea versus interest continuum and how this contrasting, yet linked, understanding on what drives economic, technocratic, and public policymaking shape the interpretation and implementation of select ideas regarding mass transit planning. The panel, however, does not want to end its close scrutiny of mass transit plans and its contexts with a plan to end all plans. Instead, it will be a series of academic critiques of the current mass transit predicament in Metro Manila drawn from the disciplines of history, transport studies, geography, and political economy.

Judith Camille Rosette
Ivy Dianne Olivan
Dominic Aloc
Johnson Damian and Gerard Daguio

Political Economy and Globalization 2
February 10, 2017, 1:00-2:30 PM, Japan Hall

Can those who wield power over capital be made accountable? How? By whom? Globalization has shown the extent of how the world financial elite have by-passed state actors and have controlled even regional trading blocs to push for an almost unfettered flow of capital. Proof of this is the rise of the precarious labor in an era of post-Fordist supply chains and business process outsourcing, with seemingly toothless international labor conventions in the background. As a consequence, states have been rocked by populist and nativist movements that see nothing in globalization but an insidous conspiracy to mortgage their future and ways of life in the altar of a promised cosmopolis of unending profit. Capitalism with a human face has met the gaunt face of the dispossed and the disenfranchised. Can the logic of the dialectics be still relied upon at this point?

Robin Thiers
Aileen Toohey