Public water and electricity are back in vogue. Yet many state-owned utilities are now undergoing corporatisation: they have legal autonomy and manage their own finances. Is this a positive development in the struggle for equitable public services? Or a slippery slope toward privatization?
Thomas Marois, Senior Lecturer in Development Studies argues that until people regain control of money and credit, we will not be able to stop economic and ecological crises. Most people don't know that fortunately there is untapped potential in public banks, that make up a quarter of all banks worldwide. Drawing on his research on public banks in Turkey, Costa Rica and elsewhere, Marois points to the potential and problems of public banks and how we might harness them to deliver social and environmental justice.
A return to public forms of administration in water supplies is a phenomenon that has been spreading globally. Over the past 15 years almost 235 cities around the world, among them Paris, Berlin, Budapest, Buenos Aires and Kuala Lumpur have either terminated or have desisted from renewing the contracts with private concessionary companies. In the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria and the Scandinavian countries, for example, water delivery is, by a tradition, almost 100 percent public.
Friends of the Earth`s activists from the five continents and several dozen countries met with representatives of numerous social movements to celebrate the strength of the peoples and reaffirm the need to be united in the struggle for climate justice.
The brutality of ISIS has led many to argue that only military action can stop them. Phyllis Bennis, fellow of Transnational Institute and a long-term observer and analyst of US foreign policy in the Middle East, argues that US occupation and military action was the principal cause of ISIS rise and therefore cannot be the solution. She outlines alternative options for constraining the advance of ISIS and bringing peace back to the troubled countries of Iraq and Syria. See also Phyllis' primer, Understanding ISIS and the new global war on terror
Pablo Echenique is a vivid example of a normal citizen that through Podemos found a way to be a political actor in Spain and Europe. Hilary Wainwright interviews him to help us to understand what the Podemos phenomenon is about.
Although the elections were peaceful, significant conflict continued in parts of the Shan and Kachin states. The expectations on the new government are extraordinarily high and all of the challenges facing the country remain as difficult to address as ever.