Walden Bello is Executive Director of the advocacy institute Focus on the Global South. His articles are frequently republished on this site and can be accessed below, including a link to original source.
The unexpected death a few days ago of Nestor Kirchner deprived not only Argentina of a remarkable, albeit controversial leader. It also took away an exemplary figure in the Global South when it came to dealing with international financial institutions. Kirchner defied the creditors. More importantly, he got away with it, writes Walden Bello.The Political Consequences of Stagnation
Failure to assert an inspiring alternative to neoliberalism in the US has led to economic and political stagnation. Progressives must advocate a broader vision - one that upholds democratic decision-making, greater equality and cooperation instead of competition, argues Walden Bello.New Economics for a New Administration
The ascent to power of a new administration in the Philippines provides an opportunity to shift away from the neoliberal policies of the past. An economic strategy that prioritises redistribution and public goods could launch the country onto a sustainable developmental path, argues Walden Bello.Why Fighting Corruption is not Enough
Corruption is a serious problem in the Philippines, but it is not, as is popularly believed, the principal cause of poverty. Conservative macroeconomic management, trade and financial liberalization, and a subservient debt policy are the real culprits, says Walden Bello.China: The Prince of Denmark
Media accounts of the Copenhagen climate change talks depict China as the ‘new villain’ in environmental politics, with Wen Jinbao’s spoiler tactics leading to one of the biggest diplomatic disappointments in decades. But is this portrayal either accurate or fair? By Walden Bello.Climate and Capitalism in Copenhagen
The preoccupation of policymakers with export-driven growth to revive the global economy is a dangerous divide leading up to Copenhagen. Unless an alternative economic model is central to climate negotiations, even the most ambitious agreement will be a band-aid, writes Walden Bello.The World Crisis - and Beyond
The development of globalised capitalism has led to financial, food and climate crises that threaten the regions of the world in different ways. This report compiles views raised at the 'Conference on Alternatives and Transformation Paths to Overcome the Regime of Crisis-Capitalism', by the Transnational Institute et al.Neoliberalism as Hegemonic Ideology in the Philippines
The dominance of neoliberalism in the economic policies of the Philippines resulted from a number of wider political developments. Dismantling this ideological hegemony will require reconnecting economic theory with the real world, says Walden Bello.G20: Form, not Substance
After three summits have produced only broad policy statements of a voluntary nature, the G20 is not a credible policymaking body to address the global economic crisis. Will it now serve as the lightning rod for the rebirth of the anti-globalization movement? By Walden Bello.The Virtues of Deglobalization
The global financial crisis has further exposed the fundamental flaws of economic globalization. A "deglobalization" paradigm based on shared principles of alternative economics is needed to re-embed the economy in society, rather than having society driven by the economy, writes Walden Bello.Robert McNamara's Second Vietnam
As president of the World Bank, Robert McNamara promoted top-down development rather than redistribution of wealth. The humanitarian consequences of these policies are comparable to the human cost of McNamara's leadership in the Vietnam war, says Walden Bello.Keynes: A Man for this Season?
Although the global financial crisis has revealed the flaws of free market economics, a return to Keynesianism is not enough to secure recovery. The needs of our times include fairer income distribution, a sustained attack on poverty, and urgent action on climate change, writes Walden Bello.The Global Food Price Crisis
Influential orthodox economists like Paul Collier see the food price crisis as the result of insufficient production. But the real cause is the globalised system of industrial agriculture, which prioritises profit over the needs of the global majority and the environment, argues Walden Bello.Will China Save the World from Depression?
Beijing's heavy rural investment has led commentators to see hope for global recovery in the Chinese countryside. Yet allocating funds to boost rural demand will fail to reverse China’s long-standing subordination of the poor to export-oriented industrialization, says Walden Bello.Capitalismís Crisis and our Response
As ideas aimed at perfecting globalization turn into policies, progressives must boldly aspire once again to paradigms of social organization that unabashedly aim for equality. Ideas are not enough, says Walden Bello.U-20: Will the Global Economy Resurface?
Northern governments are responding to the economic slowdown by reviving the same 'fossilized institutions' that underpin the financial crisis. The G20 should abandon old ways of global governance and put in their place a more decentralized, democratic order, says Walden Bello.Asia: the Coming Fury
The reliance of Asian countries on debt-financed middle-class spending in the US has left many vulnerable to the financial crisis. Now, Asia's slide into recession may signal the 'end of the export era' and herald unprecedented social revolution, argues Walden Bello.The Coming Capitalist Consensus: Global Social Democracy
Given the need for global legitimacy to promote their interests in a world where the balance of power is shifting towards the South, western elites might find more attractive an offshoot of European Social Democracy and New Deal liberalism that one might call "Global Social Democracy", writes Walden Bello.Wall Street Meltdown Primer
The Wall Street meltdown is not only due to greed and to the lack of government regulation of a hyperactive sector. This collapse stems ultimately from the crisis of overproduction that has plagued global capitalism since the mid-1970s - and the worst is not yet over, says Walden Bello.Toward a New American Isolationism
What Asia, like the rest of the world, needs is a vacation from a messianic United States - and the aim of civil society mobilization both in Asia and globally should be to encourage a new American isolationism, argues Walden Bello.How Doha died: A Ringsiderís View
Regarded as one of the leading experts on Philippine trade and agriculture issues, Riza Bernabe was interviewed on the latest collapse of the WTO "Doha Round" trade negotiations. By Walden Bello.Africaís Food Crisis the Handiwork of IMF, World Bank
The food crisis in Africa had been building up for years, with the World Bank and IMF resident proconsuls reaching into the very innards of the state’s involvement in the agricultural economy to rip it up, argues Walden Bello.The Dracula Round
After Doha, the WTO is now in a worse position than before, with the prospect that it will evolve like the old League of Nations in the 1930’s: present but powerless, argue Walden Bello and Mary Lou Malig.Derail Doha, Save the Climate
In the face of the looming specter of climate change, the ongoing World Trade Organization talks in Geneva amount to arguing over the arrangement of deck chairs while the Titanic is sinking, argues Walden Bello.
The G8 climate communique showed that it is trying hard to avoid the necessary radical controls on growth, consumption, profits, and the market that a viable strategy to stave off the looming climate catastrophe will necessitate, writes Walden Bello.Destroying African Agriculture
The food crisis concerns not only biofuels, says Walden Bello, but the structural adjustment of agriculture that has destroyed the self-sufficiency of developing economies.Manufacturing a Food Crisis
With the global food crisis and environmental catastrophe multiplying, the farmers movement is moving to centre stageIn the shadow of debt: The Sad but Sobering Story behind a Quarter-Century of Stagnation
"With the failure of doctrinaire neoliberalism to both explain and move countries out of underdevelopment, we are beginning once more to appreciate the positive role of the state in development"Challenges and Dilemmas of the Public Intellectual
The following is excerpted from Walden Bello's acceptance speech at the Outstanding Public Scholar Award Panel, International Studies Association, 49th Annual Convention, San Francisco, California, March 27, 2008. Bello was the second recipient of the award, the first being Dr. Susan George in 2007.Can Capitalism Survive Climate Change?
The dilemma of the South: if they follow capitalisms 'stages of growth' like the North, it will bring about ecological Armageddon - so climate change is both a threat and an opportunity to bring about long postponed economic reform, writes Walden Bello.Capitalism in an Apocalyptic Mood
Skyrocketing oil prices, a falling dollar, and collapsing financial markets are the key ingredients in an economic brew that could end up in more than just an ordinary recession.Elites vs. Greens in the Global South
The challenge facing activists in the global North and the global South is to bring about those circumstances that will trigger the formation of a global mass movement that will decisively confront the most crucial challenge of our times.There Must Be a U-turn to Create Healthy Domestic Markets
The less powerful economies should have greater privileges than the more powerful economies, so regional cooperation increases their capacity rather than eroding it, by Walden Bello and Chris Arsenault.The Day After
A day after the dramatic ending of the Bali climate talks, many are wondering if the result was indeed the best outcome possible given the circumstances.Players and Plays at Bali
An eruption of trade justice and development activists brought a contentious, World Trade Organization ministerial-like atmosphere to the negotiations, which had formerly been marked by a civil if not chummy relationship between government negotiators and climate lobbyists.Power, Passion, and Neoliberalism
Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine is very impressive indeed. This is, however, not immediately evident, a sense that is confirmed by Joseph Stiglitz' review of the book. I was certain that Stiglitz would highlight Klein's attempt to make a connection between the electric shock experiments and the economic shock approach developed by Milton Friedman, writes Walden Bello.The Environmental Movement in the Global South: The Pivotal Agent
What is clear is that in most other places in the South, one cannot depend on the elites and some sections of the middle class to decisively change course. At best, they will procrastinate. The fight against global warming will need to be propelled mainly by an alliance between progressive civil society in the North and mass-based citizens’ movements in the South, says Walden Bello.Sand in the Wheels: Why Walden Bello thinks Globalization has Stalled
Walden Bello outlines several reasons why globalization has run aground: the continuing importance of national production and sales, the behaviour of the US and approaching environmental collapse as a consequence of economic growth at all costs.All Fall Down
Ten years after the Asian financial cataclysm of 1997, the economies of the Western Pacific Rim are growing, though not at the rates they enjoyed before the crisis. The region has been indelibly scarred by the crisis. There is greater poverty, inequality, and social destabilization than before the crisis. South Korea’s painful labor market reforms, for instance, have produced the quiet desperation behind one of the highest suicide rates among developed countries.Free Trade vs. Small Farmers
The 20th century was a terrible blight on small farmers everywhere. In both wealthy capitalist economies and in socialist countries, farmers paid a heavy price for industrialization.China Provokes Debate in Africa
It was unexpected. At the Seventh World Social Forum (WSF), held in Nairobi, Kenya, in late January, the most controversial topic was not HIV-AIDS, the U.S. occupation of Iraq, or neoliberalism. The topic that generated the most heat was China’s relations with Africa.Globalization in Retreat
Many in progressive circles still think that the task at hand is to “humanize” globalization. Fifteen years after the prophesied borderless, stateless international economy, globalization has in fact reached its high water mark - and is receding, argues Walden Bello.Eye of the Hurricane: Milton Friedman and the Global South
While economists laud the recently deceased Milton Friedman for being “a champion of freedom whose work transformed economics and changed the world,” as a full-page advertisement in the New York Times put it, people in the South will remember the University of Chicago professor as the eye of a human hurricane that cut a swath of destruction through their economies. For them, Friedman will long be associated with two things: free-market reform in Chile and “structural adjustment” in the developing world.Chain-Gang Economics
“The world is investing too little,” according to one prominent economist. “The current situation has its roots in a series of crises over the last decade that were caused by excessive investment, such as the Japanese asset bubble, the crises in Emerging Asia and Latin America, and most recently, the IT bubble. Investment has fallen off sharply since, with only very cautious recovery.”Microcredit, Macro Problems
The awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Muhammad Yunus, regarded as the father of microcredit, comes at a time when microcredit has become something like a religion to many of the powerful, rich and famous. Hillary Clinton regularly speaks about going to Bangladesh, Yunus's homeland, and being "inspired by the power of these loans to enable even the poorest of women to start businesses, lifting their families--and their communities--out of poverty."
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