Verna Dinah Q. Viajar

Verna Dinah Q. Viajar, a Philippine national, is currently a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of the Philippines, School of Labor and Industrial Relations (UP SOLAIR). She completed her PhD at the University of Osnabrück in 2019, and held a PhD fellowship at the International Center for Development and Decent Work at the University of Kassel from 2012–2016. Her research interests include the political economy of globalization, migrant and labour studies, Southeast Asian politics, and government and labour movement studies. Verna was involved with the Philippine student and labour movement beginning in 1989 while studying for a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science at the University of the Philippines Diliman. After graduating, she worked as Programme Coordinator of Trade Union Education Program of the Labor Education and Research Network/LEARN and project coordinator for Global Network, a network of trade unions and NGOs in Asia against neoliberal globalization. She recently worked as project manager at the International Labour Organization Country Programme Manila from 2017–2019. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the University of the Philippines in Manila.

Characteristics and Contradictions of the Duterte Populist Leadership and the Philippine Left-Progressive Movement

This post-doctoral research examines the authoritarian-populist traits of the Duterte administration in relation to the Left movement in the context of worldwide trends towards authoritarian and populist leadership. “Is Duterte’s rise to power an historical accident or a fluke in the Philippines’ march to political development?”; “Is Duterte’s electoral victory reflected a protest vote against a liberal democratic system that tolerated increasing inequality despite economic growth?”; or is the rise of Duterte part of the trend towards authoritarian populist leaders sweeping the globe? This research intends to analyse these questions by examining power relations in the Philippine political economy using Gramsci’s concept of hegemony, defined as overt coercion or “domination”, yet with the “intellectual and moral leadership” of a particular social group.  


Verna Dinah Q. Viajar. „Organizing Migration Domestic Workers in Malaysia: Ways out of Precarity“.  In Trade Unions in Transformation: Success Stories 2018from all over the World, edited by Mirko Herberg. Berlin: Friedrich-Ebert Stiftung (2018).

Verna Dinah Q. Viajar. “Dimensions of Precarity of migrant domestic workers:  Constraints and spaces in labour organizing in Malaysia”. Labor and Globalization, Vol.8, München: Rainer Hampp Verlag (2017).

Verna Dinah Q. Viajar. “Implications of Economic Globalization on Labor Market Policies: A Comparative Study of the Philippines and Indonesia.” Philippine Political Science Journal 30, No. 53 (2009): 89-122. Manila: Philippine Political Science Association. 

All Publications from Verna Dinah Q. Viajar:

  • Unravelling Duterte’s Iron Hand in the Time of COVID-19

    After 75 days of hard lockdown, the Philippines has had the longest community quarantine in the world to date. The lockdown, or enhanced community quarantine, although initially declared to last from 15 March until 15 April, has been extended twice: first for one more month up to 15 May, and then for two more weeks until 30 May. Starting in June, the country declared its intention to slowly open up again.

  • “Impossible Is Not So Easy”: An Interview with a Political Analyst from the Philippine Left

    After more than five years of authoritarian rule, rent-seeking, and a kind of ‘gangster’ neoliberal economic policies, the strongman rule of Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte has begun to unravel as the Philippines gears up for the national elections in May 2022. Realignments of social and political forces are beginning to reconfigure the political landscape amidst the continuing Covid-19 pandemic. Progressive and traditional social forces are drawing their political lines as the mounting opposition against Duterte expands. This conversation with Joel Rocamora, a renowned author, political analyst, and progressive governance practitioner, seeks to examine the rise of Duterte’s authoritarian governance, the reconfiguration of the Philippine elite and other social classes, the political/ideological debates within the Philippine Left, and the political realignments towards the Philippine presidential elections in 2022.

  • Beyond authoritarianism: Counterstrategies and Way to Freedom | CAPS22

    In this conversation, the panelists tackled questions on authoritarianism as experienced and struggled against in their respective contexts. Specifically, they talked about the counterstrategies they find significant to defend rights and how to respond to people’s anger, resentment and anxiety that has been capitalized by the far-right, that has engendered the different faces of authoritarianism we see in the world today