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Antonio Prima Contreras

School of Environmental Science and Management, University of the Philippines Los Banos

Based in


Dr. Antonio P. Contreras is a political scientist who specializes in political theory and analysis. His career spans a broad spectrum not only in terms of discipline but also in terms of his epistemological and methodological groundings.

His academic career has been a diverse array of areas that span the entire spectrum of the disciplines, from the very mathematical to the very post-modern. His master’s thesis in UPLB was on mathematical modelling of forest land-use allocation problems involving multiple stakeholders with competing goals. He taught hard-core quantitative courses at the CFNR. And then he went to his graduate studies at the University of Hawaii, took his second master’s and doctorate degrees in political science. Initially, he wanted to focus on public policy, but the dominant post-structuralist, post-modern, post-colonial and feminist orientation of his department has influenced him to refocus his academic path toward critical political theory and analysis. His doctoral dissertation was still focused on forestry, but it was an application of Michel Foucault’s genealogical analysis in inquiring into the evolution of the forestry policy discourse in the country.

Upon his return to UPLB and when he moved to DLSU, he began to expand his horizon to now include an analysis of politics in the context of everyday and ordinary lives of people, as he focused on popular culture, media and political communication, even as he continued conducting research and engaged in professional activities about the environment. His academic career, thus, spanned the spectrum from modelling forest land-use allocation problems to culture studies where he analyzed popular cultural texts such as soap operas and social media. He can be as mathematical as he can be post-modern and post-structural. He can analyze a problem using any of the optimization techniques in operations research and management, or the methods of discourse analysis.

In SESAM, he will focus his teaching, research and social engagement/extension on environmental security and diplomacy.

Dr. Contreras is both an academic and a vlogger. He publishes in academic journals as a scholar, even as he has his daily posts in Facebook and his thrice a week political vlog #UsapangPulitika where he endeavors to popularize political science topics. He also writes a column “On the Contrary” that appears thrice weekly in The Manila Times.


Country(ies) of Specialty

Philippines Thailand

Focus areas of expertise

Climate policy and politics Communications research Climate Justice Social Media

How to Connect



Contreras, Antonio P. The Kingdom and the Republic: Forest Governance and Political Transformation in Thailand and the Philippines. Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2003.

Contreras, Antonio P. (Editor) Creating Space for Local Forest Management in the Philippines. Manila: La Salle Institute of Governance, 2003.

Contreras, Antonio P. Locating the Political in the Ecological: Globalization, State-Civil Society Articulations and Environmental Governance in the Philippines. Manila: De la Salle University Press, 2002.

Chapter in a Book

Contreras, Antonio P. “Pandemia and Social Media : Public Intellectualism and Digital Politics During the Lockdown, ” in Romeo Lee (ed.), Narratives and Knowledge in the Midst of the Pandemic: Research into our Future, Manila: DLSU Publishing House, 2022, 137 – 156.

Contreras, Antonio P., “Making the Ordinary Speak to Power : Inquiring into the Politics of Everyday Lives,” in Romeo Lee and Connie Maraan (Eds.), Revving Up Research Innovations for Social Development : Methods and Perspectives, Manila : DLSU Publishing House, 2019, 117-150.

Contreras, Antonio P., “The Seas of our Insecurity : Ordinary versus State Discourses on Maritime and Human Security in the Philippines,” in Maritime Security in East and Southeast Asia, Singapore : Palgrave, 2017, 107-124

Contreras, Antonio P. “Transboundary Environmental Politics in Southeast Asia: issues, responses and challenges, in Philip Hirsch (Ed.), Routledge Handbook of the Environment in Southeast Asia, London and New York: Taylor and Francis, 2017.

Refereed Journal

Palis, Florencia G., Zenaida M. Sumalde, Cleofe S. Torres, Antonio P. Contreras, and Francisco A. Datar, “Adoption and impacts of Ecologically-Based Rodent Management in the Mekong Delta Region,” Journal of Environmental Science and Management, Vol. 18, No. 1, 2015

Contreras, Antonio P. “Everyday University Politics in the Philippines: A Tale of Two Universities,” Philippine Political Science Journal, Vol. 34, No. 2: 170-187, 2013

Contreras, Antonio P. “Socio-Economic Impacts, Social Inclusion, and Science-Policy Interphase: The Case of Rice Biotechnology in the Philippines,” Asia-Pacific Social Science Review, Vol. 12, No. 1, 2012

Datoon, R., Palis, F., Contreras, A. and Tanzo, I., “Multi-Stakeholder Approach for Rice Technology Extension: The Case of Agusan Del Norte,” Philippine Journal of Crop Science, 2012.

Bai, Xuemei, Anna J. Wieczorek, Shinji Kaneko, Shaun Lisson and Antonio Contreras. “Enabling Sustainability Transitions in Asia: The Importance of Vertical and Horizontal Linkages,” Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Vol.76: 255-266, 2009.

Lebel, Louis, Regina N. Banaticla, Antonio P. Contreras, Po Garden, Rodel Lasco, A.P. Mitra, Nguyen Hoang Tri, Ooi Giok Ling, Agus Sari and Chhemendra Sharma. “Integrating Carbon Management into the Development Strategies of Urbanizing Regions in Asia: Implications or Urban Form, Function and Role,” Journal of Industrial Ecology, Vol 11, No. 2: 61-81, 2007.

Contreras, Antonio P. “Local Institutions at the Crossroads of Environmental Regionalism in Southeast Asia: State-Civil Society Interplays and Tensions,” Philippine Political Science Journal, Vol. 28, No. 51: 33-54, 2007

Contreras, Antonio P.  “A Political Philosophy Beyond the State: Transformative Politics and the Politics of Building Transformative Communities,” Filosofia: International Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 34, No. 1: 77-90, 2005

Contreras, Antonio P. “Civil Society, Environmental Security and Knowledge: Forest Governance in Thailand and the Philippines in the Context of ASEAN,” International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Vol. 4: 179-193, 2004.

Lebel, Louis, Antonio Contreras, Suparb Pasong and Po Garden.  “Nobody Knows Best: Alternative Perspectives on Forest Management and Governance in Southeast Asia,” International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Vol. 4: 111-127, 2004.