Out with neoliberalism, forward people-centred development: Page 2 of 3

Posted on 3 October 2017

frameworks that enable political and economic power for peoples and their organisations, allowing them to hold governments accountable and forward greater regulation of multinational corporations. On the other, this means orienting the state institutions, including development agencies and plans, away from prioritising foreign investment and “economic growth” for the few, but towards addressing people’s political and economic demands.

These demands range from decent, full employment and a just minimum wage; to self-determination and liberation for indigenous peoples; right to land for small-holding farmers; and even more fundamental changes in the dominant economic system – demands that conflict with domestic and foreign elite interests in the global South. All these would guarantee the people’s right not only to enjoy but to participate and contribute to their economic, social, cultural and political development [x], towards sustainable development by and for the people.

Further, IBON International sees it necessary for peoples to urge their states to look into the impacts of IMF, WBG, WTO and multilateral development banks’ policy and programs on the ground, and expose the extent that these deviated from principles of national sovereignty, people’s rights and complementarity. People’s organisations and CSOs should alsocast a watchful eye on the “legally binding treaty on transnational corporations and human rights” currently in the UN agenda.

It is true, as the UNCTAD report claims, that it is high time to move away from “the abiding neoliberal refrain that ‘there is no alternative’”. It is time to fulfil people’s demands to end neoliberalism. But instead of another policy strategy that merely postpones another crisis (i.e., Keynesianism in the 1930s and after, and then neoliberalism in the 1970s), economic history shows the need not only to bring the state back into the fore, but also entrench a people-led and people-centred framework to pull at the roots of global monopoly capitalism. ##

IBON International ( engages in capacity development for people’s rights and democracy around the world. It strengthens links between local campaigns and advocacies to international initiatives and brings development issues from the international arena in a way that peoples’ organizations and social movements can engage with at country level.

[i] Global Justice Now. 2016. “10 biggest corporations make more money than most countries in the world combined.”

[ii]International LabourOrganisation. 2017. World Employment and Social Outlook – Trends 2017.

[iii] See: Ostry, Jonathan, PrakashLoungani, DavideFurceri. 2016. “Neoliberalism: Oversold?” Finance and Development 53:2.

[iv] See: UNCTAD. 2017. Trade and Development Report – Beyond Austerity: Towards a Global New Deal.

[v] The UNCTAD’s 2017 Trade and Development Report argues: “The notion that markets, left to their own devices, can deliver socially and economically optimal outcomesis a fallacy and should be dropped. The experiences of recent years – as during other major crises of the last century − are a powerful reminder that the State can and must reform and adapt markets at all levelsto create an environment that can deliver growth and development for the population as a whole.”

[vi] For instance, see IBON International. 2017. “World Bank ‘trillions’: More PPPs, even

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