Resources: Ethnic discrimination, rights, democracy

25 results
Larry Lohmann, Camila Moreno, Soledad Vogliano, Carlos Vincente, Elizabeth Bravo, German Velez and Jaime Breilh

15 December 2012

This book collects contributions from Ecuadorian and international activists and scholars analyzing new, "green" capitalist strategies. Topics covered include agrofuels, bioprospecting, food and agriculture, carbon and biodiversity markets, health and the role of the public university.
Shadow Bankers in London
Nicholas Hildyard

1 October 2012

In June 2010, the London Mining Network and The Corner House organized a "Hedge Fund Tour" through London's tony Mayfair district, home of many of the private financial institutions at the heart of the wave of dispossessions that followed in the wake of the 2008 crisis. 

Strategic Reflections on Climate Change and the "Green Economy"
Larry Lohmann

2 September 2012

This discussion paper sets out some lessons for political strategy suggested by the experience of climate change campaigning over the past 15 years. It outlines the dangers faced by advocacy NGOs of becoming "patzers" (blunderers) and clients of more sophisticated political actors. Comments on this work in progress, a shorter version of which was published in Development Dialogue No. 61 (September 2012), are welcome.

20 Iconoclastic Theses
Larry Lohmann

19 August 2012

The "rights of nature" debate is becoming increasingly important both in the Andean context and in the wider global political debate. This set of brief notes suggests ways of approaching the issue that may help connect it to the ongoing debate between commoners and neoclassical economists, as well as help avoid the exoticization of the Andean concept of pachamama.

Larry Lohmann

18 May 2012

What is the new "green economy" to be heralded at the Rio+20 summit in June 2012? What do this "green economy", together with the neoclassical economic thinking that gave rise to it, look like from the perspective of the commons? These two powerpoint presentations from a May 2012 workshop in Quito for activists, indigenous leaders, students and the general public, suggest some avenues for further exploration.

The powerpoints are available here in both English and Spanish.

The Corner House and Samata

30 April 2010

Lawyers acting for The Corner House and Indian group Samata requested a Judicial Review of the decision by the UK's Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD) effectively scrapping its absolute ban on providing financial support to projects overseas involving "harmful" child labour and forced labour. ECGD stated in response that it does not have to consider whether its support contributes to human rights abuse, because it "does not owe obligations to persons outside the jurisdiction of the UK".

Memoranda to the Joint Committee on Human Rights
The Corner House

30 June 2009

The Joint Committee on Human Rights of the UK Parliament requested evidence for its inquiry into business and human rights on the State's duty to protect against human rights abuses by businesses; corporate responsibility to respect human rights; and the need for individuals to have effective access to remedies when their human rights are breached. The Corner House submission to the Committee focused on the policies and practices of the UK Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD) in the context of the state's duty to protect human rights. The Committee subsequently called for supplementary evidence on the government's Draft Bribery Bill and the Industry and Exports (Financial Support) Bill, which The Corner House provided.

A training for government officials and civil servants in Iraq

16 December 2008

The Corner House and others carried out a training session to assist Iraqi government officials and civil servants in understanding the principles of human rights and Iraq's international obligations in relation to investment agreements.

in Defence of Community Land and Religion against the Trans Thai-Malaysian Pipeline and Industrial Project (TTM) 2002-2008
Chana activists and others

1 August 2008

For many years, Southern Thai Muslim communities have been fighting a destructive gas development backed by Barclays and other foreign banks that has violated their human, religious, environmental and land rights alike. In words and pictures, this book (now in an updated and revised edition) recounts their struggle.

A Decade of Resistance in Southern Thailand
Larry Lohmann

30 May 2008

Slowing and halting new fossil fuel developments has moved to the top of the global climate change agenda. But what are the obstacles to, and resources for, such a project? The 10-year struggle against a gas development project in one corner of Southeast Asia, described in this forthcoming article for the journal Race & Class, offers lessons in some of the complexities.

"Pay-to-Pollute" Principle Kills South African Activist Sajida Khan
Patrick Bond

30 December 2007

The death of Durban environmentalist Sajida Khan calls attention to the life-and-death consequences of the climate justice struggle. If South Africans are to be at the cutting edge of progressive climate activism, not partners in the privatization of the atmosphere, three citizens' networks -- environmentalists, community groups, and trade unions -- must join forces to identify the contradictions within both South African and global energy sector policies and practices and help synthesize modes of resistance.

The Scientific Manufacture of Fear
Elizabeth L. Krause

30 July 2006

36. Supposedly scientific demographic reports and alarms about low birthrates, ageing and immigration in Italy, and the catastrophic societal consequences that are predicted to flow from them, enable racism by stimulating a climate of fear and anxiety toward immigrants. They reinforce xenophobic notions in which racism is "coded as culture" rather than on supposedly objective somatic or visual differences.

Conflict and the politics of infrastructure development
Nicholas Hildyard

28 May 2005

Infrastructure development is the point at which many conflicts, both past and future, over resources and decision-making meet. Several projects proposed or being implemented in Turkey illustrate these points.

The Greening of Intolerance
Sarah Sexton, Nicholas Hildyard and Larry Lohmann

7 April 2005

Far-right groups in Britain are increasingly using environmental and social justice concerns to argue against immigration. This is part of a clear political strategy to make racist ideas and goals seem more respectable. Whether they like it or not, environmentalists are therefore being increasingly drawn into debates on immigration, refugees and asylum seekers. To counter this strategy, environmental groups need to link with those who have to deal with racism every day as a matter of strategy, process and structure.

Constructing a New Population Threat
Anne Hendrixson

2 December 2004

34. 'Youth-bulge' theory refers to the large proportion of the world's population under 27 years old who are supposedly prone to violence. Images of angry young men of colour as potential terrorists and veiled young women as victims of repressive regimes support the theory. The implied threat of explosive violence and explosive fertility provides a rationale for US military intervention and population control initiatives in other countries and justifies government surveillance of Muslims and Arabs within US borders.

Kerim Yildiz, Kurdish Human Rights Project, and Nicholas Hildyard, The Corner House

23 May 2002

Since October 2000, the UK Export Credits Guarantees Department (ECGD) has been bound by the UK Human Rights Act. But many of the ECGD's procedures potentially conflict with this Act.

Identity, Territory and Co-existence in Bosnia
David Campbell

30 January 2001

22. “Ethnic cleansing” was the term the world adopted in the early 1990s for a process in Bosnia through which non-Serbian people -- Muslims or Croats -- were forced to flee from land deemed to be Serb by Serbian authorities -- and killed if they did not. Yet before the war, Bosnia was not Serb or Muslim or Croat but multicultural. Various international schemes to end the violence only encouraged it because they relied on neat conceptual divisions among “ethnic identities” that did not correspond to lived reality.

A Book Review
Larry Lohmann

15 December 2000

If the choice of whether and when to translate claims to water and land into other idioms shapes and is shaped by power relations, so too is the choice of how to translate them. The charges of “misunderstanding” and “misinterpretation” that ricochet around any conflict of interpretation are negotiating moves, not claims that can be settled once and for all by fixing on a meaning that floats free of the context of discussion and struggle.

Ethnic Discrimination and Conservation in Thailand
Larry Lohmann

9 April 2000

The intersections between international nature conservation and ethnic politics are of serious and growing concern to many social movements in Southeast Asia. This paper offers evidence that international environmentalist practices interact with local and national conditions to advance the structural work of ethnic discrimination and racism in Southeast Asia. The racist outcomes of these practices do not flow exclusively from unprofessionalism, faulty science, irrationality, immorality or incorrect beliefs -- and anti-racist strategy has to accommodate this insight.

Larry Lohmann

26 February 2000

A presentation at a seminar on "Environmental Justice in a Divided Society", Goldsmiths College, University of London, suggests that individual Western environmentalists are often pushed into supporting racist or discriminatory structures by their need to adhere to the rules of professional performance, including those of peer-reviewed science.

Racial Oppression in Scientific Nature Conservation
Larry Lohmann

31 January 1999

13. Some strains of environmentalism treat “cultures” as fixed, closed systems with impermeable boundaries. Racism is neither a theory nor a collection of beliefs, sentiments or intentions, but rather a process of social control which functions to block inquiry and attempts to live with difference. Illustrated with a case study from Northern Thailand.

Adaptation and Reaction to Globalisation
Mark Duffield

31 January 1999

12. Many internal wars in Africa, Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, far from representing societal breakdown, can be seen as a rational response on the part of rulers (and would-be rulers) to ensure their economic and political survival in a context of globalisation and the changing nation-state.

Les Conflits Ethniques Seraient ils Naturels?
Nicholas Hildyard (traduction: C. Bertrand)

30 January 1999

11. Au sein du mouvement écologiste occidental une aile conservatrice importante a développé, dans un souci de stabilité sociale, des conceptions sur la "culture" qui placent la cause profonde des "conflits ethniques" dans des antagonismes anciens, définitifs, implacables et invétérés entre populations. Ces conceptions sont très proches de celles de la Nouvelle Droite qui, de plus en plus, s'approprie le langage de la "différence" culturelle pour promouvoir un "racisme différencialiste". Il est important que les groupes progressistes s’opposent à cette manupulation politique d'éthnicité des environnementalistes conservateurs, ou de la Nouvelle Droite.

Ethnic Conflict and the Authoritarian Right
Nicholas Hildyard

29 January 1999

11. “Ethnic conflicts” are not rooted in ancient antagonisms or fixed cultural differences. Yet the authoritarian Right in Europe is increasingly framing its racist agenda in terms of “cultural differences” -- a discourse that chimes in disturbing harmony with that of many Greens, whose preoccupation with “tradition” can lend itself to a politics of exclusion. The need for progressive groups to distance themselves -- in actions as well as words -- from the Right’s “cultural” agenda is urgent.

Larry Lohmann

1 November 1993

This opinion piece shows how environmental activists, ecological economists, development experts and deep green theorists tell self-serving and one-sided stories about Noble Savages, Eastern religions, “traditional communities” and ordinary householders. This "Green Orientalism" both arises from and perpetuates power imbalances. It must be constantly challenged by stories told from other points of view.