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The Third World Studies Center (TWSC) of the University of the Philippines is an academic research institute based at the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy (CSSP), committed to analyze and develop alternative perspectives on Philippine, regional and global issues.


The TWSC evolved from an interdisciplinary colloquium of faculty members from different disciplines, brought together by shared perspectives sensitive to realities in the Third World. On February 5, 1977, the TWSC began to operate as a program affiliated with the Office of the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS). The program started out with a small resource collection, a research team, a production unit for supplementary instructional materials, and a physical center for alternative discourse. On March 29, 1979, the UP Board of Regents "confirmed the Third World Studies Program in the College of Arts and Sciences (Diliman)." In 1999, the College Assembly of the now College of Social Sciences and Philosophy (one of the colleges that emerged out of the disaggregated CAS in 1983) endorsed the formal recognition of the Third World Studies Program as a full-fledged research center of the college. This was officially approved by the UP Board of Regents on December 17, 1999. Since its establishment, the Center has committed itself to the pursuit of intellectual competence in political economy, democracy and development, and to the promotion of progressive policy alternatives.

For more on the history of the TWSC, click here and here.

Vision and Mission

The TWSC envisions itself as the premier social science research center of the University of the Philippines. Its mission is to develop critical, alternative paradigms to promote progressive scholarship and action for change by undertaking pioneering research on issues of national and international concern; creating spaces for discussion and dialogue; publishing original, empirically-grounded, and innovative studies; and building a community of activist-scholars and public intellectuals.


The TWSC focuses on the following areas from a multi-disciplinary perspective

  1. Political Economy and Globalization
  2. Social Movements
  3. Authoritarianism and Democratic Governance
  4. Peace and Human Security
  5. Culture and Identity
  6. (New) Media and Technology

The Center also gives emphasis to its duty as a university-based research center to set standards in skills and ethics in research not only within the University but also the country.

Core Programs

Over the years, the Center's activities have broadened into four areas of work: Research, Publications, Training and Advocacy, and Exchange.

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Website Design: Tina Calasanz / Layout and Content: Sharon Quinsaat / TWSC Photos: Yuko Yamashita