Conflict and compromise in the southern Philippines : the case of Moro identity
Harber, John D.
Callahan, Mary P.
Looney, Robert E.
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This thesis examines the ethnic Moro conflict in the southern Philippines. The argument herein is that the conflict between the Muslim Filipinos and the ruling governments, both colonial and independent, is not caused by religious or ethnic intolerance or difference. Rather, it is the result of an historical politicization of Moro identity that, when combined with the centralization processes of President Ferdinand Marcos, ignited a guerrilla war that prevented economic growth and social stability. The analysis suggests that the decentralization policies of the Ramos administration (1992-1998) and the compromise between his administration and the Moro National Liberation Front (the dominant Muslim faction) may have finally resolved the conflict. If lasting peace has in fact been achieved, the southern islands will provide key economic and political ingredients to allow the nation to enter the twenty first century as a newly industrialized nation
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