Author: Francine (page 1 of 42)

Charting a Course towards Universal Social Protection

Charting a Course Towards Universal Social Protection: Resilience, Equity, and Opportunity for All, known as the Social Protection and Jobs Compass updates the World Bank strategy for social protection amid rapid change both within the sector and beyond. The Compass puts at its heart the vision of universal social protection. It recognizes that the progressive realization of universal social protection, which ensures access to social protection for all whenever and however they need it, is critical for effectively reducing poverty and boosting shared prosperity.

Read this World Bank’s Compass

End Austerity!

… because there are alternatives!

Read the newest report by Isabel Ortiz and Matthew Cummins

How Basic is Basic Income?

In a certain way, it is funny to see how a debate on an essential element of social policies can go on for decades. Then, implode because of the semantic confusion that was created about the idea that had hitherto been so passionately promoted. The essential element of social policies was “Income Security.” The idea passionately promoted was “Universal Basic Income.”

In 1986, a Belgian philosophy professor, Philippe Van Parijs, created BIEN, the Basic Income European Network, in which ‘European’ was later replaced by ‘Earth’. The idea was simple. The liberal idea of freedom could never become concrete because inequality of resources was too important. To promote more equality, the best idea was considered to be an equal sum of money given to everyone in society, whether rich or poor, working or not working, ie the Universal Basic Income. It was considered to be the condition for real freedom and real equality of opportunity. The payment had to be unconditional, i.e. without any means of testing. The main goal was to promote social justice.

Read the article by Francine Mestrum

Also in French and Spanish:

Le revenu de base est-il basique ? | Meer

¿Qué tan básica es la renta básica? | Meer

Global Inequality: Don’t Look Up!

Today, inequality is high on the international agenda. After the hype on poverty – Millennium Development Goals -, U.N. organisations and the Bretton Woods institutions play a major role in producing and distributing knowledge on the different dimensions of inequality and on how it is shaping today’s world and its perspectives on development.

In this contribution, I want to examine what knowledge these institutions create and disseminate about ‘inequality’ and how this knowledge has evolved since their inception – the end of the Second World War and the start of a decolonisation process with an associated development project.

The methodology used for this research is based on Michel Foucault’s concept of discourse (Foucault, 1972) and starts from the statements in major documents on inequality from 2000 to 2020, the way they can be understood and how they can be explained.

This involves deconstructing and reconstructing various documents, bringing out the intertextuality, exposing the continuities and discontinuities between them and looking for the ‘order of discourse’ – that is, the definition of a field of knowledge -, and for a ‘dispositif’ of knowledge and power.

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Renewable Energy and Jobs

Worldwide employment in renewable energy reached 12.7 million last year, a jump of 700,000 new jobs in one year, despite the lingering effects of COVID-19 and the growing energy crisis, according to a new report.

Read the report

Famine, Food, Fertilizer, Fuel, Finance: The Intersectional Crises of the Ukraine War

A perfect storm is brewing in the global food system, pushing food prices to record high levels, and expanding hunger. The continuing fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Russia-Ukraine War, climate-related disasters and a breakdown of supply chains have led to widespread protests across the global South triggered by the spiraling food prices and shortages.

As international institutions struggle to respond, some governments have resorted to knee-jerk ‘food nationalism’ by placing export bans to preserve their own food supplies and stabilise prices. While this is an understandable defensive response, the solution lies in a more systemic, transformative approach.

Read the article by Anuradha Chenoy

The First Billionaire to become UK’s King

“We expected Charles to get the crown. We didn’t expect him to make a billion-dollar fortune first.”

By 1977, the year of the queen’s Silver Jubilee, the political winds had begun to take a distinctly rich people-friendly turn. In 1979, outspoken free-marketeer Margaret Thatcher would become the UK prime minister, and her political soulmate Ronald Reagan would win the White House in 1980. Both moved quickly to cut taxes and regulations that burdened the rich. Both would attack — aggressively — the trade unions that stood up for working people.

Young Prince Charles would soon be exploiting the myriad money-making opportunities this new era offered…

Read the article by Sam Pizzigati

International Equal Pay Day: We need a new social contact to close the gender pay gap

ITUC calls on all governments to adopt laws and reforms to close the persistent global gender pay gap of over 20%.

Systematic discrimination, undervaluation of women’s work and their disproportionate share of unpaid care work are the overarching root causes of the gender pay gap.

The disparity is even higher for women with multiple and intersecting identities and in sectors where women are predominant, such as health and care where the gender pay gap is 24% and most of the top earners are men.

This is compounded by women’s exclusion from accessing paid decent work. The labour force gender participation gap remains stuck at 27% and the majority of women are in precarious and informal jobs with inadequate minimum wages and limited or no access to social protection.

Furthermore, the gender gaps have widened due to the disproportionate employment and income losses for women due to the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read ITUC’s article

Multilateralism and the South

The global erosion of trust in the global institutions is the direct result of non-delivery on the most crucial challenges that face humanity such as inequality, poverty, and climate change. South-South Cooperation can play a vital role in reinvigorating multilateralism. Beyond its horizontal engagements it has already begun supporting and enriching processes, institutions and norms-building at the global level. However, changing the superstructures that have discriminated against many developing countries will require a strategy that involves prioritising, coalition-building and coordination.

Read the article of the South Centre

Progressive Taxation for a Renewed Social Contract


A new social-democratic era depends on the high, progressive taxation which made the postwar decades so successful in the west.

Read the article by Johann Pall Johannsson

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