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203 items
  1. The Energy Charter Treaty is an anti-climate agreement. Sign the petition

    23 February 2021
    Article

    To tackle the climate crisis we need to keep fossil fuels in the ground. But governments that phase out coal, end gas production, or stop oil pipelines can be sued by corporations in private courts and be held liable for billions in damages. How? Under the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT). It is now up to European governments and the European Commission to pull out of the anti-climate ECT and stop its expansion to even more countries. Take action today to make this happen!

  2. Juggling crises

    Cecilia Olivet, Bettina Müller
    25 August 2020
    Article

    Peru, Mexico, Argentina, Bolivia and Guatemala are just some of the Latin American countries being hit by the investment protection regime in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Foreign investors are threatening to bring claims before international arbitration tribunals due to the measures states are taking to mitigate the effects of the pandemic. Arbitrators are refusing to accept states’ requests to postpone ongoing arbitration cases and are obliging governments to disburse millions to investors at a time when public funds are required for more urgent priorities. Once again, the current crisis reveals the perverse consequences of the investor-state dispute settlement system and the urgent need to break free from it.

  3. Cashing in on the pandemic

    Pia Eberhardt
    19 May 2020
    Article

    As governments take action to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and prevent economic collapse, big law firms are watching the virus too. Yet their concern is not to save lives or the economy. Instead the lawyers urge big business to challenge emergency measures in order to defend their profits. In a parallel corporate justice system called ISDS, states could face multi-million dollar lawsuits.

  4. Pandemic profiteers

    Cecilia Olivet, Lucía Bárcena, Bettina Müller, Luciana Ghiotto, Sara Murawski
    20 April 2020
    Article

    The fact that we are marking the 1000th ISDS claim in the middle of a profound social and economic crisis should be a wake-up call. Just as the pandemic is revealing profound health inequities and the dangers of agroindustrial food systems, it is also showing the dangers of trade and investment systems that put corporate profits above health and life.

  5. Time to resolve debt issues in the Global South

    Sara Murawski
    17 April 2020
    Article

    The impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the global economy is unprecedented. Whereas much of the attention is currently focused on the US, Europe and China, there are increasingly serious worries about the consequences for Latin America and Africa. The poor and vulnerable, mainly concentrated in the Global South1 and dependent on the huge informal sector, suffer the worst from crises. The Corona-crisis will not be an exception; unless swift, coordinated and unorthodox measures are taken.

  6. The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)

    • Stephanie Olinga-Shannon, Mads Barbesgaard, Pietje Vervest
    29 October 2019
    Paper

    This paper outlines a framing for how to understand the Belt and Road Initiative.

  7. Image of financial corporation  - wall street bull with businessman

    Call for essays on the Corporation for State of Power 2020

    10 June 2019
    Article

    The Transnational Institute (TNI) in the Netherlands is issuing an open call for essays, accessible papers, infographics and artistic collaborations for its forthcoming State of Power report launched in late January 2020 to coincide with the World Economic Forum in Davos. The focus for our ninth annual edition is on 'The Corporation'.

  8. As the world meets to discuss ISDS, many fear meaningless reforms

    Alexander Beunder, Jilles Mast
    05 April 2019
    Article

    This week, representatives of around 100 countries are meeting in New York to talk about investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS). ISDS is a legal instrument that multinationals can use to sue governments for billions. External experts and observers fear that the new negotiations will amount to ‘old wine in new bottles’. They believe that those who benefit from this instrument (powerful states and top lawyers from the ISDS sector) are controlling the debate.

  9. The Next Shareholder Revolution

    Owen Davis
    21 January 2019
    Article

    A surprising concern has arisen recently on Wall Street: markets are becoming socialist. The culprit is passive investing, the use of quasi-automated vehicles that provide access to broad stock indexes with minimal cost and effort. The rush into such products – and the decline in human stock-picking – recalls, to some, a form of socialism.

  10. Network analysis of DTIB screenshot

    The quiet power of the Dutch Trade and Investment Board (DTIB)

    Alexander Beunder, Jilles Mast, Bas van Beek
    16 January 2019
    Article

    For around 13 years, on the Dutch Trade and Investment Board (a body that is not familiar to most of the Dutch public) top civil servants and company lobbyists have been discussing how the government can support the country’s international trade. Minutes reveal how lobbyists and ministers collaborated in reforming fiscal and development policies in favour of private interests. It’s an example of the power of ‘quiet politics’ of company lobbyists in the Netherlands, calling into question the country’s image as an exemplar of liberal, consensual corporatism.

  11. High Finance

    Saskia Sassen
    15 January 2019
    Article

    Nick Buxton interviewed the renowned sociologist Saskia Sassen towards the end of 2018. For our State of Power 2019 report, we were keen to explore two themes with her. First, how finance has changed the nature of cities today and second, how finance has fuelled new forms of expulsions and dispossession. The interview concludes with a discussion of the fractures in the power of 'high finance' and how citizens' movements might take advantage to advance democratic control.

  12. Banking on Public Power

    Jasper Blom
    15 January 2019
    Article

    During September 2011, three years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, public anger with the Great Financial Crisis boiled over right where it all started: Wall Street. The austerity measures taken in response to the crisis and the failure to hold bankers to account led a large group of activists to ‘occupy Wall Street’.

  13. Art, Capital of the Twenty-First Century

    Aude Launay
    15 January 2019
    Article

    Artworks make great speculative assets. Buyers share a common interest in keeping their prices high and, to avoid paying import and other taxes, the wealthiest use free ports to store their works: despite changing owner, some works are never unpacked, simply shifting from one assets balance sheet to another.

  14. Call for essays on finance and power for State of Power 2019

    23 July 2018
    Article

    The Transnational Institute (TNI) in the Netherlands is issuing an open call for essays, short papers, infographics and artistic collaborations for its forthcoming State of Power report launched in late January 2019 to coincide with the World Economic Forum in Davos. In 2019, we are particularly looking for accessible, engaging essays and artistic explorations that explore the issue of finance and power.

  15. EU’s new trade deal with Mexico promotes CETA-style investors’ rights while ignoring human rights violations by multinationals

    Cecilia Olivet
    24 April 2018
    Article

    This weekend, the European Commission announced that the negotiations with Mexico to "modernise" their Free Trade Agreement have been concluded. A key feature of the “modernisation” process is the inclusion of a controversial investment protection chapter with the same characteristics as the one recently included in the Canada-EU trade agreement (CETA).

  16. Legitimising an unsustainable approach to trade

    • Ciaran Cross
    01 March 2018
    Paper

    The incorporation of labour, environmental and sustainable development provisions in the EU’s free trade agreements (FTA) has been much debated. But are the overall objectives of these FTAs truly compatible with a meaningful approach to labour rights, environmental protection and sustainable development? If not, what are these provisions actually doing?

  17. Civil Society Statement on the EU-Indonesia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA)

    • Roeline Knottnerus
    28 February 2018
    Paper

    This statement has been developed jointly by Indonesian and European civil society organisations, who believe that an EU-Indonesia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) must first of all be approached as a means to serve the public interest.

  18. The EU - Indonesia CEPA negotiations

    • Roeline Knottnerus
    15 February 2018
    Paper

    What drives the negotiations for an Indonesia-Europe Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) in relation to investment? What would be the merits of the alternative investment protection frameworks as proposed by Indonesia? Will it be more effective in promoting a more equitable and sustainable development?

  19. Towards a treaty on transnational corporations and human rights

    23 October 2017
    Article

    Social organisations and movements, communities affected by the operations of transnational corporations, and others fighting for social and environmental justice around the world, will be in Geneva from October 23-26. This will be the third time the Global Campaign to Reclaim Peoples Sovereignty, Dismantle Corporate Power and Stop Impunity mobilises for the establishment of a United Nations (UN) treaty to impose on states and corporations international obligations to guarantee access to justice for affected communities, groups and individuals whose human rights have been violated by transnational corporations.

  20. China EU investment thumbnail image

    Chinese investment in Europe in the Age of Brexit and Trump

    • Dorothy Grace Guerrero
    18 September 2017
    Paper

    Chinese investments in Europe have surged in recent years, totaling €35 billion in 2016. This paper examines the nature and scope of Chinese investments, how investments in Europe differ to those made in the Global South, why the Chinese state is interested in investing in the Europe and the implications for social movements committed to social justice.

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