TNI's fifth annual State of Power 2016 report explores the intersect of power and democracy. Featuring prominent activists and academics, its essays feature the long battle between economic power and popular democracy, expose the different powers seeking to undermine democracy today, and tell the stories of radical popular democratic alternatives emerging worldwide.
Experiences and experiments in Spain, Brazil, Istanbul and other cities suggest that a transnational municipalism, based on concepts of an open source city (free online tools and active citizen participation), has the potential to regenerate democracy and build a geopolitics of the commons against neoliberalism.
Malta Today - The transatlantic trade and investement partnership (TTIP) between the European Union and the United States aims to increase economic growth and job on both sides of the Atlantic. However, critics say the TTIP agreements threaten public services.
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?
The Water Justice project, run jointly by TNI and Corporate European Observatory, is engaged in the work of building viable alternatives to water privatisation, focusing on how to reform public water systems in order to make the human right to water a reality for everyone.
To inspire us for action in 2016, TNI picked 12 significant victories of social movements in 2015 that show that, despite the immense challenges we face in a world of unprecedented concentration of corporate, financial and military power, people power works.
A return to public forms of administration in water supplies is a phenomenon that has been spreading globally. Over the past 15 years almost 235 cities around the world, among them Paris, Berlin, Budapest, Buenos Aires and Kuala Lumpur have either terminated or have desisted from renewing the contracts with private concessionary companies. In the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria and the Scandinavian countries, for example, water delivery is, by a tradition, almost 100 percent public.
After 18 years of underperforming private management, water services in Jakarta could be returning to public management to guarantee the human right to water in accordance with the Central Jakarta District Court ruling of 24 March 2015, which annulled the current contract agreements.
We often use the term "Commons" to explain, that we aim at transforming our societal organization. But which realistic concepts do we have at hand to regain the control over our energy system? We need to ask the question of ownership: Shall the energy system pass into public ownership? Shall we fight for it on all levels, at the municipal, regional and national level?
The aggressive agenda of services corporations, with regards to TTIP and CETA, pushes for far-reaching market opening in areas such as health, cultural and postal services, and water, which would allow them to enter and dominate the markets. Those in charge of EU trade negotiations are rolling out the red carpet for the services industry, with CETA and TTIP reflecting the wishlist of corporate lobbyists.
Thomas Marois, Senior Lecturer in Development Studies argues that until people regain control of money and credit, we will not be able to stop economic and ecological crises. Most people don't know that fortunately there is untapped potential in public banks, that make up a quarter of all banks worldwide. Drawing on his research on public banks in Turkey, Costa Rica and elsewhere, Marois points to the potential and problems of public banks and how we might harness them to deliver social and environmental justice.
The Indian Express - The municipal body’s financial losses from water works has reportedly increased by Rs 60 crore per annum, leading to demands, from both opposition parties and the local community, for the ouster of the private player.
Thruthout - Private companies have been working to make a profit from water since the 1600s, when the first water companies were established in England and Wales. The first wave of water privatization occurred in the 1800s, and by the mid- to late-19th century, privately owned water utilities were common in Europe, the United States and Latin America, and began to appear in Africa and Asia.
The Transnational Institute (TNI) in the Netherlands is issuing an open call for essays/short papers for its forthcoming State of Power report launched in late January 2016 to coincide with the World Economic Forum in Davos. In 2016, we are particularly looking for accessible, engaging essays that interrogate how power relates to democracy.
The question of how to finance water and sanitation is crucial. Leading international institutions emphasise the role of private finance despite major concerns. The idea that private finance can bring the needed investment is remarkably persistent in global policy circles and leads to a dangerous lack of attention to the far more realistic option of mobilising public finance for infrastructure to provide essential services for all.
Social movements and critical scholars have triggered renewed debate on possible different futures for on developmental change. They are no longer tethered to the pole of ‘reform and reproduce’. A new pole of ‘critique and strategy beyond’ neoliberal capitalism has emerged