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.
The joint report produced by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and INTERPOL in 2016 paints a rather grim picture of the extent of environmental crime worldwide. It identifies it as the fourth largest criminal enterprise globally, right behind drug smuggling, counterfeiting, and human trafficking. Two questions are worth pondering here: to quote George Monbiot, how did we get into this mess and what can we do about it?
The rise in authoritarianism is often credited to the successful machinations of charismatic, skillful charlatans, ignoring the longer historical trends towards authoritarianism which has become deeply embedded in contemporary politics, economics and society. TNI has brought together researchers and activists worldwide to examine the underlying causes of today's authoritarian wave with a view to examining how progressive forces' resistance can better challenge and articulate emancipatory alternatives.
Industrial fishing, from deep sea trawling to coastal fish farms, is damaging the environment and emptying our oceans. But there is an alternative. Small-scale fishers around the world rely on traditional methods and practices, working in harmony with the environment to feed themselves and their communities. Around the world they are rallying around the idea of food sovereignty and the vision of a global food system with with food producers and human rights at its center.
The admission by UN's lead agency for drugs, the UNODC, that “the drug market is thriving” in its 2017 World Drug Report is an important one given that it is months away from 2019 – the target date by which governments committed to “significantly reduce or eliminate” the global drug market. At the recent annual gathering of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) in Vienna, this abysmal failure to claim any progress towards these ‘drug-free’ targets was the backdrop to the latest round of tense negotiations on global drug control.
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.
The default response for dealing with rising numbers of refugees and migrants has been to militarise borders rather than address humanitarian needs or tackle the underlying causes of people forced to uproot from home. TNI's Border Wars work looks at the globalisation of border security, the way it criminalises refugees and those who support them, the policies that have put security above human rights, and the corporate interests that are driving the agenda and profiting from it.
The Alternative World Water Forum - FAMA, held from March 17th to 22nd in Brasilia attracted 7,000 people from almost every state in Brazil. FAMA sent a clear message that it would not engage with the opaque 8th World Water Forum, hosted by the private think-tank World Water Council and its corporate partners. The World Water Council has fostered pro-privatisation policy debates for decades.
Nearly 7,000 people from more than 30 countries, and from almost every Brazilian state, gathered at the Alternative World Water Forum (FAMA) from 17 to 22 March 2018. The purpose of this mobilisation was to challenge the legitimacy of the World Water Forum, which is organised every three years by the private think-tank World Water Council together with its corporate partners.
David Bewley-Taylor, Tom Blickman, Martin Jelsma, John Walsh
03 April 2018
Ever since the introduction of Bill C-45, questions have been swirling concerning Canada’s position relative to the UN drug control conventions: conventions to which Canada is a party and that, crucially, prohibit the creation of regulated markets for the recreational use of cannabis.
TNI Fellows are internationalist intellectuals with a track record of progressive activist-scholarship and a passionate commitment to social change. They bring TNI vision and new ideas, expertise relevant to current programme, connect TNI to relevant networks and commit themselves to an active role in TNI. TNI Fellowships do not involve any financial remuneration.
As a growing number of countries move towards legal regulation for non-medical cannabis, governments are pushing the boundaries of the three UN drug control treaties. At the 61st session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), TNI co-organised a side event to explore the issue, addressing the various challenges and opportunities involved.
The Atlas of Utopias is a global gallery of inspiring community-led transformation in water, energy and housing. It features 32 communities from 19 countries working on bold solutions to our world’s systemic economic, social and ecological crises.