John Cavanagh was Director of the Institute for Policy Studies from 1999-2021, and is now a Senior Advisor at IPS. He directed IPS’ Global Economy Program from 1983-1997. Cavanagh is the co-author of 12 books and numerous articles on a wide range of social and economic issues. His newest book (with Robin Broad) is The Water Defenders: How Ordinary People Saved a Country from Corporate Greed. He co-authored (with Richard J. Barnet) Global Dreams: Imperial Corporations and the New World Order, which sold over 60,000 copies with Simon & Schuster. Cavanagh co-led a 24-person team to create the International Forum on Globalization book Alternatives to Economic Globalization, which sold over 20,000 copies and was translated into 12 languages.

Cavanagh sits on the boards of the Congressional Progressive Caucus Center, the International Forum on Globalization, the New Orleans Workers Center for Racial Justice, the National Guestworkers Alliance, and is board chair of the Fund for Constitutional Government. He is a senior advisor of the Poor People’s Campaign.

Cavanagh worked as an economist for the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (1978-1981) and the World Health Organization (1981-1982). He served on the Civil Society Advisory Committee of the UN Development Program (2000-2012). He received a Bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College, and a Masters from Princeton University.

Latest

The 99 Percent Have Found Our Voice

These are days of action in more than 400 occupied places across the nation. As we change the national conversation, we can dismantle the barriers to change.

Occupy Wall Street, 1979 Edition

Before there were hashtags, 32 years ago, more than a thousand protesters tried to shut Wall Street down for a day.

Occupy Wall Street’s Deep Roots

If Howard Zinn were alive today, he’d be writing a new chapter right now.

WIN America Coalition Seeks to Pad Pockets with “Tax Holiday”

Tax holiday proponents have delivered losses to American workers.

From Arab Spring to Wisconsin to Wall Street to October 12

The roots of this new social movement trying to “occupy everything” reach deep into the soil of Egypt and Wisconsin, and lead us into honoring our heroes of activism.

America Loses: Corporations That Take “Tax Holidays” Slash Jobs

Some of America’s most flush corporations are demanding a tax holiday on their profits sitting offshore. But the last holiday produced a nasty hangover.

Heroes Fighting to Save the Middle Class: Wisconsin’s Progressives

The Institute for Policy Studies recognizes Wisconsin’s progressive movement with the prestigious Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Award.

Will Obama’s Push for Jobs Lead to a New Economy?

Back from sabbatical, our director reflects on the challenged of the day and how the Obama administration can face them.

Obama’s Job Speech: The Good, the Bad, and the Missing

Obama’s jobs plan is his great opportunity to both pay for vital programs and make this country fairer.

Gold or Water? A Deadly Debate in El Salvador Mines

To protect their water supply, Salvadorans are trying to ban corporate gold mining – and facing threats and violence as a result.

Reframing Development in the Age of Vulnerability

Rootedness could be key to enhanced well-being for communities and countries in the 21st century, given the Achilles heel of vulnerability.

Like Water for Gold in El Salvador

The story of a community’s effort to ban gold mining in El Salvador involves environmental martyrs, powerful economic interests, and a DC-based tribunal that can trump democracy.

An Appeal to U2: Who is More Rooted?

Anti-poverty crusaders like Bono call critical attention to what’s wrong with the world. But what if we also showed who’s doing it right?

The Road Not Built: Redefining Progress At Home and Abroad

Local opposition to a proposed road in Trinidad brings new understanding of “progress,” and what it means to be rooted.

We Can Live Without Gold

A Salvadoran community activist makes the case for prioritizing water over gold, as his ongoing struggle against the gold mining industry is rewarded.

Food Protests and Food Democracy

The Philippines is well poised to be a leader in food democracy in saying no to food vulnerability and in reinvigorating rooted farms.

Turning Points: Is a Different Future Possible?

With the citizen-backed blockage of a proposed aluminum smelter, is Trinidad and Tobago changing course toward a rooted future?

The Coming Global Food Fight

As aggression mounts with the rise of food prices worldwide, small-scale farms rooted in local markets could avert international disaster – and lead the way to “food democracy.”

Why Billions Eat Unhealthy Rice and Shouldn’t

How about a big campaign to shift consumption back to “brown rice”?

Rooted Agriculture: 5 Ways Governments Can Help

In an increasingly vulnerable world, we’re searching for rooted communities–and what we can learn from them.