Rising repression and restrictions for civil society organisations and social movements have put the issue of 'shrinking space' on the NGO agenda. TNI is working with activists and academics to probe the issue critically: exposing the underlying drivers, drawing attention to those most impacted, while highlighting those whose democratic space is increasing at the public's expense.
The European Union has a common Security and Defence Policy that sets the agenda on border control and crisis management within the EU as well as how the union responds to global security challenges such as climate change. In addition, many of the EU member states are major military powers in their own right, home to some of the largest arms companies.
On 21 September 1976 Chilean secret service agents set off a car bomb in Washington DC killing TNI's director, Orlando Letelier along with Ronni Moffitt, a fundraiser for the Institute for Policy Studies. Here you will find an overview of dossiers, articles and news related to this brutal assassination, from the steps taken to bring the persons primarily responsible for his assassination to justice, to the The Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Awards: An award given in honor of our fallen colleagues while celebrating new heroes of the human rights movement from the United States and the Americas.
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a proposed free trade agreement, in negotiation, between the United States and the European Union. Its proponents claim that the agreement will benefit consumers with lower prices, increased competition and more jobs.
However, very little of the TTIP deals with trade; the vast majority of the agreement relates to government regulations and will therefore have huge implications in matters such as food sovereignty, digital rights and the environment. It will limit the capacity of governments and local groups to regulate and increase the capacity of transnational corporations to act with impunity. TNI’s focus for TTIP and other free trade agreements is on the investment chapter, and particularly the problems caused by Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanisms that allow corporations to sue governments for actions that affect their profits.
People across the world are taking back power over the energy sector, kicking-back against the rule of the market and re-imagining how energy might be produced, distributed and used. How can the concept of energy democracy be deployed to demand a socially just energy system, with universal access, fair prices and secure, unionised and well-paid jobs?
Investment protection mechanisms give corporations the right to sue states if they take any measures – including public interest legislation – that might threaten profits. Wellknown versions of this is the Investor state-dispute mechanism (ISDS) which after rising controversy and critisism has been replaced by the Investment court system (ICS). Investment protection mechanisms are included in most new FTAs. Nevertheless, several governments are starting to reconsider their commitments to it as they recognize the danger that it poses to their sovereignty. TNI has produced extensive research highlighting how investment protection gives corporations far-reaching rights that curtail governments’ sovereignty and drain limited public budgets. It has also revealed the big stakes the legal industry has in these mechanisms.
The UN has held almost annual climate talks since the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change was signed in 1992, however these have failed to deliver the radical and justly-distributed emission cuts that are required largely due to the failure of industrialised nations to accept their historic responsibility, the corporate capture of the talks by fossil-fuel interests, and the false market-based solutions pursued by many nations.
The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) was established in 1968 as the monitoring body for the implementation of the United Nations international drug control conventions. Tensions have arisen about the way the INCB performs its duties and about its legal interpretation of the conventions which many feel goes beyond its mandate.
Global drug policy could see major changes following The United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) from April 19-21, but political divisions and entrenched institutional dynamics have dampened hopes that it will go down in history as the beginning of the end of the war on drugs.
The coca leaf has been chewed and brewed for tea for centuries in the Andean region – and does not cause any harm and is probably beneficial to human health. Yet the leaf is treated as if it is comparable to cocaine or heroin. The inclusion of the coca leaf in the list of narcotic drugs raises questions about the logic behind the current system of classification under the UN conventions. TNI believes we can find a more culturally sensitive approach to plants with psychoactive or mildly stimulant properties, and should distinguish more between problematic, recreational and traditional uses of psychoactive substances.
Dramatic changes around food, climate, energy, and finance in recent years have pushed questions of land use and land control back onto the centre stage of development discourse, at the very moment when the same conditions are spurring an unprecedented rush for land and water across the globe. A fusion of the industrial agro-food and energy complexes has made land and water key resources in the global capitalist system again, fuelling in turn a huge renewed process of enclosure known as the ‘global land grab’. There is a need to come to grips with land issues in a changing global context and to rethink what may be needed to mobilise effectively in such a setting. Neither land reform nor land tenure security alone are well-equipped to be frameworks for analysis or action in the current conjuncture. If, as our analysis suggests, there is a need to transition the people’s demand for land from ‘land reform’ and ‘land tenure security’ to something else, then ‘land sovereignty’ as a framework is worth considering.
A fundamentally contested concept, food sovereignty has — as a political project and campaign, an alternative, a social movement, and an analytical framework — barged into global agrarian discourse over the last two decades. Since then, it has inspired and mobilized diverse publics: workers, scholars and public intellectuals, farmers and peasant movements, NGOs and human rights activists in the North and global South. The term has become a challenging subject for social science research, and has been interpreted and reinterpreted in a variety of ways by various groups and individuals. Indeed, it is a concept that is broadly defined as the right of peoples to democratically control or determine the shape of their food system, and to produce sufficient and healthy food in culturally appropriate and ecologically sustainable ways in and near their territory. As such it spans issues such as food politics, agroecology, land reform, bio-fuels, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), urban gardening, the patenting of life forms, labor migration, the feeding of volatile cities, ecological sustainability, and subsistence rights.