A Neoliberal Landscape of Terror: Extrajudicial Killings in the Philippines

  • William N. Holden Department of Geography, University of Calgary
Keywords: neoliberalism, terror, social movements, violence, extrajudicial killings, oligarchy, wealth redistribution, War on Terror, state terrorism


Neoliberalism is a set of economic policies emphasizing free trade, privatization, and the retreat of the state. In recent years social movements have emerged in many nations challenging its master narrative of unlimited progress through unfettered markets; states embracing neoliberalism have often engaged in violence to suppress these movements. In the Philippines, social movements have emerged to oppose neoliberal policies, resulting since 2001 in widespread extrajudicial killings of social movement participants. The killings must be understood in the context of Filipino society’s domination by an oligarchy whose privilege has been increased by neoliberalism’s disavowal of wealth redistribution and by the enhancement of the state’s coercive powers during the “War on Terror.” Extrajudicial killings in the Philippines demonstrate neoliberalism’s propensity for violence through state terrorism.
How to Cite
Holden, W. (1). A Neoliberal Landscape of Terror: Extrajudicial Killings in the Philippines. ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies, 11(1), 145-176. Retrieved from https://acme-journal.org/index.php/acme/article/view/924