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

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.

Core Programs

Over the years, the Center’s activities have broadened into four areas of work: ResearchPublicationsTraining and Advocacy, and Exchange.


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 TWSC evolved from an interdisciplinary colloquium of faculty members from different disciplines, brought together by shared perspectives sensitive to realities in the Third World.

Start of Operations

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.


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.

Formal Recognition

March 30, 2000.
The Third World Studies Program  was formally recognized as a full-fledged research center of the college by the UP Board of Regents.

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.


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.