For decades, affected communities around the globe have been resisting the modus operandi of transnational corporations (TNCs) in their territories and workplaces and documenting systemic human rights violations and the track record of corporate impunity with their lives and their deaths. Corporate impunity is embedded in and protected by an ‘architecture of impunity’ that legitimises and legalises the operations of TNCs. This architecture has been established through free trade and investment agreements, the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the structural adjustment policies of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank and other financial instruments and the aggressive push for public-private partnerships (PPPs). At the core of this architecture is the infamous investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) system, a private arbitration system that allows TNCs to sue states whenever they consider that their future profits are threatened by new measures or policies aiming at improving social and environmental protection. Thus, it neutralises the function of the state, whose primary responsibility is to defend public interest and protect the well-being of its citizens and the planet from corporate interests.
Prof John Ruggie has shared his comments on the Zero Draft treaty on TNCs and human rights on this blog earlier this month. His core concerns are that the zero draft has not adequately deal with ‘scale’ and ‘liability’. This response argues that Ruggie’s arguments in opposition to the binding treaty are misdirected and they fail to recognise the historic opportunity offered by the Human Right Council to create a human rights remedy system for corporate abuse across national boundaries.
The world's investor state dispute settlement (ISDS) system faces the largest crisis in its history. Why is the European Commission rejecting the justified criticism that can be found all over the world?
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.
The UK's labour party is inspiring grassroots and workers mobilisation and showing increasingly credible leadership. Its recent annual conference and the concurrently run World Transformed Festival give hope.
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?
John Walsh, Ann Fordham, Martin Jelsma, Hannah Hetzer
22 September 2018
The "Global Call to Action" document that the U.S. government is circulating—and heavily pressuring reluctant countries to sign—is explicitly “not open for negotiation.” Far from an effort at achieving mutual understanding and genuine consensus, it is an instance of heavy-handed U.S. “with us or against us” diplomacy.
The growing call for the feminisation of politics – and energy politics for that matter – is about much more than merely increasing the representation of women in decision-making positions. We need to question the ways energy politics are shaped. We need to ask, energy for whom and energy for what?
At this New York launch event for the The Globalisation of Countering Violent Extremism Policy report, the adoption of CVE by policymakers within international institutions will be analyzed and assessed from a human rights perspective.
When it comes to managing the energy transition the need for municipal level innovation has never been clearer. In recent years, we have seen some successes, where innovative ideas have led to more equitable, just and democratic energy policies. However, the sharing of these ideas has been limited, and they have tended to remain local and specific. To achieve large scale, replicable success we need a coordinated and integrated approach for collaboration and knowledge-sharing. Enter: mPOWER
mPOWER is a 4-year programme that will enable in-depth, wide-scale and systematic city to city learning among at least 100 local public authorities, in order to replicate innovative best practices in municipal energy, and developing ambitious energy transition plans.
mPOWER is run by a consortium composed of the University of Glasgow (UK), Platform (UK), Transnational Institute (Netherlands), Energy Cities (EU-wide), IPE (Croatia), University of the Basque Country (ES), and Carbon Co-op (UK).
The mPOWER project and consortium are funded by the Horizon 2020 EU Research and Innovation programme. The project started in May 2018 and will last four years.
The recent report ‘The Netherlands and Synthetic Drugs: An Inconvenient Truth’ argues for increasing resources to expand anti-drug efforts in the Netherlands. In a topical opinion piece, Tom Blickman addresses the crucial issues at hand.
Het kabinet-Rutte III staat op het punt de dividendbelasting af te schaffen. Deze maatregel is omstreden, omdat niet duidelijk gemaakt kan worden welke maatschappelijke opbrengsten tegenover de gederfde inkomsten staan van jaarlijks 1,4 miljard euro. In dit boekje kijken wij naar de argumenten die voorstanders gebruiken en duiken we in de tegenargumenten.
The Praful Bidwai Memorial Award is intended to honour and highlight courageous and independent voices in journalism. The 2018 Award was conferred on Ulka Mahajan, one of the three founders of Sarvahara Jan Andolan. Praful Bidwai, regarded by many as one of the best investigative journalists South Asia has produced, died tragically in Amsterdam on 23 June 2015. His friends created this award to honour his legacy. Praful was a TNI Fellow and a regular visitor to the institute for 25 years. Read the statement from the Praful Bidwai Memorial Committee on this year's award below.