The World Economic Forum’s Global Redesign Initiative is perhaps the best reflection of how corporations and other elites envision the future of governance. It calls for marginalising intergovernmental decision-making with a system of multi-stakeholder governance, but what does this mean for democracy, accountability and the rule of law?
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.
Geneva: March 16, 2018 – The Global Campaign to Reclaim Peoples Sovereignty, Dismantle Corporate Power and Stop Impunity (Global Campaign) (1) welcomes the presentation and acceptance of the report on the 3rd session of the Open-ended intergovernmental working group (OEIGWG) on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights (2) in the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council 37th session.
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.
A push by 39 WTO members, including China, Russia, the EU, Argentina, Brazil and Mexico to reintroduce formal discussions on investment facilitation at the 11th World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial conference has failed.
Jun Borras, Jennifer Franco, Clara Mi Young Park, Mads Barbesgaard, Yukari Sekine, Ye Lin Myint, Thant Zin
02 March 2018
Dominant approaches to climate change mitigation are putting new pressures on small farmers and village dwellers, justifying dispossession by powerful actors who cast villagers' traditional ways of life as ecologically destructive or economically inefficient. In order to address the twin challenges of agrarian justice and climate justice, it is critical to understand the way new conflicts and initiatives intersect with old conflicts and the way they are compounded by undemocratic settings, and inequality and division along fault-lines of gender, ethnicity, class, and generation.
The biological, chemical, social and political reality in which all humans beings live is changing our planet and our culture exponentially. This is the Anthropocene – a new geological age characterized by the critical impacts of human activities on the Earth’s systems. As the physical world around us is transformed, so too movements for social change must evolve if they are to have the structural integrity to survive the coming waves, winds and wars.
TNI is inviting you to this free webinar on Wednesday, 8 April at 4pm (CET) with Professor Jayati Ghosh, Quinn Slobodian, Walden Bello and Lebohang Pheko on the likely global impacts of the economic fallout from the Coronavirus and how we might be better prepared than the 2008 economic crisis to put forward progressive solutions.
The World Economic Forum that meets in Davos annually is more than an elite talk-shop or trade show. It has also been the birthplace of many neoliberal policies and programmes including the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). In recent years, the World Economic Forum has openly pushed to replace the multilateral form of governance with a multistakeholder approach, in which corporations play a more significant role.
The post COVID-19 world presents a new opportunity to deepen the corporate plans of capturing global governance and ensuring it serves the interests of corporate business and profits instead of putting in place policies for the wellbeing of humanity. It is urgent to unmask this global and systemic trend by showing how it operates in key sensitive sectors as well as taking the challenge to generate peoples power towards building a strong public and participatory governance for a world beyond the health, climate, inequality and democracy crises. Is there a future for another multilateralism?
Northern African countries are key suppliers of natural resources to the global economy, from large- scale oil and gas extraction in Algeria and Tunisia, to phosphate mining in Tunisia and Morocco, to water-intensive agribusiness paired with tourism in Morocco and Tunisia. The commodification of nature and privatisation of resources entailed in these projects has led to serious environmental damages, and forced these countries into a subservient position in the global economy, sustaining and deepening global inequalities.
Although no crisis can be reduced exclusively to an economic or financial dimension or causation, this particular one derives from the pandemic spread of virus with devastating human and social effects. If we want to learn something from this world crisis, we need to try to understand it taking into consideration various simultaneous perspectives (health, social, humanitarian and environmental, among others), with a long-term historical outlook (to better help us to find a way out and avoid its recurrence) and a global viewpoint.
This corporate schmooze-fest takes place every year, making grand pronouncements on the state of the world and treated with reverence by political elites and disdain by most progressive movements. But is it more than an elite talking shop? This reading list explores some of the agendas and ethos underlying the World Economic Forum.
Over the last 30 years, finance capital has become dominant in the leading capitalist economies, outstripping the industrial elite in power and influence. This development has led to the increasing subjection of the productive sector to the volatile dynamics of the financial sector.
The Covid-19 pandemic has provoked widespread discussion of what kind of future the world should look forward to after the crisis. One of the areas of economic life around which there is spirited debate is the global food system. This paper focuses on how the pandemic has exposed the fragility of the corporate-dominated global food supply system and shown that it is not, as the Food and Agriculture Organization and its allied agencies see it, part of the solution.
Global pressure on land and natural resources is mounting, with mainstream narratives about climate change often intensifying pressure to replace so-called "inefficient" users of land, including small farmers and pastoralists with market-based dynamics and actors. This dynamic makes the pursuit of socially just land policy ever more important and urgent, while at the same time creating new challenges. The fundamental connections and tensions between agrarian and climate justice must be reckoned with, and movements on both sides must deepen their understanding.
No stakeholder-based global governance system comes close to matching the democratic legitimacy of a citizen-based and nation-state-based governance system, but there are ways global governance can and should be reformed.