Third World Studies Center

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The Third World Studies Center (TWSC) of the University of the Philippines is an academic research institute based at the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy (CSSP), committed to analyze and develop alternative perspectives on Philippine, regional and global issues.

The TWSC is currently institutionalizing the following areas from a multi-disciplinary perspective:

  1. Globalization
  2. Social Movements
  3. Democratic Governance
  4. Peace and Human Security
  5. Culture and Identity


The TWSC evolved from an inter-disciplinary colloquium of faculty members from different disciplines, brought together by shared perspectives sensitive to realities in the Third World. In 1977, the TWSC began to operate as a program affiliated with the Office of the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. The program started out with a small resource collection, a research team, a production unit for supplementary instructional materials, and a physical center for alternative discourse. On 29 March 1979, the TWSC was lodged as a unit in the CSSP. In 1999, the College Assembly endorsed the formal recognition of the Third World Studies Program as a full-pledged research center of the college. This was officially approved by the Board of Regents in 2000. Since its establishment, the Center has committed itself to the pursuit of intellectual competence in political economy, democracy and development, and to the promotion of progressive policy alternatives.


The TWSC envisions itself as the premier social science research center of the University of the Philippines. Its mission is to develop critical, alternative paradigms to promote progressive scholarship and action for change by undertaking pioneering research on issues of national and international concern; creating spaces for discussion and dialogue; publishing original, empirically-grounded, and innovative studies; and building a community of activist-scholars and public intellectuals.


Academic Staff
Director: Teresa S. Encarnacion Tadem

Deputy Director:
Maria Ela L. Atienza

Sharon M. Quinsaat

Research Associates:
Joel F. Ariate Jr. Trina Joyce M. Sajo

Administrative Staff
Administrative Officer:
Macaria B. Francisco

Sales and Circulations Manager:
Bienvenida C. Lacsamana

Liaison Officer/Messenger: Ireneo F. Francisco


Core Programs

Over the years, the Center's activities have broadened into four areas of work:

  • Research
  • Publications
  • Training and Advocacy
  • Exchange


The TWSC has a long tradition of research on critical political economy, development issues, democratization, and governance. Research is focused on the search for progressive discourses and alternative paradigms. Guided by the principles of participatory research, the main objectives of the Center's researches are to develop Third World perspectives on various issues and to translate knowledge generated in order to promote actions for change or to improve existing local actions. Central to this process of knowledge transformation is the role of social movements and civil society, which the Center works closely with.

The TWSC's research agenda for the next three years is to document and analyze resistance and alternatives to neoliberal globalization in Southeast Asia and to locate spaces for policy intervention.

Current Research Projects

Mendiola Narratives: Memories of Mobilizations and Confrontations with the State

In this research, a biography of a site and a collection of narratives of social movement actors serve as the infrastructure of social memory. This research surfaces and records in audiovisual format the personal narratives of those who were once witnesses and participants to protest actions in Mendiola. Mendiola is the name of the street that leads directly to the Malacañang Palace, the seat of the Philippine presidency. Since the 1960s, Mendiola continues to be the foremost site of physical confrontation between social movement actors waging protests and the state. Generations of social movement actors have braved bullets and barricades in the street of Mendiola just to be able to put forward their grievances within shouting distance of the Philippine president. Mendiola then is a palimpsest on which many stories and deeds of activism, of the Filipinos untiring quest for justice, have been inscribed─some of which in blood. It is the task of this research to encourage social movement actors to articulate their stories of Mendiola. The proposed research makes visible their refusal to forget the injustices suffered by the Filipinos at the hand of their own government and the resolute stance that the Filipinos have taken to speak truth to power.

The Decade-Long Membership of the Philippines in the World Trade Organization

It has been more than ten years since the Philippines signed into the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade-Uruguay Round. Yet, there has been no objective, systematic assessment on what the country has achieved in the multilateral arena of international trade. This research-publication on the decade-long membership of the Philippines in the World Trade Organization intends to fill gaps in research on the implementation of WTO-based policies by offering political economy perspective to the discourse. With heuristic tools drawn from different social science disciplines, the research reinforces the position of the university in trade policymaking issues.

Global Civil Society Movements: Dynamics in International Campaigns and National Implementation

This study of select civil society movements is part of the larger project of United Nations Reasearch Institute for Social Development for understanding the dynamics of social movements in both international and national level contexts. Such dynamics is examined not only in terms of actual initiatives and campaigns but also of the structures and processes underlying the interactions at local, national and transnational contexts of the movements.

Marxism in the Philippines

The TWSC has always been associated to Marxist theorizing. This concern is motivated, among other things, by the question of radical perspectives as framework for analyzing Philippine political economy and its relevance to political praxis. Sixteen years after its seminal Marxism in the Philippines second series, the TWSC returns to this concern once again against the backdrop of severe economic crisis, politics of polarization, and neoliberal project of economic globalization. Revisiting Marxism is likewise an occasion for scholars and activists to re-examine Marxism (and its Filipino variant) in light of the growing importance of competing views–notably gender, nation, ethnicity, and religion.


One priority of the Center is to offer support for original research across a range of interdisciplinary themes. The Center regularly publishes research findings in a variety of forms: edited books, peer-reviewed journal, monographs, conference proceedings, and research reports. These publications contain the findings of different research projects undertaken by the TWSC staff, but are also more generally linked to the five main areas of research activity present within the Center.

Kasarinlan: Philippine Journal of Third World Studies

Kasarinlan is an internationally refereed journal published twice a year by the Third World Studies Center, College of Social Sciences and Philosophy, University of the Philippines-Diliman. It provides a forum for critical and interdisciplinary perspectives on the Philippines and the Third World with special reference to political economy.

Training and Advocacy

The Center serves as a forum for the articulation and analyses of various issues, as well as a mechanism for dialogue and debate among scholars, governments and the larger society. TWSC-sponsored activities provide support for class instruction, especially in courses requiring discussions on contemporary social, political and economic concerns.

Training and advocacy at the TWSC is formally structured in the following clusters:

  1. Training-Workshop
  2. Policy Dialogue Series
  3. Public Lectures
  4. Public Forums
  5. Workshops and Conferences
  6. Roundtable Discussions


Visiting Research Fellowship Program

In order to advance networking and collaboration among social science scholars locally and internationally, the Third World Studies Center grants research affiliation to students, faculty, and researchers who specialize in political economy and development issues, with particular interest in the Philippines. The affiliation offers institutional support and provides for a Visiting Research Fellow position in the university.

Volunteer-Internship Program

The TWSC Internship-Volunteer Program is designed for undergraduate, graduate, and foreign exchange students of the University of the Philippines specializing in development studies, with particular interest in critical political economy, democratization and political culture. The program provides an opportunity for interns-volunteers to assist in and learn from the various research, publications, and training projects and activities of the Center. The TWSC internship is a non-salaried program and does not guarantee future employment in the organization.

Institutional Linkages

The TWSC facilitated the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement between the University of the Philippines and various universities in Asia in order to promote exchange of faculty members and students, joint research in areas of mutual interest, and exchange of resource materials.


The Third World Studies Center is located at the basement of the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy, Palma Hall (old Arts and Sciences Building), in between the Faculty Center/College of Arts and Letters and the Department of Psychology Building/Palma Hall Annex. It can be reached at the following address:

Third World Studies Center
Basement, Palma Hall
P.O. Box 210
University of the Philippines, Diliman
Quezon City 1101
Phones: +63 2 981 8500 ext. 2442 (Administrative Staff) and 2488 (Research Staff)
Telefax: +63 2 920 5428
Mobile: +63 926 710 2926
Email: and

For Kasarinlan: Philippine Journal of Third World Studies

TWSC website:


Third World Studies Center website

See Also

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