Understanding and Engaging the Muslims of the Southern Philippines

by Diana Dunham-Scott

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This dissertation is based on field work conducted in the southern Philippines to explore and compare how members of the US military, Philippine military and police, and populace of Mindanao understand Islamic beliefs and values, using anthropological research methods. This will shed light on the degree to which the task force shares an understanding of the local culture with its partners and populace and where any divergence of understanding may lie. This will better enable USG personnel to discern the cultural implications when engaging Muslim populations in the Southern Philippines during irregular warfare or security assistance activities and inform capacity-building, development and diplomatic efforts.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction, Policy and Research Questions, and Policy Relevance

  • Chapter Two

    Phase I, Cultural Domain Analysis

  • Chapter Three

    Phase II, Cultural Consensus Analysis

  • Chapter Four

    Discussion and Conclusions

Research conducted by

This document was submitted as a dissertation in June 2012 in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the doctoral degree in public policy analysis at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. The faculty committee that supervised and approved the dissertation consisted of John Peters (Chair), Dick Hoffmann, and David Kennedy.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Dissertation series. Pardee RAND dissertations are produced by graduate fellows of the Pardee RAND Graduate School, the world's leading producer of Ph.D.'s in policy analysis. The dissertations are supervised, reviewed, and approved by a Pardee RAND faculty committee overseeing each dissertation.

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