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.
Multistakeholderism offers corporations an increasingly powerful role in global decision-making and is becoming a default form of global governance. TNI's concern at this privatisation of global governance and its lack of democratic accountability led to a project that since 2016 has been analysing the impacts, mapping its scope, and proposing alternatives.
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.
Covid-19 has once again demonstrated the significance of safe, accessible and affordable water for all. It has also highlighted enormous disparities in service provision while at the same time dealing a blow to public water and sanitation operators around the world due to massive drops in revenues, rapidly rising costs and concerns about health and safety in the workplace. This book provides the first global overview of the response of public water operators to this crisis, shining a light on the complex challenges they face and how they have responded in different contexts. It looks specifically at ‘public’ water and asks how public ownership and public management have enabled (or not) equitable and democratic emergency services, and how these Covid-19 experiences could contribute to expanded and sustainable forms of public water services in the future.
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.
Join our 5-week online course for activists, trade unionists, policy-makers and journalists, to understand what makes the ECT dangerous, how the treaty is expanding and greenwashing its record, and what we can do about it.
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.
How do we recover the emancipatory potential of technological change and bring it back under popular democratic control? As part of its Future Labs work, TNI is working with IT for Change to deepen our analysis and research on the impacts of rapid technological change in all of our areas of work. In 2021, TNI launched a series of essays in conjunction with ROAR magazine to stimulate debate and reflection.
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.
Land politics – who controls what land, how is it used, for how long, for what purposes and to whose benefit – is a central pillar of this debate. As politicians across Europe struggle to balance the urgent need for climate action with the need to strengthen equity and popular support for new policies, the risk of societal discord looms large, fuelled by farmer protests, perceptions of ‘agri-bashing,’ and long-running tensions between conservation movements and agricultural communities. This has been made more complicated by the interweaving of questions of land and national identity and an apparently increasing disconnect between those living in rural and urban areas.
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!
Corporations have stepped beyond lobbying governments. They are integrating in policy-making at the national and international levels. From agriculture to technology, decisions historically made by governments are increasingly made by secretive unaccountable bodies run by corporations.
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.
This briefing profiles the leading US border security contractors, their related financial campaign contributions during the 2020 elections, and how they have shaped a bipartisan approach in favor of border militarization for more than three decades. It suggests that a real change in border and immigration policies will require the Democrats to break with the industry that helps finance them.
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.