October 14, 2017 | Author: jambit03 | Category: Nation, Philippines, Colonialism, Social Group, Postcolonialism
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Jedi Cristal M. Bentillo AB Political Science II

Political Science 1 MWF 12:55-1:55 (S302)



The concepts of “nation” and “state” are correlated but essentially different.

(1) NATION – is considered as an expression of a STATE’S IDENTITY. (2) STATE – is seen as the POLITICAL EXTENSION of a nation.

Taken together, the result of the combination of these two concepts, known as

(3) ‘NATION-STATE’ - is considered to be “an alignment between the political unit (state) and the unit of culture (nation)” Ideally, the nation is supposed to be the foundation of a state and the state is expected to contribute toward the consolidation of a nation. However, in the Philippine context, it appears that the nation has not been the foundation of the Philippine state, and the state in the Philippines has failed to consolidate a sense of being a nation for the people living within its territory.


A NATION; conceptually speaking; ~refers to a large group whose members believe they belong together on the basis of a shared identity as a PEOPLE.

As pointed out by BENEDICT ANDERSON: ~a nation is an IMAGINED community


As cited in the selection, it is imagined, because members of a nation; even of the smallest one; would never be able to actually meet every other member; yet as long as they believe they are part of their nation, they would continue to ‘IMAGINE’ themselves as socially and politically belonging together.


(1) The group’s NEED to have cohesion and; (2) The individual members’ desired to BELONG. (3) In order to SURVIVAL as a DISTINCT ENTITY ; (4) For SECURITY AND MEANING;


(1) An ETHNIC Nation – is a nation based on ENTHNICITY (2) A TERRITORIAL Nation – is something that “emerged from a predefined territory.”

DIFFERENCE: An ethnic nation is therefore assumed to be composed of more or less a single ethnic group. On the contrary, a territorial nation is composed of various ethnic groups that have come to be assimilated into a nation.

ETHNIC DIVERSITY Ethnic diversity exist when ‘members of an interacting ethnic society live together symbiotically, if not harmoniously.’ Inferring from this, it does not necessarily lead to conflict, when a nation is composed of various ethnic groups.



THE ESSAY provides various definitions of the concept of a ‘STATE.’


(1) By JOEL S. MIGDAL ~A state is an organization, composed of numerous agencies led and coordinated by the state’s leadership (executive authority) that has the ability or authority to make and implement the binding rules for all the people as well as the parameters of rule making for other social organizations in a given territory.

(2) LESLIE LIPSON Elaborates that a state is broader than the government.

~A state involves machinery, agencies, jurisdictions, power and rights. And also ‘that is a network of systematic relationships.’

(3) Lallana ( in her ‘State Formation and Nation Construction’)

~ The institutionalization of central state apparatus’ control over the subcentral power holders is a key factor in the formation of states.

Inferring, ~ The culmination of a process transcending old localized organizations in societies, which had previously made . . . rules.

(4) Roger King The state, therefore, becomes ~a more impersonal and public system of rule over territorially circumcised societies, exercised through a complex set o institutional arrangements and offices, which is distinguished from the largely localized and particularistic forms of power which preceded it.



This kind of state is characterized as having autonomy and capacity.

(1) AUTONOMY – refers to the ability of the political (leaders) to FORMULATE AND PURSUE goals that are ‘not simply reflective of the demands or particularistic interest of social groups or classes in the society.’ -- Effective states need to be INSULATED from SOCIETAL PRESSURES.

(2) CAPACITY – refers to the mean at the disposal of the state to implement official goals, especially over the ‘actual or potential opposition of powerful social groups or in the face of recalcitrant socioeconomic circumstance.’ ~ Which requires an effective state, the presence of an extensive and internally coherent bureaucratic apparatus.


Also due to internal and external factors, the variation of how effective a state can be. For example, (1) Western countries - are characterized as an advanced capitalist systems, which have

considerable powers to regulate, penetrate and organize society.

(2) Countries in the EAST ( that had been colonized by Western states) -these states may not be autonomous or sufficiently strong enough to survive or function effectively, with their ability to formulate and implement goals and policies varying according to circumstances.


These circumstances characterize a ‘weak state.’



NATIONHOOD/ NATIONALISM -supposedly, is the basis of forming states.

However, due to situations brought by colonization, most especially the Philippines, the consolidation of national identities had been PRECEDED by the ESTABLISHMENT of an governments in order to facilitate the governance of newfound territories.



The Philippine archipelago can account to the vast differences in the culture of among groups. And can majorly contribute to its inhabitant’s basis regionalism/regional competition instead of seeing the region as an extension of their own families.


Another factor that makes it difficult for people living in the territory is the existence of vast ethnic minorities. But the presence of several ethno linguistic groups within a territory should not necessarily lead to conflict.


As cited in the context, ‘NATIONAL CONSCIOUSNESS’ should be the basis of state formation. Historical accounts can show the formation of the state in the Philippines.



Before the establishment of the Spanish colonial state, the unit of government across the Philippine archipelago was the barangays. . - BARANGAY It is characterized as a unit the society, in whereas the barangays chief exercising legislative, executive, judicial and military powers and customs and traditions limiting these powers.

(b) SPANISH COLONIZATION But as the archipelago was colonized by Spain, THE NEED of establishing public administrations arose.

- Centralization

In order to satisfy the demand, the Spaniard had to HISPANIZE THE FILIPINOS and establish a highly hierarchal yet centralized government.

SINCE then, various levels of government were established, namely, municipalities, cities, provinces, central government composed of a governor, audiencia, and treasury officials exercising control over these sub-central units.


NOTING that Filipinos at that time had very minimal participation, in which, Spanish Friars had major roles in running the civil government , describing the situation as ‘FRAILOCRACY.’



During the American colonial period, liberal democratic form of government was introduced.

The following events took place: -“MODERNIZING” the Philippine State - STATE POWER (SUBDIVIDED) ~Executive ~Legislative ~Judicial - Filipinization - SEPARATION OF CHURCH –STATE AFFAIRS - POLITICAL PARTICIPATION

(d) The Philippine 1935 Constitution

THIS Constitution is almost the exact replica of the US Constitution. This made the Philippine state closely patterned after the United States. Thus, it has been noted that: ~the timing, phasing, and structural design of colonial democracy Left several lasting legacies which have continued to shape Philippine independence in







(e) Nation-Building


In the construction of a nation, it is more important to give them a sense of belongingness in a national community that provides the opportunities to attain: ~Economic WELL-BEING; ~Participation in nation policy-making process and; ~Understanding & Appreciation of varied cultural identities & practices

-State It is crucial for a state to serve as a instrument for nation-building. A state needs to be autonomous and must have the capacity to implement nation-building programs.

But in the Philippine context, in which postcolonial state exist; it neither has autonomy and capacity.

-Abinales (2000) explains that, ~ states in postcolonial societies have new facades, but digging deeper into their pasts, we inevitably encounter the skeletal frame of their modern political and administrative institutions: COLONIAL STATES’

- Colonization Colonization had truly affected the Philippine state in its development.

THE PHILIPPINE STATE has developed factors that negate from the very essence of a state. These include a state dominated by elite-polities and a weak social control.

A Creation of an ELITE-DOMINATED POLITICS AN elite-dominated politics


- is an condition of a state where a national oligarchy essentially recruited from families of long-standing economic wealth or political dominance or both has continued to define the nature and direction of electoral politics

Creation of ELITE-DOMINATED POLITICS (HISTORICAL ACCOUNTS) (i) During the Spanish colonization

DUE to Spanish colonizer’s desire to control over the Filipinos, they had strengthened the powers of the local elites, who would help them govern. This resulted in a HIGHLY STRATIFIED SOCIAL STRUCTURE.

Elites at that time, (most especially with Spanish blood) had the privilege to be educated.

(ii) During the American colonization

For elites who held political positions and amassed vast amounts of land and wealth during the Spanish era, continued to hold considerable power during the second phase of colonization— the American period.

Elites from the Spanish era, eventually became PRO-AMERICANS, because of “their natural fear of losing the security of their interests because of the growing demand of the masses for the redistribution of economic benefits and resources.”

As the postcolonial State emerged, elites continued to hold power.

Postcolonial State

(i) Hedman & Sidel

“ throughout the postwar period, a national oligarchy essentially recruited from families of long-standing economic wealth or political dominance or both has continued to define the nature and direction of electoral politics as large landowners, commercial, magnates, and their scions have filled both houses of Congress as well as well as the offices of


the municipal hall and provincial capitols throughout the archipelago” (Philippine Politics and Society)

(ii) Rajni Kothari

Like other previously colonized states, the elites “have HOGGED social, economic, and political power, which are confined to a few urban center, which in turn, are hitched t a colonial system dominated by metropolitan ‘super centers’ lying outside these countries.” (STATE AND NATION BUILDING IN THE THIRD WORLD)

ESSENCE OF A STATE ~’an IMPERSONAL OR ANONYMOUS STRUCTURE OF POWER that pursues the interest of the national community.’



AN EFFECTIVE State has the ability to centralize its powers. But in the Philippine context, instead of strengthening the state for ruling, the state leaders, in order to ensure their own survival, accommodated & compromised local leaders so much that ‘corruption, patrimonial plunder, electoral fraud and clanbased politics’ became accepted practices in the government.

Because of which, the following occurred:

(1)Local & Regional politicians/strongmen/implementers ACCOMODATED EACH OTHER, in political, economic and social exchanges;

(2)The STATE became DEPENDENT ON THE LOCAL STABILITY (which strongmen can ensure), thereby making the state captive to their social forces.

This resulted to:



THE FINAL ALLOCATION of resources benefited the Local/ Regional strongmen and;

b. The STATE lost it autonomy;

The SURVIVAL OF POLITICAL Leaders also encouraged the state to undermine its capacity / ability to implement policy goals.

With STATE POWERS no longer being impersonal; caused by the continuous politicking of the elites (for survival); their legitimacy and the state’s CAPACITY to enforce public beneficial laws/rules are COMPROMISED.

Unable to implement laws that would adhere the society’s norms prescribed by the state, would consequently WEAKEN THE STATE’S SOCIAL CONTROL.


OUTCOMES Due to the weakening of the state’s social control led to elites maximizing their control on the society and permeating state institutions, resulted to:

(1) LESS Participation (from the rest of the society) and; (2) Civil Society groups asking from members of the society to take action;

Because of which, the state itself finds it difficult to mediate issues/conflicts/negotiations. WHICH IS ALSO, CREATING a bad IMAGE against political leaders, whether or not they’re exercising powers as OFFICIALS of the state, or MEMBERs of the ELITE class.


Due to colonizing contributions, modernization & Westernization had been made within the Philippine state. But, the question of whether or not these Western established institutions and traditions are actually APPROPRIATE & SUSTAINABLE for a developing state like the Philippines. -As Abinales puts it,


~ when an ALIEN INSTITUTION imposes its will on indigenous communities under pretexts of racial or cultural superiority and introduces Massive Economic CHANGE to make their colonies’ human and natural resources SERVE the demands of a growing world capitalist order, the colonial state defines the parameters within which subsequent postcolonial nation-states found their existence.


THE PHILIPPINE state has developed characteristics that negate the very essence of A STATE.


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