Author (Your Name)

Adam B. Robbins, Colby College

Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis (Open Access)


Colby College. Anthropology Dept.


Mary Beth Mills


This thesis analyzes the interactions between the World Bank (hereafter, the Bank) and the Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA), an indigenous and environmental advocacy group based in the Cordillera region of Luzon, in the Philippines. Using data gathered through both text-based and participatory research methods, I analyze the discursive relationship and violent confrontations between the two organizations. Conflicting development and human rights values cause the majority of these conflicts. I focus on how each organization enacts development and human rights, and how this leads to conflict. Ultimately, I intend for this thesis to offer practical guidance for the reader involved in development or human rights work. Tracing the interactions of a global multilateral organization and an indigenous peoples advocacy organization is easier said than done. To facilitate my analysis I use two pairs of oppositional terms: the state and the non-governmental organization (NGO), and consensus and policy. Each opposition reveals a field of conflict between the organizations that might have otherwise gone unnoticed. These pairs are not perfect: scholars do not universally recognize the validity of the oppositions I have presented. The reader should view these pairs as an imperfect tool that reveals significant underlying aspects of the CPA-Bank relationship. I find these pairs useful for several reasons. The body of this thesis focuses on human rights and development in practice in the Cordillera region of the Philippines. I use the policy-consensus contrast to approach how the Bank and CPA enact human rights and development. The Bank is a bureaucratic, hierarchical institution. It implements its development strategy though policy—rules established by a bureaucracy to govern those under its control because the bureaucracy believes it has a greater ability to govern its subjects than they do themselves. I will argue that this development practice violently conflicts with the human rights tactics of the CPA, which it implements through consensus-based networks.


World Bank, CPA, interaction, Human rights, Philippines Economic development, Economic conditions, World Bank Political parties