Key issues on the table at the 8th Asia Europe People's Forum

Ahead of the Asia Europe People's Forum (AEPF) which coincides with the official ASEM8 summit this year in Brussels, four TNI scholar-activists - Susan George, Praful Bidwai, Ben Hayes and Walden Bello - discuss some of the key struggles facing citizens from both regions.

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The title of the 8th Asia Europe People's Forum 'Challenging Corporate Power, Building States of Citizens for Citizens' highlights the worrying lack of democratic accountability that characterises both the EU and the nature of its bi-regional relations around the world. Led by neoliberal free market ideology, the EU's plans for "Global Europe" have far-reaching implications for people in both regions, meanwhile their voices remain consistently excluded from official forums. In this booklet four scholar activists look toward ASEM8 and the alternative/inclusive AEPF8, and consider some of the major issues that will be on the agenda for discussion: the ongoing crisis of neoliberal capitalism, democracy, evolving security regimes, the environmental crisis and poverty.

Contents:

  • Introduction
  • About TNI, Contact details

 

For all media enquiries, please contact Kathy Cumming (kathy.cumming[at]tni.org, 0031 657184159) or Nick Buxton (nick[at]tni.org, 0032487973488.).

About the authors

Ben Hayes

Ben Hayes is a TNI fellow who has worked for the civil liberties organisation Statewatch since 1996, specialising in international and national security and policing policies. Ben also works as an independent researcher and consultant for organisations including the European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights, Cordaid, the Heinrich Boll Foundation, the European Parliament and European Commission.

Ben's research has two main focuses: (i) the impact of counter-terrorism, surveillance and border control policies on democracy, human rights, civil society and international development, (ii) the influence and activities of the defence and security industries.

Ben has a PhD from Magee College (Derry/Londonderry) awarded by the University of Ulster in 2008. He is currently working on a book on climate change and international security for TNI.

Follow Ben on twitter: @drBenHayes

Nick Buxton

Nick Buxton is a communications consultant, working on media, publications and online communications for TNI. He has been based in California since September 2008 and prior to that lived in Bolivia for four years, working as writer/web editor at Fundación Solón, a Bolivian organisation working on issues of trade, water, culture and historical memory. His publications include “Civil society and debt cancellation” in Civil society and human rights (Routledge, 2004) and “Politics of debt” in Dignity and Defiance: Bolivia’s challenge to globalisation (University of California Press/Merlin Press UK, January 2009).

Praful Bidwai

Praful Bidwai is a political columnist, social science researcher, and activist on issues of human rights, the environment, global justice and peace. He currently holds the Durgabai Deshmukh Chair in Social Development, Equity and Human Security at the Council for Social Development, Delhi, affiliated to the Indian Council for Social Science Research. 

A former Senior Editor of The Times of India, Bidwai is one of South Asia’s most widely published columnists, whose articles appear in more than 25 newspapers and magazines. He is also frequently published by The Guardian, Le Monde Diplomatique and Il Manifesto.

Bidwai is a founder-member of the Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (India). He received the Sean MacBride International Peace Prize, 2000 of the International Peace Bureau, Geneva & London. 

He was a Senior Fellow, Centre for Contemporary Studies, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi. Bidwai is the co-author, with Achin Vanaik, of South Asia on a Short Fuse: Nuclear Politics and the Future of Global Disarmament, Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 1999, a radical critique of the nuclearisation of India and Pakistan and of reliance on nuclear weapons for security.  

Susan George

Susan George is one of TNI's most renowned fellows for her long-term and ground-breaking analysis of global issues. "How to win the Class War - The Lugano Report II" is the newest of her sixteen widely translated books. She describes her work in a cogent way that has come to define TNI: "The job of the responsible social scientist is first to uncover these forces [of wealth, power and control], to write about them clearly, without jargon... and finally..to take an advocacy position in favour of the disadvantaged, the underdogs, the victims of injustice."

Walden Bello

Author of more than 14 books, Bello was awarded the Right Livelihood Award (also known as the Alternative Nobel Prize) in 2003 for "... outstanding efforts in educating civil society about the effects of corporate globalisation, and how alternatives to it can be implemented." Bello has been described by the Economist as the man “who popularised a new term: deglobalisation.”

Bello predicted the financial crisis several years prior to the current meltdown and is a globally respected figure within the alternative globalisation movement. Canadian author Naomi Klein called him the "world's leading no-nonsense revolutionary."

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