People Power: The Everyday Politics of Democratic Resistance in Burma and the Philippines
How do Community Based Organisations (CBOs) in Burma and the Philippines participate in the construction of political legitimacy through their engagement in local and international politics? What can this tell us about the agency of non-state actors in international relations? This thesis explores the practices of non-state actors engaged in political resistance in Burma and the Philippines. The everyday dynamics of political legitimacy are examined in relation to popular consent, political violence, and the influence of international actors and norms. The empirical research in this thesis is based on a grounded theory analysis of in-depth semi-structured interviews with a wide cross-section of spokespeople and activists of opposition groups from Burma, and with spokespeople of opposition groups in the Philippines. The research covers community-based organisations with broad memberships, including women’s organisations, student and youth groups, ethnic minority and indigenous groups, and trade unions. The thesis demonstrates that CBOs exercise a range of tactics in forming political relationships in local and international contexts, and emphasises the role of learning processes in the interaction of local and international norms in the course of political change.