Retail companies are forcing workers to follow orders dictated by digital devices and corporate algorithms. To regain autonomy, creativity, and agency in the workplace we need to start politicising the use of digital technologies.
Myanmar is in a dangerous and uncertain moment following the military coup on 1 February 2021. The articles in this Special Forum provide timely contextual analysis. Written before the coup, the articles delve into the politics of agrarian transformation in the context of (what was then) an ongoing (but fragile) opening up of political space.
TNI has a long track record of working on land politics within the broader context of agrarian and environmental justice. Many of these have been produced with transnational agrarian movements and partners on the ground. Here, we highlight five key readings (and some further recommended readings!) that TNI has published over the years.
Is there a culture of European solidarity? Yes, if you look at the local level. Many local communities in Europe have transformed their context by experimenting with new forms of democracy. The M2M Solidarity project creates peer-learning exchanges between these collectives, and seeks to contribute to a revival of European solidarity.
COVAX was not created primarily to help fight Covid in the Global South. It was designed to be more like a merchant bank, using capital provided largely from governments, to shape the global vaccine preparation industry and the Southern vaccine consumer market; It is also designed like a regular international trade association interested in establishing this vaccine market based on a health care system where one is required to pay for health and one without national medical approval and without manufacturer liability; It is also designed to be a bit like a NATO to engage China and Russia in the next generation of soft power geopolitical confrontations via the granting or not of vaccine access to specific coun- tries and peoples; and it is also built as a multistakeholder group operationally run by two other multistakeholder groups to marginalize WHO and avoid public accountability in global governance COVAX will hopefully fail in all these aspirations.
Over the past decades, private corporations have increased their control over prison services in the United States and around the world. Despite enormous lobbying efforts by the private players, citizens have started to reject this agenda of profiting from the criminal justice system, and instead demand to return prison management to public authorities. Biden has announced an end to renewing federal private prison contracts, which should be the starting point for wider changes.
Following the February coup, the violence used by the security forces against civilian protestors in Myanmar’s towns and cities has shocked public opinion around the world. But, as Naw Hsa Moo and Dominique Dillabough-Lefebvre explain in this commentary, such tactics have long been used by the Myanmar armed forces in military operations in the country’s ethnic states and regions. Awareness is now building and, as they argue, the military coup has brought new understanding and sympathy between pro-democracy and ethnic nationality movements.
Over the past decades, transnational “Big Tech” corporations based in the United States have amassed trillions of dollars and gained excessive powers to control everything, from business and labor to social media and entertainment. Digital colonialism is now engulfing the world.
The 1 February coup by the military State Administration Council has caused protest and confusion in Myanmar and around the world. In this commentary, Kyaw Lynn puts in context the complexity of factors, personal as much as institutional, that preceded the military takeover during a difficult time for democratic progress on the international stage. He then looks at the critical situation in Rakhine State, examining why political trends have been different to other ethnic states and regions in the country.
The time has come for a transformation of Europe’s food systems. Small-scale food producers, peasants, community groups, environmental justice activists and others have been calling for years for a shift towards agriculture that nourishes communities, regenerates ecosystems, and provides decent and sustainable livelihoods. The concept of agroecology encompasses these ambitions, referring to the science, movement, and practice of working with nature to build food sovereignty. The climate crisis and the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic have only made it clearer how urgent such a transformation is.
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!
The tunnel that we have had to pass through is a very long one… 70 plus years, and there is still no sign of light that we are nearing the end. The leaders have staunchly blocked the exit. No ordinary civilian can pass through, and those inside the tunnel only get to see glimpses of light through tiny holes now and then. By the time the leaders of our country have agreed and worked out their differences, it will be too late for those of us who have been suffocating inside the darkness for far too long.
Today is Union Day in Myanmar, which marks the historic Panglong Agreement in February 1947 when the principles of equality and unity were drawn up for the future union. In 2021, however, it is not a day of celebration but one of protest as peoples across the country take to the street to demonstrate against the assumption of power by the military State Administrative Council. In this commentary, TNI analyses why the present crisis is so profound and why the patterns of military rule, state failure and ethnic conflict are in grave danger of being repeated. Peace and national reconciliation are required today, not at some indeterminate time in the future.
Discussions of the threat to liberal democracy have neglected perhaps the most surprising source that is one of the major arcs of history of the last three decades: globalization. It promised the promotion of liberal democracy encapsulated in neoliberal economics whose components include free movement of capital and finance, free trade, free movement of people, and the free transfer of ideas through social media. While globalization has achieved many of these four freedoms, it has also fostered its precise opposite: a borderless world that has stripped the principal source of political democracy – the nation state -- of much of its political and economic legitimacy for the liberal democracy that created globalization. Governments became weakened by the very fraying of its borders wrought by a globalization they promoted.
I cannot recall exactly when I first met Miguel Teubal, but it was decades ago probably at a conference or workshop I came to know him better when the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) invited him for a six month Visiting Research Fellowship in 1992. During his stay he published two working papers, one on food security and regimes of accumulation, and the other on the new agroindustrial world food regime.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, transnational corporations are seeking to cement their control of global governance, ensuring it serves the interests of business and profits rather than the wellbeing of humanity. We have collected here key resources for everyone interested in learning more about the crisis of global governance, the transnational corporations' false solutions, and the possibilities for new forms of global democratic governance.
TNI’s work is in the news almost every working day of the year. Together with our partners, we enjoy wide coverage in national and international news outlets from around the world. Here are some of the highlights from 2020 of which we are particularly proud.
Yesterday, on International Human Rights Day, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands announced that Saw Eh Say, the coordinator from the Kayah Earthrights Action Network (KEAN), received the 2020 Human Rights Tulip Myanmar Award for his great efforts to promote the right to land in Myanmar. The Human Rights Tulip is an annual award of the Dutch government for outstanding and courageous human rights defenders.
This commentary is part of the ten-day global campaign to end violence against women, in which the Drug Policy Advocacy Group – Myanmar (DPAG) also participates together with partners in Myanmar, including female sex workers, women living with HIV, and transgender people. DPAG’s campaign focuses on ending violence against women, including women who use drugs and other women facing intersecting inequalities. The campaign is coordinated by DPAG, and supported by the Sex Worker Network in Myanmar (SWIM), Myanmar Positive Women Network, Myanmar Youth Stars, and the Transnational Institute (TNI). For more information see DPAG’s Facebook page.