A quarter of a century has now passed since the historic popular uprising that led to the overthrow of the Ferdinand Marcos dictatorship in the Philippines. The mass movement known as the "People’s Power Revolution" was not only pivotal to the democratic transition within the Philippines, but it also became an inspiration for subsequent mass movements leading to further democratic transitions throughout the Third World and in the former Communist bloc in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. However, the neoliberal economic policies subsequently pursued by newly democratic governments throughout the Third World led all but the most celebratory observers to note the constrained and limited nature of these formal political transitions. This volume poses the question of the extent to which ‘people’s power’ has been able to play an active role resisting neoliberalism and deepen substantive democracy and social justice. Through a series of case studies of the regions and individual countries of Asia, Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe, the contributions in the volume provide a new set of original and in-depth critical assessments of the nature of the longer-term impact of the democratic transitions commencing in the 1980s and continuing until the present, and questioning their impact and potential influence on human dignity, freedom, justice, and self-determination, and thus opening new avenues of enquiry into the future of democracy.
This book was originally published as a special issue of Third World Quarterly.
1. People’s Power and the Globalisation of Democracy, Kevin Gray and Barry Gills.
2. People’s Power Redux, Joel Rocamora.
3. South African People's Power since the mid-1980s: Two steps forward, one back, Patrick Bond.
4. Dilemmas of New Democracy in the Age of Neoliberal Globalization: The Case of South Korea, Kwang-Yeong Shin.
5. People’s power and the struggle for social democracy in Latin America, Henry Veltmeyer.
THIRDWORLDS will focus on the political economy, development and cultures of those parts of the world that have experienced the most political, social, and economic upheaval, and which have faced the greatest challenges of the postcolonial world under globalisation: poverty, displacement and diaspora, environmental degradation, human and civil rights abuses, war, hunger, and disease.
THIRDWORLDS serves as a signifier of oppositional emerging economies and cultures ranging from Africa, Asia, Latin America, Middle East, and even those ‘Souths’ within a larger perceived North, such as the U.S. South and Mediterranean Europe. The study of these otherwise disparate and discontinuous areas, known collectively as the Global South, demonstrates that as globalisation pervades the planet, the south, as a synonym for subalterity, also transcends geographical and ideological frontiers.