Cities accumulate capital, people, aspirations, and power. But, whose power? Whose aspirations? How can we find in the city a place of possibility? Laura Flanders introduces TNI's Transformative Cities programme in Amsterdam during June 2018.
Over several sunny days in June 2018, a diverse group of 60 activists and researchers from 30 countries convened for a multi-day meeting to discuss the collective building of post-capitalist futures. The meeting provided the opportunity for a rich exchange of perspectives and experiences, as well as deep discussion and debate. The goal of the meeting was not to achieve consensus both an impossible and unnecessary endeavour but rather to stimulate mutual learning, challenge one another and advance analyses.
Jair Bolsonaro's victory on October 28 turns Brazil towards the extreme right and backwards in several aspects of its democratic transition initiated with the 1988 Constitution, especially those related to social justice, environment, human rights and the economy. Understanding why he was elected and what he represents is key to grasping the new Brazil emerging from the election and what to expect for the near future.
For the first time Brazil has elected a president without the support of the poorest or the destitute. Though 55 percent of the electorate opted to steer the country into the abyss, people with lower incomes did not vote for Bolsonaro. In the new Brazilian Congress the military and police caucus overshadows all others.
Dutch political scientist and activist Frans Bieckmann analyzes the roots, the identity and the challenges of Podemos, a new political movement that fights corruption, unemployment and inequality, and provides lessons for new political strategies all over Europe.
Social movements need to grapple with not only building successful political parties and winning power but also with using that power strategically to best implement change. This report examines the critical role played by Movimiento al Socialismo (MAS) government employees and the challenges they faced in advancing a social and economic justice agenda within Bolivia. How can progressive government employees remain true to their political ideology while ensuring the execution of a professional and fair public bureaucracy?
On the evening of 22 January 2018, the Governor of Puerto Rico announced the complete privatisation of the island’s power utility. The public statement came four months after hurricanes Irma and Maria, which devastated the archipelago leaving thousands of people homeless or dead and over 40 percent of the population without access to electricity and running water. Puerto Rico’s energy system was crumbling long before the tropical weather systems of September 2017 hit the archipelago. The hurricanes only laid bare the unsustainable conditions of the extremely expensive and fossil fuel-generated electrical power regime.
Blaming citizens for their alleged populist or anti-democratic turn is misleading. Without the active involvement of the economic elite, both foreign and domestic, authoritarian capitalism could not have emerged in Hungary.
Hungary was once praised as an example of successful democratisation and EU integration, but now has joined the ranks of ‘liberal’ nations backsliding into authoritarianism. Many commentators blame Orbán and his anti-migrant, anti-EU populist rhetoric, but ignore the underlying causes in particular the failings of market reforms in the country, high unemployment, low wages, spiraling household debts, and a nationalist capitalist class resentful of the advantages given to their transnational capitalist competitors.
The forces that shaped modern Brazil made the rise of a figure such as Lula da Silva all but inevitable. Conditions in Brazil today mean his imprisonment is certainly not the end of this chapter in the nation's story. Pablo Gentili, Executive Secretary of the Latin American Council of Social Sciences (CLACSO), analyses the parallel between Brazil's history and the story of its most charismatic leader.
In the wake of an economic crisis, a left-wing government in Greece found itself at the centre of a maelstrom. The containment of popular sovereignty, the imposition of stringent austerity measures, and the authoritarian implementation of neoliberal reforms spurred widespread social and political antagonism. In this new book, Andreas Karitzis' observations aim to shape a new methodology of emancipatory politics and effective social mobilisation.
Santiago Arconada Rodríguez, Karina Arévalo, Javier Biardeau, Atilio A. Borón, Ana Esther Ceceña, Reinaldo Iturriza, Claudio Katz, Edgardo Lander, Miguel Mazzeo, Claudia Korol, Juan Carlos Monedero, Nildo Ouriques, Isabel Rauber, Maristella Svampa, Marco Teruggi, Zuleima Vergel, Raúl Zibechi
10 August 2017
Venezuela is passing through a period of acute political, economic and social turmoil, which has intensified the debate within the regional and global left about the nature, the legacy and the prospects of the Bolivarian process.
Puerto Rican intellectual Enrique Toledo responds to Edgardo Lander's comments on the (Latin American) left's unconditional support of Chavismo and its lack of critical analysis (Original interview in English here). This response was originally published in Spanish by La Diaria. The article was translated into English by TNI with the author's consent. Please find the original Spanish article on La Diaria here.
The Transnational Institute (TNI) in the Netherlands is issuing an open call for essays/short papers and artistic collaborations for its forthcoming report on the issue of counter-power. Abstract deadline extension: 17 September
Transformative Cities is an opportunity for progressive local governments, municipalist coalitions, social movements and civil society organizations to popularize and share their experiences of tackling and finding solutions to our planet’s systemic economic, social, political and ecological crisis.
The initiative draws on the emerging wave of transformative political practices taking place at municipal level worldwide, by launching a unique award process that will ensure that the lessons and inspiration of these cities becomes viral.