TitleThe hollow state
NameDelfeld, Helen (author), Shafer, D. (chair), Kubik, Jan (internal member), Tichenor, Daniel (internal member), Rodriguez, Robyn (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
DescriptionMy work suggests that looking at the state as a discourse rather than a positivistic (real, material) entity will help us understand how people might better access human rights; in the process of doing so, we break the idea of human rights away from a purely legalistic enterprise. The discourse that makes up each state differs, and that difference matters in the discourse of human rights.
I label the Philippines a new kind of discursive entity, a "hollow state". A hollow state fulfills many of the discursive expectations of stateness, but is supported more by external constituencies than internal ones--violating the imaginary that all states share some characteristics with nation-states.
This study consists of a two-pronged investigation of the difference in governance discourse between the local level and the state level on the island province of Palawan in the Philippines. I interviewed 207 people involved in rights-oriented programs as participants or providers, in Palawan, in the Philippines. Content analysis was also done on government documents in Manila.
There are three empirical findings. First, at the grassroots, people in the study area derive more support from NGOs, INGOs and local peoples' organizations than from local or state government. Second, the state itself is more composed of discourse with external partners than with domestic ones--a "hollow state". Third, external actors (such as other states and NGOs) working to increase access to rights often treat the state as real and effective. The result of this third finding is that some actions taken by these external actors may strengthen the state, but may not improve people's access to rights. I conclude that separating the discourse of rights from the discourse of the state may help unhinge these effects from each other. This is easier said than done, as the discourses are co-constituted.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references (p. 222-234)
Noteby Helen Delfeld
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.