Book Event: Globalization on the GroundWhat Bolivia Teaches Us

Book Event: Globalization on the GroundWhat Bolivia Teaches Us

As the U.S. enters a new political era, what can we learn from one nation´s battle to define its own way forward in a globalizing world? Jim Shultz and Melissa Crane Draper of the Democracy Center in Cochabamba, Bolivia will share lessons from the book Dignity and Defiance: Stories from Bolivia’s Challenge to Globalization. The event, co-hosted by the Institute for Policy Studies, along with Food and Water Watch and the Quixote Center, will also feature music, a slideshow, and refreshments.

Dignity and Defiance, edited by Jim Shultz and Melissa Crane Draper, is a powerful, well-crafted, eyewitness account, of Bolivia’s rebellion from below. Readers will find compelling first person accounts of Bolivia’s historic water revolt; of a massive Shell-Enron oil spill and its aftermath; of a nation’s battle to control its oil and gas; and of one people’s dramatic and successful challenge to the policies of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. Here too is the story of those seeking out globalization’s opportunities, from indigenous weaving communities to emigrants, transplanted to three continents.

Bolivia’s story is emblematic of the major political and social transformation underway throughout Latin America today. This book brings readers into that story at a human level, through the eye of skilled writers who blend together deep research and compelling narrative to bring a nation’s story to life.

About the Democracy Center: The Democracy Center works globally to advance social justice through a combination of investigation and reporting, training citizens in the art of public advocacy, and organizing international citizen campaigns.

IPS is working with The Democracy Center to challenge the international investment rules that undermine human rights and democracy by giving foreign investors the right to bypass domestic courts and sue governments directly in international tribunals.

Drawing the Future From the Past

Since the end to the U.S. wars in Southeast Asia, many other wars have been waged, in other parts of the world, in new terrain, villages, and communities. Yet, the wars in Southeast Asia lingers.

IPS Mandate for Change Election Series: Trade and Globalization

This election season, please join the Institute for Policy Studies in our series of provocative brown-bag luncheon discussions of the various issues in the platforms of the Democratic, Republican, Green, and Independent presidential candidates. IPS and Chester Hartman have a new book coming out at the culmination of this brown-bag series, Mandate for Change, which will put forth what we feel are the best and most creative policy solutions for these and other pressing local, national and international issues.


Political candidates who spoke out against “free trade” made great gains in the 2006 elections. During this year’s primary season, Democratic contenders put the issue back in the spotlight, with Senator Barack Obama and his opponents vowing to make significant changes in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and other unpopular trade deals. But will trade and globalization be factors in the general election? Thus far, the Presidential debates have all but ignored the issue. And if Obama wins the Presidency, how far would he go to change our global economic policies to support workers, communities, and the environment? Could we expect a dramatic shift — or a repeat of the Clinton Era trade deals?

Thea Lee, Policy Director and Chief International Economist at the AFL-CIO
Sarah Anderson, Director, Global Economy Program, IPS
Andy Gussert, National Director, Citizens Trade Campaign

Moderator: John Cavanagh, Director, IPS

Please RSVP to Adwoa Masozi at

About the panelists


Thea Lee is Policy Director and Chief International Economist at the AFL-CIO, where she oversees research and strategies on domestic and international economic policy. She is also on the Board of Directors of the Worker Rights Consortium, United for a Fair Economy, and the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Andy Gussert is the National Director of the Citizens Trade Campaign, a coalition of environmental, labor, consumer, family farm, religious, and other civil society groups founded in 1992. Previously, Gussert was State Federation President of AFT-Wisconsin, a labor union representing teachers, pharmacists, public employees and many other job classifications. In 2004-05, Gussert served as director of CTC’s Wisconsin Fair Trade Coalition.

Sarah Anderson is the Director of the Global Economy Project at the Institute for Policy Studies. She is a co-author of the books Field Guide to the Global Economy and Alternatives to Economic Globalization and a member of Jubilee USA’s Coordinating Committee. She also served on the staff of the International Financial Institutions Advisory Commission, a Congressionally appointed commission to evaluate the World Bank and IMF in 2000.

Moderator: John Cavanagh, IPS Director and co-author (with Robin Broad) of Development Redefined: How the Market Met its Match.

Other events in this series include:

TUESDAY, October 28, 12:30 – 2pm
The Election and Post-Racial Politics
Dedrick Muhammad, Senior Organizer & Research Associate, Inequality and the Common Good project, IPS
Joy Zarembka, Director, Break the Chain Campaign, IPS, and author, The Pigment of Your Imagination
Professor Clarence Lusane, author/activist and professor at American University.
Moderator: Saif Rahman, Movements Coordinator, IPS

THURSDAY, November 6, 12:30 – 2pm
Post-Election Analysis
Steve Cobble, Senior Scholar, IPS
John Cavanagh, Director, IPS
Bill Fletcher, labor and international activist
Moderator: Karen Dolan, Fellow, IPS

TUESDAY, November 11, 12:30 – 2pm
The Election and Climate Action: How climate change was discussed during the campaign.
Janet Redman, Researcher, Sustainable Energy and Economy Network, IPS
Brent Blackwelder, President, Friends of the Earth US
James Barrett, Executive Director, Redefining Progress
Arjun Makhijani, President, Institute for Energy and Environmental Research
Sandra Schubert,* Director, Government Affairs, Environmental Working Group
Moderator: Daphne Wysham, Fellow, IPS

For more than four decades, the Institute for Policy Studies has transformed ideas into action for peace, justice, and the environment. It is a progressive multi-issue think tank.

Book Event: Broad and Cavanagh’s ‘Development Redefined’

Book Event: Broad and Cavanagh’s ‘Development Redefined’

Welcome in fittingly the World Bank and IMF annual meetings with a discussion of the newest book by American University professor Robin Broad and Institute for Policy Studies Director John Cavanagh. Entitled Development Redefined: How the Market Met its Match, the book chronicles the rise and fall of the market-worshipping Washington Consensus, and lays out people-based alternatives to corporate-led globalization. Broad and Cavanagh have written award-winning books on globalization and development, as well as a series of articles on the development debate in Foreign Policy and World Policy Journal. IPS is co-sponsoring this event  with ActionAid USA, the AFL-CIO, the Alliance for Responsible Trade, Bank Information Center, Center for Economic and Policy Research, Center of Concern, the 50 Years is Enough Network, Friends of the Earth US, the Heinrich Boell Foundation, International Labor Rights Fund, International Trade Union Congress, Jubilee USA, the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, the New Rules for Global Finance, and Oil Change International.

Book Event: Kim Fellner’s ‘Wrestling With Starbucks’

Book Event: Kim Fellner’s ‘Wrestling With Starbucks’

Please join us at a book discussion with Kim Fellner, the former director of the National Organizers Alliance. Fellner recently published Wrestling With Starbucks: Conscience, Capital, Cappuccino, a feisty and unpredictable book that traces how the Battle of Seattle – informed by the Internet – helped consolidate a new global justice culture that didn’t buy anything about Starbucks (except, maybe, the coffee). It explains what Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, Service Employees International Union President Andy Stern, and Global Exchange Co-director Medea Benjamin hold in common – and what they don’t. It tells the largely unknown story of how Starbucks rescued thousands of Central American coffee growers from going under – and became a major patron of biodiversity. It explores two competing definitions of goodness – being better than the rest vs. being good in a larger moral context – the place where the rub of capitalism hits the road of global economic equity.

FPIF Summer Film Series: Maquilpolis

FPIF Summer Film Series: Maquilpolis

The Foreign Policy In Focus Annual Summer Film Series concludes with a showing of Maquilápolis, winner of Outstanding Achievement in Documentary at the Tribeca Film Festival and the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Barcelona International Women’s Film Festival. Please join us and our two guest speakers Sarah Anderson, Fellow and Director of the Global Economy Project at the Institute for Policy Studies, and Manuel Perez Rocha, Associate Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies.

Maquilápolis is a documentary about (and by) workers in Tijuana’s assembly factories, the maquiladoras. The project is a collaboration between filmmaker Vicky Funari, artist Sergio De La Torre, and Tijuana women’s organization Grupo Factor X, with the participation of the human rights organization Global Exchange and the environmental activism non-profit The Environmental Health Coalition. Maquiladoras are the multinationally-owned assembly plants which dominate the economy of the U.S.-Mexico border region, employing over a million people. Carmen is one of these people. She works the graveyard shift, six nights a week, in Tijuana’s Panasonic factory. After making television components all night, Carmen comes home to a shack she built out of recycled garage doors, in a neighborhood with no paved streets, no sewage lines and no electricity. A single mother, Carmen takes care of her three children all day, and if she’s lucky she sleeps for an hour or two before heading off to work again. At 29, she suffers from kidney failure and anemia resulting from her years of factory work. Carmen earns six dollars a day. This unique documentary tells the story of globalization from the personal perspectives of Carmen and a dynamic group of Mexican maquiladora workers who together are working towards creating liveable solutions to the complexities of life in a globalized city. The film meets women who are each dealing with the hardships of environmental toxins, labor rights abuse, infrastructure and housing issues, and women’s rights. Maquilápolis approaches the workers as experts who can provide us with keys to our common future, inviting them to co-author their own story on videotape.

The FPIF film series is co-sponsored by Busboys and Poets Restaurant and the Progressive Intern Network.

Calendar of Films:

Taxi to the Dark Side
Best Documentary – Academy Award
Thursday, July 3
Speakers: Farrah Hassen, Newman Fellow, Institute for Policy Studies
and Andy Shallal, Iraqi Voices for Peace and Owner of Busboys and Poets

Camden 28
Best Documentary – Philadelphia Film Festival
Friday, July 11
Speaker: Marcus Raskin, Co-Founder and Distinguished Fellow, Institute for Policy Studies

Nominated, Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary – Sundance
Friday, July 18
6:00- 8:00pm
Speaker: Sanho Tree, Fellow and Director of Drug Policy Project, Institute for Policy Studies

Body Of War
Best Documentary – Hampton International Film Festival and Best Documentary – National Board of Review
Friday, July 25
Speaker: Geoff Millard, Iraq Veterans Against the War

Outstanding Achievement in Documentary – Tribeca Film Festival and Audience Award for Best Documentary – Barcelona International Women’s Film Festival
Thursday, July 31
Speakers: Sarah Anderson, Fellow and Director of the Global Economy Project at the Institute for Policy Studies and Manuel Perez Rocha, Associate Fellow, Institute for Policy Studies

Foreign Policy In Focus is a network for research, analysis and action that brings together more than 600 scholars, advocates and activists who strive to make the United States a more responsible global partner. It is a project of the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) in Washington.

For more than four decades, the Institute for Policy Studies has transformed ideas into action for peace, justice, and the environment. It is a progressive multi-issue think tank.




Book Event: Mark Engler’s "How to Rule the World"

Mark Engler will sign and discuss his new book, How to Rule the World: The Coming Battle Over the Global Economy. (Nation Books, Release Date: April 7, 2008, ISBN 978-1568583655). Thea Lee, policy director for the AFL-CIO, will moderate the discussion.

"As the world readies to heave a collective sigh of relief upon George W. Bush’s exit from the White House, How to Rule the World is a caution against complacency. Mark Engler offers a timely reminder that before Bush’s boots and bombs there was Clinton’s corporate ‘consensus’–more soothing perhaps but no more sustainable than the neocons’ disastrous militarism. He then makes a case that there lies a third choice: democracy. Impressively researched and sharply argued, How to Rule the World is an essential handbook not for the few who do rule the world but for the many who should." -GREG GRANDIN, author of Empire’s Workshop

Right now a debate is taking place over what values should define our international order. For global elites, it is a debate about how to rule the world. Laying out a new and original framework for understanding globalization politics, Mark Engler describes the conflict between a Clinton-era vision of an expanding, corporate-controlled global economy and a Bush-era "imperial globalization" based on U.S. military dominance. How to Rule the World explains how these visions overlap and also how, at critical moments, they clash with one another. It is written, however, in the hopes that neither will prevail. Even as Wall Street CEOs and Washington militarists argue among themselves, citizens’ uprisings in the United States, in an increasingly progressive Latin America, and beyond are bringing to life a vibrant "democratic globalization" based on economic justice, human rights, and self-determination.

Engler, a journalist, activist, and policy expert, details how the Bush administration has reshaped globalization in ways that few protesters in Seattle or elsewhere could have foreseen: Global trade talks are collapsing. The roles of international institutions like the WTO, IMF, and World Bank are dramatically changing. U.S. unilateralism and the disastrous war in Iraq have deepened international divisions. As a result, the stage is now set for a critical new debate about the global economy.

"Fasten your seatbelt. You’re in for a ride that will change your understanding of where we’ve been, what’s really going on now, and what’s coming next. Mark Engler explores, for the first time, the emerging battle between ‘corporate globalization’ and ‘imperial globalization’- and the alternative, ‘democratic globalization, or globalization from below.’ If you want to know ‘what ever happened to the anti-globalization movement,’ why it is likely to roar back as a powerful force in world politics, and why it may make another world possible, don’t miss this unique and indispensable guide." -JEREMY BRECHER, author of Strike!, Global Village or Global Pillage, and Globalization from Below

"Full of passion, hope, and insight, How to Rule the World assures us that the future of globalization is not a foregone conclusion. Rejecting both the imperial behemoth and the leviathan of corporate rule, Mark Engler weaves disparate movements and burgeoning efforts in far flung corners of the globe together to show the strong, tensile strands of a democratic alternative–a globalization from below that has the power to shape the post-Bush era." -FRIDA BERRIGAN, New America Foundation, Arms and Security Initiative

"This is one of the most hopeful and challenging progressive books to be written in a long time. Global elites, it turns out, are no more cohesive than, say, the crime families of New York, and perhaps a good deal less so. As the fault lines among those who have ruled the world for the past few decades become ever more clear, the time is upon us to finally follow up on Seattle and to bring democracy home. Never was a book more timely." -Andy Bichlbaum, THE YES MEN

Mark Engler is a writer based in New York City and an analyst with Foreign Policy In Focus. His articles appear in Dissent, The Nation, Newsday, the Progressive, the San Francisco Chronicle, Mother Jones, and In These Times. An archive of his work is available at

An activist originally from Des Moines, Iowa, Mark is a member of the National Writers Union (UAW, Local 1881). He has previously worked with the Arias Foundation for Peace and Human Progress in San José, Costa Rica, and he has also lived in Guatemala and El Salvador.

The Big Yam

A review of Brand New China: Advertising, Media, and Commercial Culture by Jing Wang.