The AEPF this year in Brussels brought together citizens for dialogue, solidarity and action, as a platform from which to oppose corporate-dominated, undemocratic and neoliberal responses to ongoing crises.
This book takes readers on a journey through the rise and fall of the one-size-fits-all model of development that richer nations began imposing on poorer ones three decades ago. It brings into question the entire conventional notion of “development,” and offers readers a new lens through which to view the way forward for poorer nations and poorer people.
"A fascinating and lively account of how it is by strengthening democracy, involving workers and citizens we can transform our public services. It truly kicks privatisation into touch!" (Baroness Helena Kennedy)
Reclaim the State sets out on a journey from Brazil to Britain to discover how people are creating new, stronger forms of democracy. The book shows that the foundations for new political directions for deepening democracy already exist, and provides imaginative and practical tools for building on them.
Amongst many other analyses and debates, the more extensive awareness of the active role of the state and of states in the purportedly highly successful 'market economies' in East Asia and South East Asia is bringing discussion of the role of state back into quite mainstream development discourse.
South Africa is playing a significant role in supporting and extending the power of the World Trade Organisation, a new system of global government. This not only entails South Africa surrendering its own policy-making rights and space, but also means bargaining away the South African peoples’ democratic rights to determine their country’s internal economic, environmental, social and cultural policies.
In the long term we have to transcend capitalism as it cannot ensure a decent livelihood for all nor is it compatible with preserving necessary ecological balances. In the short-term we must start out with basic social democratic demands.
The current paradigmatic crisis needs to be dealt with at the regional level. In this respect, Latin American movements have already mobilised and placed different models of development and integration at the centre of their struggle. However, the European Union model, whereby integration is geared towards the interests of transnational corporations, should be avoided.
The institutions that are supposed to reproduce daily life are incapable of acting on behalf of the people any more, so we need to produce our own institutional alternatives based on micro-experiments and universal values.
The Davos class run our major institutions, know exactly what they want, and are well organized, but they have weaknesses too. For they are wedded to an ideology that isn't working and they have virtually no ideas nor imagination to resolve this.
Citizen struggles for public water in Peru and Uruguay share many similarities and a common vision, with "public-community partnerships" bringing trade unions and water utility managers together on a shared platform.
There's widespread disappointment over India's choice of negotiators for the recent dialogue over Kashmir, which looks more like an effort to pretend - in advance of Obama's visit to the country - that the government is "doing something" about the situation.
Mining in India has been significant in contributing to the 45 million people displaced thanks to "development" projects, yet the industry is still not being made to compensate communities for the loss of livelihoods, homes and environmental health.
As images of Pakistan coping with the crisis and of its destitute people were being shown on European television, a French air force helicopter was transporting the richest man in Pakistan to his most extravagant European property, a 16th century chateau.
The twentieth anniversary of the fall of communism - as system, ideology and strategic challenger to capitalism - is an appropriate moment to assess its legacy. But this must discard triumphalism, and be rooted in an awareness of communism's history, its myths, and its relation to capitalist modernity.