Maria Ela L. Atienza, PhD
Professor and Department Chair

Maria Ela L. Atienza, PhD joined the Department of Political Science, UP Diliman in 1993 as instructor and is currently professor. She is the Editor of the Philippine Political Science Journal, the internationally refereed journal of the Philippine Political Science Association (PPSA), and former Director of the UP Third World Studies Center (2010-2013). She also served as President of PPSA (2007-2009). She obtained her B.A. Honors (magna cum laude) and M.A. Honors degrees (1992 and 1993), both in Political Science, from the University of the Philippines, Diliman, Executive Masters degree in International and European Relations (with distinction) from the Amsterdam School of International Relations, University of Amsterdam (1998), and Ph.D. in Political Science (2003) from the Graduate School of International Cooperation Studies, Kobe University.

Professor Atienza teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on Philippine national and local politics, comparative politics of Europe, political sociology, qualitative research methods and political science research. Her research interests and publications cover local governance and devolution, human security, health policy and politics, and women and gender issues. Dr. Atienza is the recipient of the Gawad Chancellor for Outstanding Instructor (1999) from UP Diliman, first Young Scholar Dissertation Award (2006) from the International Society for Third-Sector Research, the Yasuhiro Nakasone Incentive Award (2007) from the Institute for International Policy Studies, Centennial Faculty Development Award (2011) from the UP Alumni Association-New Jersey Chapter, and three Centennial Professorial Chair Awards from UP Diliman. She is the 2014 National Research Council of the Philippines’ Achievement Awardee for the Social Sciences. Her research outputs have been published by national and international publishers and institutions. She is currently co-investigator in the three-year project entitled “Poverty Alleviation in the Wake of Typhoon Yolanda” funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and the Department of Foreign and International Development of the United Kingdom. This project is being conducted in partnership with academics from the University of Nottingham.

  • PhD Political Science, Graduate School of International Cooperation Studies, Kobe University, 2003
  • Executive Masters, International and European Relations, Amsterdam School of International Relations (ASIR), University of Amsterdam, 1998
  • BA-MA Honors Program in Political Science, University of the Philippines, Diliman, 1992 and 1993
Research Interests
  • Local governance and devolution
  • Health policy and politics
  • Human security
  • Women and gender issues
  • Comparative politics of Europe
Courses Handled
  • Political Science 110 (Political Analysis)
  • Political Science 111 (Qualitative Research Methods)
  • Political Science 172 (Government and Politics of Selected European States)
  • Political Science 199 (Directed Research in Political Science)
  • Political Science 254 (Problems in Philippine Local Government and Administration)
  • Political Science 274 (Government and Politics of European States)
Recent Publications

People’s Views about Human Security in Five Philippine Municipalities,” Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, Vol. 24 No. 4: 448-467 (July 2015).,

“Human Security in Practice: The Philippine Experience(s) from the Perspective of Different Stakeholders”, Japan International Cooperation Agency – Research Institute (JICA-RI) Working Paper No. 98 (Human Security in Practice: East Asian Experiences series), 2015. 

Editor and Writer, “Introduction”. In Introduction to Philippine Politics: Local Politics, the State, Nation-building, and Democratization, edited by Maria Ela L. Atienza. Diliman, Quezon City: The University of the Philippines Press, 2013, pp. xiii-xxxviii. (Third World Perspectives on Politics Series)

Globalization and Responses of Agricultural Communities in the Philippines: Limits and Opportunities for Empowerment in Bilar, Bohol,” Philippine Political Science Journal Vol. 34 No. 1: 27-47 (June 2013).

“Achieving the Millennium Development Goals in the Philippines: Localization of the MDGs and Implications for Mainstreaming Human Security”. In Mainstreaming Human Security in ASEAN Integration Volume II: Lessons Learned from MDGs Implementation in Southeast Asia, edited by Herman Joseph S. Kraft. Quezon City: ASEAN Institutes of Strategic and International Studies and Institute for Strategic and Development, 2012, pp. 53-90.

“Filipino Conceptions of Human Security: Developing a Human Security Index for the Philippines.” In Mainstreaming Human Security: Asian Perspectives, edited by Chantana Banpasirichote, Philippe Doneys, Mike Hayes and Chandan Sengupta. Bangkok: Chula Global Network and International Development Studies Program, Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University, 2012, pp. 215-232.   

Lead Author, with Clarinda Lusterio Berja, Zuraida Mae Cabilo, Mara Yasmin S.P. Baviera, and Dina Marie B. Delias. Developing a Human Security Index for the Philippines: An Exploratory Study in Selected Conflict Areas.  Quezon City: University of the Philippines’ Third World Studies Center, with the support of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, Philippines and the United Nations Development Programme, 2010.