Reports & Briefings

Power and Social Transformation: Understanding Power from Below

Hugo Gorringe and Irene Rafanell
January 2015

We are blind to the transformations that protest effects, because we are wedded to theories of power that are ill-equipped to explain processes of social change. Conventional analyses of power present individuals as internalizing social structures in ways that govern their actions, and negate their agency and resistance. There needs to be a better explanation and thus enabling of social change.

The State of Peace: An Exercise in Doublethink

David Brenner
January 2015

While most debates attempt to explain why the adaptation of Western institutions and norms to other contexts is easier said than done, this paper takes issue on a more fundamental level. It scrutinises the peace that common-sense suggests we are living in. It argues that while war is the violent reordering of power relations, the current state of peace is the violent maintenance of power relations.

The Global Ecological Crisis and Weaving New Power Relationships

Skye Bougsty-Marshall
January 2015

Only through understanding the functioning of power can we effectively resist the operations of capitalism bringing about global ecological catastrophe and begin to recompose our social and ecological relations. The further challenge explored by this paper becomes how to connect the multiplicity of resistances into a global rhizomatic network of experiments in practices of disobedience and of striving to realize new worlds.

The Power to corrupt Scholarship and propagate Inequity

Marisela B Gomez
January 2015

The opportunity and power of the academic industrial complex to influence scholarship is great. This essay primarily uses the Johns Hopkins Industrial Complex in the U.S., a prestigious and world renown teaching, research, and health institution, as a case study to highlight the influence of public:private partnerships in growing power and corporatization of the academy with resulting corruption of scholarship and propagation of inequity.

Political Donations and the Destruction of Democratic Scrutiny

Warwick Smith
January 2015

Corporations donate to both sides of politics to ensure sympathetic policies to them. When both major parties share a policy stance it is effectively removed from democratic scrutiny.

Communities of Resistance: Resistance is not futile

Mike Aiken
January 2015

Despite the pervasive strength of neoliberalism, activist practices including community organising, reciprocal working, commoning and conviviality are building spaces for relationships and learning and showing that resistance is not futile.

Definitions, distributions and functions in our globalised world

Victoria Pagan
January 2015

This essay considers the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the World Social Forum (WSF) as example enactments and representations of a global field of power.

Who controls the food system?

Judith Hitchman
January 2015

In a world of globalised industry, where many States’ policy has increasingly been dictated by private sector interests and transnational corporations, it is worth examining how the Right to Food and the emergence of social movements that represent peoples’ local food systems and food sovereignty are swaying the balance in their favour.

State of Power 2015

January 2015

The fourth edition of our annual State of Power report, coinciding with the international meeting in Switzerland of what Susan George calls “the Davos class”. This series seeks to examine different dimensions of power, unmask the key holders of power in our globalised world, and identify sources of transformative counter-power.

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