Economic globalization is a trend that affects all our lives – as consumers, as workers, and as people living on a planet challenged by environmental degradation.
The direction taken by this globalization is not accidental. It is being driven by a set of international rules and international institutions that are designed primarily to protect the interests of large multinational corporations. Time after time these rules and institutions put the interests of corporations over the interests of regular people and of the environment.
The Network for Justice in Global Investment is a joint effort by citizens and organizations in a variety of countries to challenge one of the most anti-democratic aspects of the global economic order – the rules governing international investment. These rules can be found in hundreds of global, regional, and bilateral trade agreements and investment treaties. In accord after accord, private foreign investors are given special rights, allowing them to bypass domestic courts and sue governments in unaccountable international arbitration tribunals.
It is in special courts like these that nations have been sued for seeking to safeguard their people’s health, to control their water and other resources, and to reshape their economies in the public’s interest. Foreign investors have been able to win hundreds of millions of dollars in damages in legal playing fields tilted heavily to their advantage.
These excessive “investor protections” undermine the right of nations and citizens to direct their own economic and environmental course. The Network for Justice in Global Investment aims to advance new rules and institutions to govern investment and finance, in ways that support fairness, justice and environmental sustainability.
On this Web site you will find a wide variety of resources to help you become more knowledgeable about these issues and to help you get involved in the global effort to bring democracy and real justice into the rules governing international investment.
The Network for Justice in Global Investment is an initiative of The Democracy Center and Institute for Policy Studies
The Democracy Center, based in Cochabamba, Bolivia, 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. In 2000 the Democracy Center played a leading role in reporting on the Cochabamba Water Revolt and afterwards in leading the campaign against the Bechtel Corporation’s legal action against Bolivia.
The Institute for Policy Studies is a progressive think tank based founded in Washington, DC in 1963. On the issue of international investment agreements, IPS publications include the reports Policy Handcuffs in the Financial Crisis: How U.S. Trade and Investment Policies Limit Government Power to Control Capital Flows and Challenging Corporate Investor Rule. IPS has also helped coordinate international civil society activities related to this issue.