Session Abstract: On September 22 1972, Ferdinand Marcos imposed martial law on the Philippines, setting in place an apparatus of dictatorial rule that would last for over thirteen years. Tens of thousands were arrested without warrant and thousands killed by state security forces, while government coffers were looted by Marcos' crony capitalism. Martial law was not unexpected. It had loomed on the political landscape since 1970, a manifestation of an emerging period of global authoritarianism, featuring prominently in the major papers and in public debates.
Drawing on the disciplines of history and sociology, and employing both the contemporary written record and interviews, this panel examines the imposition and early stages of Marcos' martial law regime. Kung analyses the Yuyitung affair, which Marcos used as a test case of repressive measures against the free press, and argues that the "postcolonial state outsourced the management of its Chinese population to the KMT." Scalice explores the impact of the Sino-Soviet split and the manner in which the rival Communist Parties of the Philippines facilitated the imposition of martial law. Quinsaat traces the influence of the emergence of an international anti-Marcos movement on the formation of a Filipino diaspora. Claudio details the significant macroeconomic reorientation that was attempted by Marcos' technocrats. Through the careful examination of the context in which dictatorship emerged, the mechanisms whereby it was imposed, some of the social changes it brought about, and the opposition which it engendered, this panel aims to provide insight into the present rising tide of global authoritarianism.
Paper Presenter: Joseph Scalice – Nanyang Technological University
Paper Presenter: Chien-Wen Kung – National University of Singapore
Paper Presenter: Sharon Quinsaat – Grinnell College
Paper Presenter: Lisandro Claudio – University of California, Berkeley