Housing, the state and urban poor organisations in metro Manila : a thesis presented in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Development Studies at Massey University

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Massey University
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This study has sought to place housing into social and political contexts of analysis. It suggests that the failure to house the urban poor is a result of particular political systems in operation throughout the Third World. In particular, the system of neopatrimonialism is forwarded to explain the logic of many Third World regimes and to describe the nature of their relationship with society. Civil society is neither passive nor stagnant however. The proliferation of community organisations and Non Government Organisations in the South is testimony to this. Many feel that these actors may create enough pressure to challenge current development directions. Whilst this study supports this argument it is qualified support, as the nature and direction of this change is not clearly understood nor apparent. In examining these processes research was conducted in Metro Manila during 1994. There is strong evidence to confirm the endurance of neopatrimonialism in the Philippines and its effect on the logic of politics and the character of state-society relations. There are also clear connections between the historical development of the Filipino state and the housing crisis. In looking at the response of social actors, two urban poor organisations are studied in a comparative context, as is the role of an intermediary NGO. This study finds some support for the argument that NGO/UPO alliances are more progressive and impactive than 'traditional' UPOs, though there is evidence to suggest there are as many similarities as contrasts. UPOs that operate within urban or national social movements may be involved in change, though it is still unclear whether this is progressive or will be at the forefront of social and political transformation. While UPOs play an important role in civil society, expectations of their place in an 'alternative society' should still be circumspect and cognizant of the adversities these groups confront.
Housing, Politics and government, Social conditions, Poverty, Manila, Philippines