Saturday, February 11, 2017

A Book Talk on Castañeda Anastacio's "Foundations of the Modern Philippine State"

On Tuesday, February 14, between noon and 1:30pm, with lunch provided, the Harvard Law School Library staff and the Harvard Law School East Asian Legal Studies Program will host a a book talk and discussion on The Foundations of the Modern Philippine State: Imperial Rule and the American Constitutional Tradition in the Philippine Islands (Cambridge University Press, 2016), by Leia Castañeda Anastacio, a research fellow in the HLS East Asia Legal Studies Program. The event will take place in Harvard Law School Room Lewis 214A , Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge.  The commentators will be Professor Gerald Neuman, J. Sinclair Armstrong Professor of International, Foreign, and Comparative Law, and the Co-Director of the Human Rights Program, Harvard Law School, and Professor Chris Capozzola, Associate Professor of History at MIT.

About the book (from CUP’s website):
The US occupation of the Philippine Islands in 1898 began a foundational period of the modern Philippine state. With the adoption of the 1935 Philippine Constitution, the legal conventions for ultimate independence were in place. In this time, American officials and their Filipino elite collaborators established a representative, progressive, yet limited colonial government that would modernize the Philippine Islands through colonial democracy and developmental capitalism. Examining constitutional discourse in American and Philippine government records, academic literature, newspaper and personal accounts, The Foundations of the Modern Philippine State concludes that the promise of America’s liberal empire was negated by the imperative of insulating American authority from Filipino political demands. Premised on Filipino incapacity, the colonial constitution weakened the safeguards that shielded liberty from power and unleashed liberalism’s latent tyrannical potential in the name of civilization. This forged a constitutional despotism that haunts the Islands to this day.
About the author:
Leia Castañeda Anastacio is an independent scholar affiliate of Harvard Law School’s East Asian Legal Studies program. Placing first in the 1993 Philippine Bar Examinations, she was awarded Harvard Law School’s Yong Kim ’95 Memorial Prize in 2008 and the American Society of Legal History’s William Nelson Cromwell Foundation Dissertation Prize in 2010.