This corporate schmooze-fest takes place every year, making grand pronouncements on the state of the world and treated with reverence by political elites and disdain by most progressive movements. But is it more than an elite talking shop? This reading list explores some of the agendas and ethos underlying the World Economic Forum.
Northern African countries are key suppliers of natural resources to the global economy, from large- scale oil and gas extraction in Algeria and Tunisia, to phosphate mining in Tunisia and Morocco, to water-intensive agribusiness paired with tourism in Morocco and Tunisia. The commodification of nature and privatisation of resources entailed in these projects has led to serious environmental damages, and forced these countries into a subservient position in the global economy, sustaining and deepening global inequalities.
Giant corporations have taken control of our food. In the last two years, these companies have begun the process of merging and re-arranging themselves into just four colossal corporations. The larger these companies grow, the less we can control them. And the less control we have, the harder it is for us to build the kind of food system that more and more of us want: one that recognizes the value of people, respects the planet, and provides decent, dignified work. How did this happen, and what can we do about it?
Violations of human rights and the rights of peoples and nature have become an all too common part of transnational corporations’ operations. There are no binding rules for corporations on Human Rights at the international level. That’s why again this year, in coordination with the Treaty Alliance, the Global Campaign is returning to Geneva to advocate directly to UN member states to engage in a process to create a treaty, and to ensure they hear the voices of communities impacted by corporate violations loud and clear. Inside and Outside the UN dozens of delegates from social movements and civil society networks worldwide will participate in the Week of Peoples Mobilisation.
In today's world transnational corporations (TNCs) have asserted themselves as global entities, which exercise their power without any accountability that matches their economic and political influence. The panelists will assess the impact of a 2014 UNHRC initiative that would bind TNCs in terms of human rights and explore alternatives to the current neoliberal system of corporate impunity.
States are not only handing over more of the economy and policy-making to corporations at national level, they are also doing so at international level. Harris Gleckman summarises the Global Redesign Initiative that has come out of the World Economic Forum and represents the best summary of corporations' vision of what they want global governance to look like. What are its principle features? What dangers does it pose to democracy?
Susan George looks back at her four decades of scholarship to explain what led her to write her different books, how it formed her vision of power and the best ways to challenge the Davos class in order to deliver a more just world.
Social Movements from all over the world came to Geneva (6-10 July) to support a binding treaty on transnational corporations and other business enterprises to respect Human Rights discussed for the 1st time in the United Nations Human Rights Council.
Netherlands/Jakarta, 14 November 2014 - The announcement on November 13th of a US-India agreement on trade facilitation and India’s food security programme was denounced today by Transnational Institute and Serikat Petani Indonesia (SPI), the Indonesian Peasant Union Federation as a “victory for transnational corporations at the expense of peasant farmers.”
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.
One week before the official Asia-Europe government meeting (ASEM) gathers in Milan, over 400 people from 42 countries in Europe and Asia gathered at the 10th Asia-Europe Peoples forum (AEPF) to present their demands and recommendations.
Twenty country members of the United Nations Human Rights Council, representing a population of 3.8 billion people, voted today in favour of a historic resolution to build a binding treaty against TNC human rights abuses.
Davos, perhaps more than any other gathering, epitomises the way political power and global governance have in recent decades been entrenched into a small corporate elite. This elite have succeeded not only in capturing our economy, but also our politics, and increasingly our culture and society too.
Peter Whittaker reviews How to win the Class War by Susan George for the New Internationalist: "The biggest danger to capitalism would be co-operation between the range of social forces opposing neoliberal control".