Human Rights Advocacy in a Context of Extreme Securitisation: Amnesty International and the ‘War on Drugs’ in the Philippines (July 2016- May 2017)
MetadataShow full item record
This thesis aims to research how Human Rights Organisations are attempting to desecuritise a so-called ‘War on Drugs’ in the Philippines that is happening within the context of shrinking civil society space owing to a government-instigated process of what this research terms ‘extreme securitisation’. The definition of extreme securitisation is elaborated on within the thesis and depicts the phenomena of how human rights defenders have come to be vilified in the same way as drug users in the ‘War on Drugs’. The research locates the success of the extreme securitisation within a context of fragile democracy and weak state institutions, going back to the years of the Marcos dictatorship. Important contextual factors are examined to help understand the rise of penal populism, the election of populist leader President Rodrigo Duterte, and the resultant securitisation of illegal drugs. To examine how Human Rights NGOs in the Philippines are operating in this environment of mass support for the president and his drug policies, securitisation and desecuritisation theoretical frameworks are applied. Predominantly, strategies for desecuritising illicit drugs and moving them back to a public health issue are identified and discussed. This research is a case study analysis of human rights advocacy in the ‘War on Drugs’ in the Philippines, with a special focus on Amnesty International, to provide a deeper analysis of how such an organisation can operate in this difficult environment of limited political space.