Kasarinlan: Philippine Journal of Third World Studies, Vol 21, No 2 (2006)

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Analyzing NGO Discourses: Probing the Institutional History of the Philippine Peasant Institute

Josephine C. Dionisio

Abstract


In this article, NGOs are seen as discursive fields where different discourses emerge and converge, and competing discourses fight for dominance. NGOs may be caught up in the web of power of discourses on development and democracy, and are
therefore constituted by it. However, their praxis can also be a site where the resistance to the constituting processes of these discourses can be found. Understanding NGO discourses become particularly relevant especially in light of persistent questions
regarding the role of NGOs in social transformation. By revealing transgressive moments in NGO praxis as illustrated in the institutional history of the Philippine Peasant Institute (PPI), the debate on the role of NGOs in social transformation is reframed away from the dichotomy between progressive versus counterprogressive work into how NGOs could retain its transgressive character and maintain its relevance in the
continuing struggle toward social transformation.

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