Joel Rocamora

7 March 2007

  Joel Rocamora  

Director, Institute for Popular Democracy (IPD)
joelroc [at]


TNI Fellow and former Co-Director, Joel Rocamora is the Director of the Insitute for Popular Democracy in Manila Philippines. He earned his doctorate in the USA then later came to Amsterdam to coordinate TNI's early work on the Philippines while he was in political excile during the Marcos regime. Rocamora returned to the Philippines in 1992 where he worked as a political analyst at the Ateneo Centre for Social Policy and Public Affairs and as a consultant to several development NGOs. He was awarded the 1995 Philippines National Book Award for his, Breaking Through: The Struggle within the Communist Party of the Philippines (Anvil1994). Rocamora has been developing a TNI programme on New Political Thinking.


Areas of interest


Philippine & South East Asian Democratization Process; New Kinds of Political Parties; Participatory Democracy







Breaking Through. The Struggle within the Communist Party of the Philippines
Anvil, Manila, 1994

Low Intensity Democracy. Political Power in the New World Order
(Co-editor with Barry Gills and Richard Wilson), TNI/Pluto Press, London, December 1993

European Official Development Assistance to the Philippines
(Co-editor with Hanneke van Eldik Thieme and Ernesto M. Hilario), TNI/CPD/Pluto Press, 1992

Of Bonds and Bondage. A Reader on Philippine Debt
TNI/Philippine Center for Policy Studies/Freedom From Debt Coalition, 1992


Contributions to books


"Legal and Policy Frameworks in Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines"
Citizen Participation in Local Governance. Experiences from Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines, Institute for Poplar Democracy, May 2004

"Empowerment and Governance"
Marisol Estrella and Nina Iszatt (eds) Beyond Good Governance. Participatory Democracy in the Philippines, Institute for Popular Democracy, 2004

"Dissidence and Development: Historical and Political Perspective for a Tri-People Approach to the Mindanao Conflict"
Kristina Gaerlan and Mara Stankovitch (eds) Rebels, Warlords and Ulama. A Reader on Muslim Separatism and the War in Southern Philippines, Institute for Popular Democracy, Quezon City, Philippines, 2000

"An Incomplete and Uncertain Transition. Indonesia After Suharto"
(with Mastinah Saleh), Kristina N. Gaerlan (ed) Transitions to Democracy in East and Southeast Asia, TNI/IPD/Focus/Arena, Quezon City, 1999

"Corruption in the Philippines. A Beginner's Guide (Introduction)"
Sheila S. Coronel (ed) Pork and Other Perks. Corruption and Governance in the Philippines, Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, Manila, 1998

"Asia-Europe Economic Relations: Challenges to Progressive Solidarity"
Brid Brennan, Erik Heijmans and Pietje Vervest (eds). ASEM Trading New Silk Routes. Beyond Geo-Politics & Geo-Economics: Towards a New Relationship between Asia and Europe. TNI/Focus on Global South, October 1997

"The Constitutional Amendment Debate"
Ateneo Center for Social Policy and Public Affairs, ACSPPA, Manila, 1997

"An Election in the Lifeworld of San Isidro"
Introduction to: (De)Scribing Elections. A Study of Elections in the Lifeworld of San Isidro, IPD, 1996

"Can the Philippines Compete?"
Reyes, Judith (ed). Philippine Issues & Perspectives. The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, Philippine Peasant Institute, 1996

"Classes, Bosses, Goons and Clans. Reimagining Philippine Political Culture"
Boss (ed). Five Case Studies of Local Politics in the Philippines, IPD, 1995

"Social Movements and Democratisation in the Philippines"
Jochen Hippler (ed) The Democratisation of Disempowerment. The Problem of Democracy in the Third World, TNI/Pluto Press, 1995

"Low Intensity Democracy"
(Introduction) Barry Gills, Joel Rocamora and Richard Wilson (eds) Low Intensity Democracy, Political Power in the New World Order", TNI/Pluto Press, London, December 1993

"Lost Opportunities, Deepening Crisis. The Philippines under Cory Aquino"
Barry Gills, Joel Rocamora and Richard Wilson (ed) Low Intensity Democracy, Political Power in the New World Order, TNI/Pluto Press, London, December 1993

"Third World Revolutionary Projects and the End of the Cold War"
Chester Hartman and Pedro Vilanova (eds) Paradigms Lost. The Post Cold War Era, TNI/Pluto Press, Amsterdam/London, 1992


Journal Articles


Strong Demands and Weak Institutions: The Origins and Evolution of the Democratic Deficit in the Philippines Journal of East Asian Studies, May 2003 [PDF document]




From Regime Crisis to System Change TNI, 12 July 2006

Constitutional Reform in the Philippines: Out of Crisis, What? TNI, 19 Feburary 2006

Lo imposible no es tan fácil: Política participativa y gobernanza local en las Filipinas, Transnational Institute, June 2005

Formal Democracy and its Alternatives in the Philippines: Parties, Elections and Social Movements
Paper presented at the Conference Democracy and Civil Society In Asia: The Emerging Opportunities and Challenges, Queens University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, 19-21 August 2000

The Left in the Philippines: Learning From the People, Learning from Each Other, Speech given in Colombo, Sri Lanka, 25 March 2000