Towards a non-extractive and care-driven academia

by Collective of critical geography and development scholars* The white gaze permeates many aspects of even the most critical disciplines. In this piece, we offer some thoughts on how we might reclaim what the university could be  – a place that equips people with the knowledge they need to unlearn/unmake/dismantle the framings and worldviews that lend themselves to white supremacy and […]

What mark have the Yellow Vests left on French democracy?

by Ethan Earle Almost two years after the first protests and shortly after the 2020 Bastille Day: What to make out of the Yellow Vests and the state of French democracy? What to take away from the recently Macron-initiated citizens’ assemblies? Have the Yellow Vests and other protest shaken the French political establishment? Initially launched as a protest against rising […]

“For the democratic production of democratic societies” – Lessons from the transition from social-movement-driven to state-legislated consultations on extractive projects in Peru

by Raphael Hoetmer Over the last two decades, various consultation practices regarding extractive activities have emerged and been implemented throughout Latin America. Some practices adopt a completely autonomous and communitarian approach, some are based on alliances between civil society and local government, while others are also increasingly centred around national governments in connection with new legislation as per international standards […]

Overcoming crises of representation? Arts in anti-coal struggles in Colombia and California

by Beatriz Rodríguez Labajos Raw material extraction, transportation and waste disposal are triggering environmental conflicts worldwide. All types of material throughput in the global economy bear consequences for social justice and sustainability. Yet very few materials better represent the economic, social and moral tensions intertwined in societal metabolism, i.e. material and energy use of human societies, than coal. Data collection […]

Guendalizaá: The reconstruction of the “We”

by Arturo Guerrero Osorio The Zapotec word Guendalizá or Guelaguetza means “familiarity”, “friendship” or “neighborhood”; It is mutual help and is expressed when an person is with the others in the crucial moments of life, the happy and the sad. It is a cultural pattern that comes from the deepest roots from the towns of Oaxaca, Mexico (let’s think about […]

Challenges to intercultural democracy in the Plurinational State of Bolivia: case study of the Monkoxɨ peoples of Lomerío

by Iokiñe Rodriguez and Mirna Inturias Introduction The adoption of Bolivia’s new political Constitution in 2009 marked the birth of a new plurinational state. One of the most important constitutional changes was a new state system of territorial division that recognises departmental, municipal, regional and indigenous autonomies as new plural forms of political organisation seeking to decentralise decision-making power and […]

No Harm Here is Still Harm There: The Green New Deal and the Global South (II)

A GND which fails to challenge the hegemony of growth-led development perpetuates the exploitation of the Global South and will be unable to prevent global ecological social collapse In Part I of this two-part article, we discussed various proposals for a Green New Deal (GND) advanced by progressive forces in the Global North, in terms of their impact on the […]

Ways Out of the Growth Trap

by Ulrich Brand Trade Unions, Climate Crisis and the “Ecology of Work” As the remarkable success of “Fridays for Future” and “Extinction Rebellion” shows, the climate crisis is pushing onto the agenda ever more strongly. Such a push is urgently needed because the window during which its worst effects could be prevented is closing rapidly.1 Accordingly, the need to reduce greenhouse gas […]

No Harm Here is Still Harm There: The Green New Deal and the Global South (I)

by Vijay Kolinjivadi & Ashish Kothari Without accounting for globalized production, a Green New Deal in the Global North will merely spur the imperialist quest for cheaper resources and labour to satisfy “eco-friendly” consumption. The year 2019 and the first few months of 2020 have thrown up unprecedented ecological crises. Even before COVID-19, ecological crises were raging across the world: […]

Let’s Use the Current Opportunity to Develop a Climate-Friendly Transport System

by Heinz Högelsberger & Ulrich Brand Two transport policy topics were discussed the most over the last few days: On the one hand, how more space for movement can be secured for pedestrians during Covid-19 times; on the other hand, whether Austrian Airlines should be bailed out using taxpayer’ money. These questions have a deeply social component: Walking is the […]

On the Cusp: Reframing Democracy and Well-Being in Korchi, India

by Neema Pathak Broome, Shrishtee Bajpai and Mukesh Shende Introduction Mainstream governance and development models – characterised by seemingly democratic but inherently centralised and top-down governance systems and extractive, commercially motivated, capitalist economic policies – have failed to achieve minimum levels of well-being for a very large part of humanity. They have in fact caused large-scale human and environmental injustice. […]

New book! CITIES OF DIGNITY: Urban transformations around the world (July 2020)

Participants of the Global Working Group Beyond Development are pleased to announce the launch of their third publication: Cities of Dignity: Urban Transformations Around the World. The book, written by movement-based authors, was presented at the Vienna 2020 Degrowth Conference on June 1st. Download the book [PDF version HERE] [EPUB-ebook format available soon] One of the main challenges that strategies […]

Introduction to the Democracy debate

Is democracy a stronghold of social struggles or is it rather an institutional framework imposed by capitalism? Why are fascism and different kinds of authoritarianism coming back through elections? How can the scandalous inequality that structures contemporary capitalism and obviously limits democratic decision making strongly be dealt with?

Democracy and transformation in the time of pandemic politics

by Mary Ann Manahan and Miriam Lang As the world reels from historically unprecedented socio-economic and political impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19), many governments are rolling out emergency measures and guidelines for physical distancing, lockdowns, and quarantines, closing of borders, and restrictions of people’s movements in an effort to flatten the curve. Of great concern among social and labor movements, […]