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Towards a Global Digital Constitutionalism: A Radical New Agenda for UN75

3. Mai 2021 - 0:00

Twenty years after the WSIS, even as multi-stakeholder governance models in the domain have been stripped of any claim to their democratic potential, global digital governance is in shambles. Norm-building for the digital paradigm is increasingly shifting to plurilateral spaces and private sector-led rule-making in the guise of technical standards development. The UN Secretary-General’s Roadmap for Digital Cooperation (2020) has failed to address this crisis. The paper argues for how in its 75th year, the UN needs to make a clean break from its historical soft-pedalling of corporatized rule-making for the digital by embracing the radical agenda of a transformative global constitutionalism, and proceeds to outline its constituent elements.

Challenging Corporate Power: Human Rights Globalization from Above and Below

30. April 2021 - 0:00

To address the most pressing issues of our day, the United Nations must be redesigned to transform global social relations in ways that reduce corporate power and empower civil society and local authorities as global actors. People’s movements have made deliberate efforts to advance what I have called human rights globalization, building foundations for an alternative global order from the ground up. These emerging transformative projects can end corporate impunity and foster global norms and identities that contest corporate governance and the monopoly authority of states.

Bretton Woods’ Pandemic Policies: A Gender Equality Analysis—Perspectives from Latin America

21. April 2021 - 0:00

Using a human rights and feminist economist perspective, this article analyzes the emergency financial policies deployed by international financial institutions (IFIs)—in particular the IMF and the World Bank—to help countries in Latin America cope with the COVID-19 crisis. Looking at the macroeconomic and fiscal assumptions behind IMF loans to countries, it identifies clear signals that fiscal discipline and pro-market options will continue to be priorities as soon as the emergency has been overcome. The study explains how recent adjustment and austerity policies adopted by a number of countries have disproportionately affected women’s human rights, reinforcing the invisibilization of gender inequalities in domestic and care work and in turn, making women even more vulnerable to the impact of the pandemic and resulting economic recession. It concludes that in order to properly consider the conditions of IFI loans, countries must evaluate the probable impact of these financial contracts on people’s human rights, and in particular on gender equality.

Investment Governance to Reverse Unjustified Privileging of Investors

20. April 2021 - 0:00

This article discusses approaches to re-envisioning the investment governance regime with a view towards reversing unjustified privileging of investors, including the roles of home and host states in reviewing international investment agreements as well as advancing related national legal frameworks pertaining to investor obligations.

Leveraging Corruption: How World Bank Support to Private Sector Undermines Emerging Democracies

19. April 2021 - 0:00

The International Finance Corporation, the branch of the World Bank that lends to the private sector, is closely associated with the biggest corruption cases in history, including the infamous Odebrecht scandal that resulted in the removal, imprisonment and even suicide of several Latin American presidents. Yet diplomatic immunity has kept the Bank and its Private–Public Partnerships model away from scrutiny.

Somalia: Thirty Years After

16. April 2021 - 0:00

Politically, Somalia is more or less the same as it was in the late 1990s—rightly put, the Arta peace process—with ‘political’ groups competing for power and wealth but with a different approach. The issues on the ‘Somali’ agenda are many, the need to rethink governance immense and ongoing efforts to rebuild the nation, from security to the constitution to the reconciliation process are but national priorities. This article aims to provide a brief assessment of Somalia—30 years after. It will discuss some of the issues in the Somali agenda with emphasis on the story of the haan and provide a number of recommendations.

A Volatile Context: A Revisionist Lens on Good Governance

15. April 2021 - 0:00

Pressures on the legitimacy of global governance are coming from many sides, including from people who feel betrayed by unfulfilled promises and others who wonder if governance structures can ever become truly accountable and responsive to often deep and evolving human insecurity. This article calls for the integration of norms of governance that can better balance hierarchy and protocol with constituent care and service.

Correction to: Incentives to Promote Green Citizenship in UK Transition Towns

1. April 2021 - 0:00

A correction to this paper has been published:

Negotiating Boundaries of Power in the Global Governance for Care

29. März 2021 - 0:00

The centrality of building care economies as a necessary step towards gender justice requires a reassessment of global economic governance and state-centred multilateralism. Globalized structures of power can no longer be seen solely as matters of political borders of nation-states, which is the traditional remit of foreign policy. Rather than geography, it is negotiations over the boundaries of power that must be interrogated for the possibility of redrawing borders and boundaries as these are expressed in social relations where care functions are performed. Five spheres of engagement are identified and discussed. A short note on limitarianism raises a question about its value in a care economy and how ethics of care links to it.

Dimensioning Data Marginalization: Social Indicators Monitoring

25. März 2021 - 0:00

To give visibility to marginalized individuals and population groups, we need to unpack the diversity and dimensions of marginalization and exclusion in indicators monitoring. This article provides a framework of ‘marginalized voices’ which examines the varied characteristics and commonalities of the marginalized and excluded population groups and highlights the dimensions of marginalization across the spectrum of development activities and data valorization. The framework provides a basis for future mitigation strategies against the numerous and various forms of marginalization and exclusion.

Disaster, Debt, and ‘Underdevelopment’: The Cunning of Colonial-Capitalism in the Caribbean

17. März 2021 - 0:00

This article provides a critical overview of the structural forces exacerbating risk related to disasters in the Caribbean. It focuses on the historical antecedents and socio-environmental consequences of extreme weather events across the region via an anti-colonial analysis of Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017 and Dorian in 2019. The authors contend that the logics, practices and debts of colonial-capitalist development, neoliberal exploitation and post-independence corruption continue to reduce resilience and threaten public health in the region. They also detail the role that political economy and social geography play in the face of disasters. They end by proposing that future critiques of and solutions to vulnerability, disaster, and catastrophe in the Caribbean be more attentive to the historical trajectories of imperialism, debt and ‘underdevelopment’.

Re-grounding Human Rights as Cornerstone of Emancipatory Democratic Governance

1. März 2021 - 0:00

Envisioning democratic and internationalist ways of exercising peoples’ sovereignty beyond local and national borders requires the enrichment of human rights thinking with non-European cosmovisions, normative and legal thinking. Integrating human rights, environmental and climate law and the rights of nature plays a key role in building institutions and policies that can genuinely address the root causes of ecological destruction. Likewise, human rights should be at the forefront of the struggle to re-shape financial capitalism and its destructive economic model. They can guide transition processes towards more sustainable ways of production, distribution and consumption, but also towards the necessary protection of and support for care work. Finally, there is an urgent need for innovation in human rights institutions and practices. This goes from securing funding for independent work and combating corporate capture, addressing the colonial legacy still present in international law and human rights architecture, rebalancing the local, national, sub-regional, regional and international dimensions of human rights work, and finding ways to address the dilemmas of a state-centric human rights accountability and governance which do not fall into the traps of multi-stakeholderism.