Markus Giesler reports on the media reception to his eight year ethnographic and institutional study on the World Economic Forum that provides empirical evidence that Davos is not "improving the state of the world."
The annual gathering in Davos has certainly cemented the power of a tiny global elite, but its real power has been as a spawning ground for neoliberalism's major advances - the rise of the financial sector, the spread of corporate trade agreements and the integration of emerging economic powers into the global economy.
The UN has held almost annual climate talks since the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change was signed in 1992, however these have failed to deliver the radical and justly-distributed emission cuts that are required largely due to the failure of industrialised nations to accept their historic responsibility, the corporate capture of the talks by fossil-fuel interests, and the false market-based solutions pursued by many nations.
The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) was established in 1968 as the monitoring body for the implementation of the United Nations international drug control conventions. Tensions have arisen about the way the INCB performs its duties and about its legal interpretation of the conventions which many feel goes beyond its mandate.
Global drug policy could see major changes following The United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) from April 19-21, but political divisions and entrenched institutional dynamics have dampened hopes that it will go down in history as the beginning of the end of the war on drugs.
The coca leaf has been chewed and brewed for tea for centuries in the Andean region – and does not cause any harm and is probably beneficial to human health. Yet the leaf is treated as if it is comparable to cocaine or heroin. The inclusion of the coca leaf in the list of narcotic drugs raises questions about the logic behind the current system of classification under the UN conventions. TNI believes we can find a more culturally sensitive approach to plants with psychoactive or mildly stimulant properties, and should distinguish more between problematic, recreational and traditional uses of psychoactive substances.
The war on drugs is waged at its worst in the source zone of production. Major consumer countries - the US in particular - think they are able to tackle drug consumption at home by reducing the supply from the "source zones" such as the Andean region - Colombia, Bolivia and Peru - and Central and South-East Asia - Afghanistan and Burma. The primary goal of the supply reduction strategies is to decrease the amount of drugs entering the major consuming countries and subsequently, because the strategy allegedly leads to higher prices that would lead to lower demand.
After more than four years of peace talks in Havana, the Colombian government and the FARC have taken important steps toward a definitive agreement to end the conflict. Addressing the issue of drugs – crops for illicit use, production, consumption and drug trafficking– is key to achieving sustainable peace in the country. Violence linked to the drugs economy and the financing of armed groups have been central to the country's conflict, while the illicit drugs market has also served as a survival economy and safety net. Rethinking the war on drugs is therefore critical to building peace throughout the rural regions of Colombia.
The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is a proposed free trade agreement between Canada and the European Union. The negotiations for CETA concluded on August 1, 2014, but its completion and ratification is expected to take at least two years, due to the number of parties involved. Many sections of the agreement have been severely criticised, in particular its Investor-State Dispute Settlement processes (ISDS) and its likely negative implications for the environment.
This alliance for a binding treaty on Transnational Corporation (TNC's) gathers global networks and alliances including Dismantle Corporate Power Campaign, FIAN, Friends of the Earth International and Transnational Institute, among others, which collectively represent more than 500 groups world-wide who are determined to stop corporate human rights violations.
The BRICS Initiative for Critical Agrarian Studies (BICAS) is a collective of largely BRICS-based or connected academic researchers concerned with understanding the BRICS countries and their implications for global agrarian transformations. Critical theoretical and empirical questions about the origins, character and significance of complex changes underway need to be investigated more systematically.