An Islamist Resurgence?: Political Violence in the Southern Philippines

Filipino soldiers involved in the Marawi crisis. (Photo: Philippines Information Agency)

Colloquium with Mesrob Vartavarian, Independent Scholar

Wednesday, October 18, 2017
12:30 PM - 2:00 PM
10383 Bunche Hall
UCLA Campus
Los Angeles, CA 90095
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Analysts have generally placed the current resurgence of Islamist groups in Muslim Mindanao within a thoroughly diffusionist framework. Extremists on the back foot in Iraq and Syria have viewed the porous frontiers and parlous state of order in the southern Philippines as an ideal context for the construction of an Islamic polity. While the seepage of foreign fighters and fundamentalist ideologies into Muslim Mindanao are important factors in explaining the continuing violence, they provide only a partial explanation of an increasingly complex reality. The fragmentation of Moro separatist movements and the inability of co-opted Moro elites to curb the power of local warlords has contributed massively to the persistence of armed conflict. Current tensions are only the latest manifestation of long-term sociopolitical processes.

Mesrob Vartavarian obtained his BA and MA in History from UCLA and his PhD in History at the University of Cambridge in 2014. He has held lectureships at USC’s Department of History and School of International Relations and has published articles in South Asia, the Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, and Modern Asian Studies. He is currently researching colonial counterinsurgencies in South and Southeast Asia from c.1800-1914 and is working on a book project examining the formation of local oligarchies in Nigeria and the Philippines.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Nguyet Tong
(310) 206-9163

Sponsor(s): Center for Southeast Asian Studies