Filipino Technocrats and the Cold War

The Emergence of Filipino Technocrats as Cold War ‘Pawns’” (DOI: 10.1080/00472336.2019.1694961) is a new article by Teresa S. Encarnacion Tadem of the Department of Political Science, College of Social Sciences and Philosophy, University of the Philippines Diliman and the Center for Integrative and Development Studies (UPCIDS), University of the Philippines.

This article is the third for a special issue for JCA’s 50th anniversary on the impacts of the Cold War in the region.

The abstract for the article states:

This article discusses the rise of Filipino technocrats in the context of the Cold War. Because of the fear of a communist takeover of newly independent yet vulnerable agrarian societies, the USA emphasised economic modernisation, also conceived as a means to defeat communism. Promoting free market liberalism, the Bretton Woods institutions played a critical role in supporting US-sponsored modernisation. In promoting a modernisation agenda, the US administrations needed technocrats, steeped in US ways of management and free market ideology. For the Philippines, this involved local training and education and graduate study in US colleges. This provided the state with reliable managers and provided the technocrats with the expertise to serve local and multinational corporations. The political value of the technocrats was demonstrated when they led key economic agencies during the pre-martial law Marcos administration. When Marcos declared martial law in 1972, he retained the technocrats who then facilitated intensified development assistance by the Bretton Woods institutions as part of the US’s Cold War strategy. This scheme, however, failed to stem the growth of the communist insurgency due to the failure of economic policies to address poverty and underdevelopment, uncontrolled crony capitalism and the regime’s repression. An anti-dictatorship movement burgeoned and ultimately led to the ouster of Marcos and the technocrats.

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