Norms from Above, Movements from Below

Climate Change and Global-Local Dynamics of Indigenous Resistance in the Philippines and Indonesia

  • Ferth Vandensteen Manaysay Waseda University, Japan


This article seeks to analyse how conceptions of global climate change norms have contributed to the framing strategies and tactics of local indigenous people’s rights movements using the cases of Cordillera Peoples’ Alliance (CPA) from the Philippines and the Aliansi Masyarakat Adat Nusantara (AMAN) from Indonesia. Drawing on the combined theoretical frameworks of the world society approach and the social movement framing theory, this article argues that global climate change norms have provided indigenous people’s rights movements in Indonesia and the Philippines with new sources of vocabularies towards collective action. In theoretical and empirical terms, it contends that the exposure of the local indigenous social movements to global normative mechanisms have shifted local activism, as the world society approach envisages, while framing theory elucidates the manner in which movement-actors are able to interpret and transform the ideas they receive. A paired comparison, based on data collected from the CPA and AMAN’s public pronouncements as well as in-depth interviews with local indigenous movement leaders and members, shows material ideas and instruments that social movements receive from global institutional sources (such as the United Nations climate change agreements, global indigenous declarations, and international climate justice coalitions) have enabled them to produce novel frames for collective action at the local level. Contrastingly, it demonstrates how indigenous climate justice activists have also been able to frame their contentions against the prevailing global norms and ideas about climate change.

Author Biography

Ferth Vandensteen Manaysay, Waseda University, Japan

Ferth Vandensteen Manaysay is research associate for Yayasan Peta Bencana, an Indonesia-based non-profit organisation, where he has been supporting the replication of digital humanitarian infrastructures from Jakarta to Manila. He is concurrently a research fellow for the South China Sea Big Data Initiative under the University of California San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy and Emory University Department of Political Science. He earned his master’s degree in international relations from the Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies, Waseda University, Japan.


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How to Cite
MANAYSAY, Ferth Vandensteen. Norms from Above, Movements from Below. Journal of Southeast Asian Human Rights, [S.l.], v. 4, n. 1, p. 226-252, june 2020. ISSN 2599-2147. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 03 aug. 2021. doi:

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