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Social Dimension of Globalization

Read this publicationTowards a Framework Convention on the Right to Development

Koen de Feyter

On 4 December 1986, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Declaration on the Right to Development. According to the Declaration, the right to development entitles every human person and all peoples to participate in, contribute to, and enjoy development, in which all human rights can be fully realized. The problem of how to realize this resolution and whether a legally binding standard might be useful and politically enforceable, is highly controversial. Koen De Feyter argues for a framework convention on the Right to Development which could complement the current human rights regime with a treaty that goes beyond individual State responsibility and takes inspiration from principles derived from international development efforts, such as mutual accountability, alignment of policies among partner countries, and inclusive partnerships.

International Policy Analysis, FES Geneva, April 2013

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Open this new publicationThe Future We the People Need. Voices from New Social Movements in North Africa, Middle East, Europe & North America

Werner Puschra and Sara Burke (eds.)

Many new social movements have sprung up since the financial crisis in 2008. In North Africa, the Middle East, Europe and North America they emerged out of social protests against economic austerity, inequality and political exclusion. This publication features 20 contributions, from activists and analysts in Egypt, Tunisia, Israel, Greece, Ireland, Spain, the US, Canada and Mexico, who were invited, not to look back at the protests to analyze their causes, but to critically and constructively examine the creative proposals and campaigns that have emerged from them. The motifs that come through— frustration with government for failing to address political and social exclusion, lack of faith in official political processes and actors, the belief that new social movements are sowing seeds of a more direct democracy—are common in each country and all regions. However, the theme that is emerging most strongly is that of a deep crisis in political representation.

International Policy Analysis, FES New York, February 2013

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Open this new publication No Accountability without Transparency - Legal Instruments for Corporate Duties to Disclose Working and Employment Conditions?

Eva Kocher, Alexander Klose, Kerstin Kühn and Johanna Wenckebach

Structural weaknesses in labour law enforcement lead to a lack of effectiveness and social risks. Mobilising external actors through competition and marked-based policies could ensure greater effectiveness through appropriate sanctions and incentives. However, such policies require information and transparency. The study analyses possible instruments to oblige companies to disclose social and employment conditions.

Study, FES Berlin, June 2012

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Open this new publication Really the Future We Want? Civil Society Voices on Rio+20?

Nina Netzer, Claudia Detsch, Ariela Gross, Henrik Maihack, Peter Oesterdieckhoff and Sidonie Wetzig (Eds.)

The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, taking place in Rio de Janeiro, 20–22 June 2012, aimes to reaffirm the principle of sustainable development. However, especially developing countries and civil society actors doubt that Rio+20 will contribute to this objective. In order to strengthen civil society in the process and having its voices heard, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) hosted five regional preparatory conferences in Africa (Kenya), Asia (India), Europe (Brussels), Latin America (Ecuador), and the Middle East / North Africa (Tunisia). This paper summarizes their recommendations and demands for the upcoming conference.

Perspective, FES Berlin, June 2012

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Open this new publication Social Cash Transfers: a Useful Instrument in Development Cooperation?

Susan Javad

Social Cash Transfers (SCTs) are becoming increasingly prominent in the international debate over development cooperation. Used intelligently, they can be an effective instrument with which to implement the human right to social security and at the same time stimulate economic growth and long-term development. The use of SCTs as an instrument in development cooperation must be assessed in a critical manner, however, and is associated with three risks: for the recipient countries there is a danger that democratic structures will be weakened. On the donor side, there is a question as to when such a programme can be phased out in a responsible manner. Generally speaking, it is necessary to find an adequate response to the claim that such programmes fight symptoms, while they do not tackle the root causes of problems.

Perspective, FES Berlin, April 2011

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Open this new publication The UN Social Protection Floor Initiatives:
Turning the Tide at the ILO Conference 2011

Michael Cichon, Veronika Wodsak and Christina Behrendt

For a long time, the international community has failed to give prominence to the Human Right to social security. While the quality of social security improved gradually for many workers in the formal economy worldwide, a large number of workers in the informal economy had been left without social security coverage even in countries witnessing persistent economic growth. The demonstration that a basic set of social security benefits is affordable, also for developing countries, first broke the spell that had beset the social security development debate. However, it took a global financial and economic crisis to push social security to the top of the international agenda, when social security systems were recognized as important economic stabilizers even by the G20.

FES International Policy Analysis, FES Berlin, January 2011

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Open this new publication Steps Out of the Global Development Crisis:
Towards an Agenda for Change

Jens Martens

The financial and economic crisis of 2008/2009 only reached the developing world with a time lag. At least in parts of the Global South the crisis is having a huge social and economic impact. As a result, the prospects of achieving the internationally agreed developing goals, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), by 2015 are receding ever more into distance. Therefore, the author argues, there is a need for a comprehensive global action agenda for change in order to combat what he sees as a global development crisis.

FES International Policy Analysis, Berlin, June 2010

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Read the DoG Occasional Paper International Trade in Agriculture and the Right to Food

Olivier De Schutter

Deriving from the Right to Live, the Right to Food guarantees every human being to be free from hunger. Agricultural trade policy can help fulfilling this right, but may also become a hindrance, if conceived in neglect of human rights. States need to respect human rights obligations they have committed to by ratifying the respective Covenants when entering trade agreements. Based on the report of his mission to the World Trade Organization (WTO), the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food Olivier De Schutter calls for a strengthening of the special role of agriculture in trade agreements to ensure their compatibility with the states obligation to fulfill their populations' Right to Food. In conclusion, he shows actual possibilities to reconcile trade policy with human rights requirements.

DoG Occasional Paper No. 46, FES Geneva, November 2009

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Read the Briefing Paper by Severine M. Rugamamu Towards A Socially Responsible and Democratic Global Economic System: Transparency, Accountability and Governance

Christopher Rude and Sara Burke

Beginning in the fall of 2008 under the aegis of the first G20 leaders meeting, national governments, central banks and international financial institutions organized themselves with blinding speed to rescue the global financial system. Unfortunately, reforms to increase transparency and accountability in the governance of these same financial institutions has not proceeded at a similarly urgent pace. This paper proposes principles for strengthening these reform efforts in order to move towards a more socially responsible and democratic global economic system.

DoG Briefing Paper No. 15, FES New York, November 2009

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Read the Briefing Paper by Severine M. Rugamamu Strenghtening Socuial Security in Economic Crises -
The Need for a Social Protection Floor

Ellen Ehmke, Mara Skaletz

As the global economic crisis has left millions of people without work, debate on the potentials of social security systems as a counter-balance has come back on national and international agendas. The UN is speeding up its efforts to help basic social security  to become a forceful tool in the fight against poverty, particularly in the global South. The paper argues that a long-term investment in basic packages pays in fact back and helps alleviate the negative impacts of economic crises in a considerable way.

DoG Briefing Paper No. 14, FES Geneva, October 2009

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Read the Briefing Paper by Severine M. Rugamamu The Impact of Organized Crime on Democratic Governance -
Focus on Latin America and the Caribbean

Katharina Hofmann

The erosion of democratic governance due to organized crime is a growing problem in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). Since the exacerbation of the already endemic unequal distribution of income is a consequence of the financial crisis, it is expected that organized crime activities such as drug trafficking, human trafficking and arms trade will increase and extend in LAC. The international community has to offer solutions to stop the process of "organized crime penetration" of public and political institutions by tackling the phenomena on three fronts; the economic; the social and the political front that would require the implementation of new political concepts on the national, regional and global level.

DoG Briefing Paper No. 13, FES Berlin, September 2009

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Global trends in women's access to "decent work"

Maria S. Floro and Mieke Meurs

Maria S. Floro and Mieke Meurs argue that the changes in labor markets and labor relations, and the reduction of spending for social protection has worsened women’s access to decent work. Accordingly, women shoulder the double burden of paid and reproductive work - a drawback that could be solved by social policy that enables men and women to balance both their paid and reproductive work responsibilities.

DoG Occasional Paper No. 43, FES Berlin, June 2009

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Read the Briefing Paper by Roberto Frenkel and Martin Rapetti Trade - a driving force for jobs and women's empowerment?
Focus on China and India

Christa Wichterich

Christa Wichterich counters the mainstream argument that trade has the potential to be a driving force for jobs and for women’s empowerment. She presents evidence from China and India where past trade liberalization has distorted the labor market at the particular expense of women’s working conditions, opportunities for quality employment and social relations with regards to women’s dual burden as breadwinners and reproductive workers.

DoG Briefing Paper No. 7, FES Berlin, May 2009

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Financing for Development and the Reform of the Financial Architecture: A View from Latin America

Fabiola Mieres

Fabiola Mieres provides a Latin American perspective on development finance and the reform of the global financial architecture, and gives a quick overview of Latin American approaches to fight the financial crisis. She stresses that Latin American countries have to be incorporated in international decision making mechanisms. Furthermore, the author suggests to strengthen regional development banks, to regulate the international financial markets and to give more political space to Latin American countries to design proper public policy so that they can “take the bull by the horns” in fighting the economic crisis and assuring long term development.

DoG Briefing Paper No. 5, FES Berlin, April 2009

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A new era of world hunger? The global food crisis analyzed

James A. Paul and Katarina Wahlberg

This paper takes as a starting point an international conference, held in New York in April 2008, organized by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and the Global Policy Forum. Paul and Wahlberg consider the right to food and analyze the role of the United Nations in responding to the global food crisis. They argue for effective short-term aid and long-term transformation of the agricultural system to make it more justly distributive, resilient, and sustainable for the future.

Briefing Paper 7-2008, FES New York, August 2008

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Moving Beyond the Privatization Debate
Different Approaches to Financing Water and Electricity in Developing Countries

Daniel Platz and Frank Schroeder

Whether or not to privatize essential services in developing countries has been subject to a long and heated controversy. Platz and Schröder provide a new perspective and try to overcome the ideological tug of war. Rather than asking "who should provide the services", the authors adopt a financing point of view and look at how access to basic utilities for all can be funded in a sustainable manner.

Occasional Paper 34 | 2007, FES New York, September 2007

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Growth with responsibility in a globalized world : findings of the Shadow G-8

Joseph E. Stiglitz ; Stephany Griffith-Jones

Occasional paper 31 - FES New York, May 2007

Beyond the divide : the covenant on economic, social and cultural rights and the World Trade Organization

Robert Howse and Ruti G. Teitel

Occasional Paper 30, FES Geneva, April 2007

New Powers for global change?

Challenges for International Development Cooperation:
The Case of China

Katharina Hofmann

FES Briefing Paper 15, FES Berlin, November 2006

From Concept to Reality

On the present state of the debate on international taxes

Peter Wahl

FES Briefing Papers, FES Berlin, June 2006

Engendering Policy Coherence for Development Gender issues for the global policy agenda in the year 2005

Maria Floro and Hella Hoppe

FES Occasional Paper, N° 17, FES Berlin, April 2005

Social Standards in Bilateral and Regional Trade and Investment Agreements

Thomas Greven

FES Occasional Paper, N° 16, FES Geneva, March 2005

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Shaping Globalization – Developing a European Social Order

Walter Riester und Sascha Raabe

FES Briefing Paper, FES Berlin, March 2005

Labour Standards and Trade Preferences in Sri Lanka

Esther Busser

FES Briefing Paper, FES Sri Lanka, March 2005

The Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. An Issues Paper

Gert Rosenthal

FES Occasional Paper, N° 15, FES New York, February 2005

Globalisierung gestalten - europäische Sozialordnung entwickeln

Walter Riester und Sascha Raabe

FES Briefing Paper, FES Berlin, Februar 2005

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Die Verankerung von Arbeitnehmerrechten in bilateralen und regionalen Handels- und Investitionsabkommen

Thomas Greven

FES Briefing Paper, FES Geneva, February 2005

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Workers' Tool or PR ploy? A guide to codes of international labour practice

Ingeborg Wick

Dialogue on Globalization, FES Berlin, 2003,
3rd revised edition

The International Labour Organization: Can it Deliver the Social Dimension of Globalization?

Katherine A. Hagen

FES Occasional Paper, N° 11, FES Geneva, October 2003

Policy Dialogue between the International Labour Organization and the International Financial Institutions: The Search for Convergence

Katherine A. Hagen

FES Occasional Paper, FES Geneva, October 2003

Privatisation of Water Supply

Eric Teo Chu Cheow

FES Occasional Paper, N° 8, FES Geneva, July 2003