A Pandemia is by definition a global issue. This is not the first pandemia, including in the recent past. How can we explain, when the number of deaths is relatively low compared to the other causes of mortality in societies, the stupefaction it causes, which is reflected in a barely believable fact: one third of the world’s population is confined and all usual activities are suspended, waiting indeterminately.
We are living in a time of exception. A time when the existing order is open to question. In this short essay for Globalizations I wish to make some initial reﬂections in response to the present ‘triple conjuncture’ of global crises. This triple conjuncture is an interaction among three spheres or vectors of global crises, together constituting a crisis of capitalist world order. The three spheres of the global crisis are: climate change and ecological breakdown; a systemic crisis of global capitalism and neoliberal economic globalization; and the current global pandemic of covid-19. The three spheres are deeply interrelated and now rapidly interacting. Their combined eﬀects will bring radical systemic transformation.
Read this interesting article from Barry Gills
There is something profoundly disturbing about this crisis. The results are frightening: ten thousands of deaths, hundred thousands of sick people, major cities in lockdown, an economic collapse…
Slowly, from China and South-East Asia, the crisis is now hitting Europe, the United States and will inevitably spread from there to the South. And as we know, the majority of poor countries does not have the capacities to care for their people. Almost half of the world population does not even have water and soap to wash their hands.
Speculations are going on on how our world will have to change after the crisis. But will it change? Lees verder
Developing countries bear the brunt of costs from illicit financial flows (IFFs). These losses are the result of the facilities that the global system provides transnational companies, operating in multiple tax jurisdictions, to move their profits to favorable locations. International cooperation has been seen to be a key ingredient in restricting IFFs. However, a difference in interests in the treatment of many types of transactions between developed and developing countries is an obstacle to a fast solution of the problem. Developing countries must seek to seize the initiative to restrict their losses from IFFs. They can deploy various joint and concerted actions, within the umbrella of the principles of South-South cooperation for this purpose.
Read the interesting report of the South South Center
What social model are we heading for?
Analysis of the World Bank’s ‘new social contract’
It has been said and it has been repeated: social policies have been the major victims of neoliberal globalisation. During the past forty years, attention for social protection and social development, everywhere, shifted towards ‘poverty reduction’, the IMF’s (International Monetary Fund) and the World Bank’s prescriptions continuously implied cuts in social spending and targeted policies in the South, while ‘austerity’ was introduced in the North with negative consequences on welfare states and labour law.
The changing world of work and the fundamental societal changes – migration, ageing, women on the labour market – recently gave rise to some timid discussions on social protection. The only real debate that took place in the North concerned the possible introduction of a ‘Universal Basic Income’, a basically liberal idea that almost inevitably would make an end to welfare states.
Democracy is a constant struggle for compromise —forever a construction site. An end is never in sight as people will always have to renegotiate how they live together. This highlights the necessity of seeking compromise that always takes some back and forth, some give and take. The process is exhausting, sometimes even painful, but requires a forceful people’s stand from a position of power –just keep in mind the early 20th century introduction of the women’s right to vote or the civil rights and anti apartheid movements –they sure were more than worth fighting for. (Deutsche Welle)
The danger (problem?) is that democracies die democratically (Boaventura de Souza Santos)
Read the article by Claudio Schuftan
In today’s world of planetary destruction and debasing of humankind, we have to re-think the meaning of our fundamental values and concepts. In this contribution, I want to look at production and its links to re-production and what this means for social and political transformation geared towards social justice. First, I will develop the idea of value attached to re-productive activities. Secondly, related to gender, I will show that one can de-commodify reproductive work without de-monetising it. In order to do so, one has to get rid of the ‘immaterial values’ too often attributed to women. It is the context in which we can start to think of commons and social commons in a way that re-values women’s work and fully integrates them into the world of economic and social rights. Moreover, the commons of rights contribute to the shaping and building of society. Lees verder
For 40 years, elites in rich and poor countries alike promised that neoliberal policies would lead to faster economic growth, and that the benefits would trickle down so that everyone, including the poorest, would be better off. Now that the evidence is in, is it any wonder that trust in elites and confidence in democracy have plummeted?
by Joseph Stiglitz
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The institutions contin ue sleepwalking, as the authors say in their report on the recent annual meetings of the World Bank and the IMF
The World Bank recently issued a White Paper on rethinking social protection systems to extend coverage. While at first glance this is an honourable goal, the proposals in Protecting All: Risk-Sharing for a Diverse and Diversifying World of Work would do little to achieve this aim. The paper proposes a rollback of existing rights and protections for workers, both in terms of social security and labour market protections. Leo Baunach, Evelyn Astor and Stephen Kidd argue that this approach would increase inequality and undermine poverty reduction.
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