The militarisation of society and politics has become a pervasive phenomenon in many parts of the world, and it has evoked intense interest among scholars, political scientists, peace activists, policy makers, and human rights activists all over the world. My interest to learn about the militarisation of politics and its impacts on society developed in the late 1970s and early 1980s while I was a student of political science. That particular period was witnessing the growth of authoritarian, repressive, and military-controlled governments in many parts of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. It further aroused my interest to know more about militarisation in Asian societies, and I chose for my doctoral thesis militarisation and its impact on human rights in the context of the Philippines.

The first two chapters of this book are a revised version of my two lectures in November 1992 given at Madras University in India at a programme sponsored by the University Grants Commission and organised by the Defence Studies Department. I have taken a large portion of this book from the introductory chapters of my thesis.

This book would not have been published so quickly but for the encouragement of Dr. Ahn Jae-woong, my friend and colleague at the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA), who went through the manuscript and took the initiative to have it published through DAGA Press. My special thanks to Ahn Jae-woong and friends at Documentation for Action Groups in Asia (DAGA) - Dr. Lakshmi Kiran Daniel, Bruce Van Voorhis, and Lois Cole for their kind assistance.

Mathews George Chunakara
December 1994
Hong Kong