History, demography and factionalism; obstacles to conflict resolution through autonomy in the Southern Philippines

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    Abstract

    The conflict between the government of the Philippines and the Moro separatists in the southern Philippines has become one of the longest running, and most intractable, internal conflicts in Southeast Asia. This is so despite attempts by successive Philippine governments to negotiate some form of autonomy arrangements with the separatists. This paper briefly reviews the Philippines experiments with Muslim autonomy and addresses the question: why have the autonomy negotiations between the Philippine government and the Moros proved so intractable? It suggests that the answers lie primarily in three features of the Philippines situation: first, longstanding historical circumstances which have left a legacy of antipathy and distrust between important elements of the Muslim and Christian Filipino communities; secondly, a pattern of internal migration, encouraged by national governments throughout the twentieth century, which has changed the ethnic demography of Mindanao and Sulu, locking both sides into a position from which it has been difficult to progress to a settlement; and thirdly, the factionalization of Philippine Muslim society, which has made negotiation difficult.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationAutonomy and Armed Separatism in South and Southeast Asia
    Editors Michelle Ann Miller
    Place of PublicationSingapore
    PublisherInstitute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS)
    Pages278-295
    ISBN (Print)9789814379977
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

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