Decentralised Development Cooperation: potential and practices from an international perspective

By Jorge Gutiérrez Goiria

What role should municipal and regional governments play in international cooperation? For some time now, the processes and results of traditional development cooperation have been under scrutiny, and its main parameters are being reconsidered with regard to its own objectives, agents and instruments, which prove to be insufficient to face global challenges.

Decentralised development cooperation (DDC), promoted by local governments, offers a promising approach here. Its practices can promote relations of cooperation and solidarity with greater horizontality and reciprocity, as they naturally involve different actors while responding to problems close to the citizenry.

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Rethinking work for sustainability and justice

By Erik Gomez-Baggethun

Work time reduction is one of the central policy proposals brought forward by ecological economists and degrowth scholars to reduce environmental pressure and unemployment and enhance human well-being. In its broader meaning, work is defined as an activity involving mental or physical effort done to achieve a purpose or result. In economic and policy debates, however, the dominant notion of ‘work’ has acquired a much narrower meaning. It does not extend to cover the activities required for the reproduction of life such as caring and housekeeping, neither the broader set of things we do on our own initiative without expecting remuneration. The dominant conception of work remains confined to the set of activities formally recognized by society as worthy of remuneration. For most people in Western capitalist countries, work is still understood as wage labour, and weekly working times of around 40 hours have come to be perceived as an almost natural configuration of time.

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Marx and Colonialism

By Lucia Pradella

It is widely believed that Marx did not systematically consider the role of colonialism within the process of capital accumulation. According to David Harvey, Marx concentrated on a self-closed national economy in his main work. Although he did mention colonialism in Part 8 of Capital Volume 1 on the so-called primitive accumulation, this would only belong to a pre-history of capital, not to its everyday development. Based on a similar assumption, some postcolonial scholars criticise Marx for being Eurocentric, even a complicit supporter of Western imperialism, who ignored the agency of non-Western people.

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What do the global supply chain disruptions tell us about the world economy?

By Intan Suwandi

Lockdowns and shutdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic led to what is being referred to as the “first global supply chain crisis.” The supply chain disruption has made havoc since the beginning of the pandemic, with more than 90 percent of the 1000 Fortune multinational corporations having a tier-one or tier-two supplier affected by the virus in February 2020.  By mid-April 2020, 81 percent of global manufacturing firms were experiencing supply shortages. Also in the same year, hundreds of US companies reported that their suppliers only operated at an average of 50 percent capacity, which resulted in longer final product lead times and a negative impact between 5.6 to 15 percent on their revenues. Although recent reports indicate that the situation has become less severe, many analysts still think that the “supply chain nightmare” is far from over, and it is predicted that supply chain disruptions will continue until late 2022.

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Social protection and social cohesion are key for climate action

By Daniele Malerba

The current energy crisis stemming from the war in Ukraine has shown that long-term climate mitigation needs to be coupled with the reduction of poverty and inequality; it is obvious that climate change is a global problem, and one that needs to be addressed in combination with social justice. In a recent article in an EJDR  special issue, we make the case that the relationship and effects of social protection and social cohesion are critical in this sense.  Social cohesion is defined as “the vertical and the horizontal relations among members of society and the state as characterized by a set of attitudes and norms that includes trust, an inclusive identity, and cooperation for the common good”

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