The fourth edition of our annual State of Power report, coinciding with the international meeting in Switzerland of what Susan George calls “the Davos class”. This series seeks to examine different dimensions of power, unmask the key holders of power in our globalised world, and identify sources of transformative counter-power.
Esta es la cuarta edición de nuestro informe anual Estado del poder, coincidiendo con la cumbre en Suiza de lo que Susan George denomina “la clase de Davos”. Esta recopilación de ensayos persigue analizar las diferentes dimensiones del poder, poner al descubierto a quienes lo ostentan en nuestro mundo globalizado e identificar fuentes de contrapoder transformador.
The fallout from the current phase of capitalism has become more manifest globally in 2016, provoking unexpected political responses. However, the people most severely impacted by the current economic crisis have largely chosen to support political figures and positions[i] contrary to those that have been elaborated for years by the alter-globalisation left, also known as the global justice movement.
Despite the track record of systemic and systematic violations of the range of human rights, the efforts to establish legally binding obligations and an instrument of enforcement within the UN system have been defeated by determined corporate opposition. The current Guiding Principles developed by the former Special Representative of the UN Secretary General, John Ruggie, do not create "any new international legal obligations" and are therefore non-binding.
India has strongly entrenched power hierarchies that have historical roots but have also been exacerbated by inequalities and injustices that have deepened with economic globalisation. However grassroots political movements are emerging in India that could signal a gradual shift to direct or radical democracy, coupled with making representative democracy more accountable and ecologically sustainable
Economics often appears boring, but this narrow, mostly male dominated profession decides on matters intimately bound up with questions of power, democracy and vital matters of health, education, social welfare and the environment. Meaningful democracy requires the participation of ordinary people in economic debates, so that they can shape their own lives in solidarity with others.
The case of Newmont Mining vs Indonesia is a powerful example of how investment agreements are used by companies to get exemptions from government regulations and legislation, undermining democracy and development.
Despite the pervasive strength of neoliberalism, activist practices including community organising, reciprocal working, commoning and conviviality are building spaces for relationships and learning and showing that resistance is not futile.
Alberto Alonso-Fradejas, Juan Liu, Tania Salerno, Yunan Xu
19 May 2015
The ‘how’ and ‘why’ of oil palm flexing is heavily influenced by a synthesis of forces and relations within and around the oil palm value web. These dynamics impact the way flexing among oil palm’s different uses is influenced and/or carried out by various powerful actors within the state, the private sector, and civil society.
In the wake of early 2010s upheavals such as the Arab Spring, Spain’s indignados, or the global Occupy movement, many commentators were quick to either invoke the presumed tech-savvy of ‘digital natives’ or the purported ‘cyber-utopianism’ of net freedom advocates who supported the protests. But what role have internet freedom activists – or ‘freedom technologists’ – played in ongoing struggles for progressive political change around the world and how can the pursuit of liberty be combined with the struggle for social justice?
More than three years after the adoption of the Tenure Guidelines land and natural resource grabs in all forms continue unabated around the world, visiting their devastating impacts on local communities, environments with related human rights violations. The implementation and application of the Tenure Guidelines, therefore, remains a matter of extreme urgency.
Ecuador has entered a new era in drug policy and legislation. Twenty-five years after the last major legal reform, brought about by the famed Narcotic and Psychotropic Substances Law (Ley de Sustancias Estupefacientes y Psicotrópicas, Law 108), which took effect on September 17, 1990, the National Assembly is about to debate—for the second and final time—the draft Law on Prevention of Drugs and Use or Consumption of Substances Classified as Subject to Oversight (Ley de Prevención de Drogas y Uso y Consumo de Sustancias Catalogadas Sujetas a Fiscalización.)
International tensions over Uruguay’s decision to regulate cannabis reached new levels when Raymond Yans, president of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), accused Uruguay of having a "pirate attitude" towards the UN conventions.
INCB President Yans disqualifies himself by accusing Uruguay of negligence with regard to public health concerns, deliberately blocking dialogue attempts and having a "pirate attitude" towards the UN conventions, and should consider stepping down.
The horrific forced disappearance of 43 students in Iguala reveals how organised crime and corruption thrive in conditions of institutional or democratic weakness, shaped to a large extent by distinctive transnational relations (importantly, in this case, with the US). Fortunately groups like the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity are showing a burgeoning 'social power' that has the potential to change politics and policy in Mexico.
For a TTIP resolution that puts people, the environment and democracy before short-term profit and disproportionate corporate rights. 375 civil society organisations from across Europe call on EU decision-makers to protect citizens, workers, and the environment from the threats it poses.
Modkraft - I hele verden har vi de senere år set en ærgerlig tendens til, at multinationale selskaber får større magt over lovgivningen globalt og lokalt. Det er et problem, når store selskaber, som drives af økonomiske interesser, bliver mere magtfulde end vores demokratisk valgte politikere.
Los debates, reuniones y cocktails que se han celebrado en Davos, en realidad, sólo han servido para certificar el “consenso global sobre el modelo de desarrollo”, aceptando modificaciones únicamente superficiales.