Walden Bello

Foreign Policy In Focus columnist Walden Bello is senior analyst of the Bangkok-based institute Focus on the Global South and representative of Akbayan (Citizens’ Action Party) in the House of Representatives of the Philippines. He can be reached at waldenbello@yahoo.com.

Articles by this author

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Lessons of the Obama Debacle
The problem with us progressives at this time of crisis is not that we lack an alternative paradigm to pit against the discredited neoliberal paradigm. No, the elements of the alternative based on the values of democracy, justice, equality, and environmental sustainability are there and have been there for sometime, the product of collective intellectual and activist work over the last few decades.
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Thursday, September 02, 2010
Can You Say, Fascism? The Political Consequences of Stagnation
My apologies to T. S. Eliot, but September, not April, is the cruelest month. Before 9/11/2001, there was 9/11/1973, when Gen. Pinochet toppled the Allende government in Chile and ushered in a 17-year reign of terror. More recently, on 9/15/2008, Lehman Brothers went bust and torpedoed the global economy, turning what had been a Wall Street crisis into a near-death experience for the global financial system.
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Thursday, July 15, 2010
Greece: Same Tragedy, Different Scripts
Cafés are full in Athens, and droves of tourists still visit the Parthenon and go island-hopping in the fabled Aegean. But beneath the summery surface, there is confusion, anger, and despair as this country plunges into its worst economic crisis in decades. The global media has presented Greece, tiny Greece, as the epicenter of the second stage of the global financial crisis, much as it portrayed Wall Street as ground zero of the first stage. Yet there is an interesting difference in the narratives surrounding these two episodes.
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Wednesday, June 02, 2010
The Battle for Thailand
Nearly a week after the event, Thailand is still stunned by the military assault on the Red Shirt encampment in the tourist center of the capital city of Bangkok on May 19. The Thai government is treating captured Red Shirt leaders and militants like they're from an occupied country. No doubt about it: A state of civil war exists in this country, and civil wars are never pretty.
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Thursday, April 22, 2010
Does Corruption Create Poverty?
The issue of corruption resonates in developing countries. In the Philippines, for instance, the slogan of the coalition that is likely to win the 2010 presidential elections is "Without corrupt officials, there are no poor people."
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Saturday, November 28, 2009
The Meaning of Seattle: Truth Only Becomes True Through Action
It is now generally accepted that globalization has been a failure in terms of delivering on its triple promise of lifting countries from stagnation, eliminating poverty, and reducing inequality.
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Friday, September 04, 2009
The Virtues of Deglobalization
The current global downturn, the worst since the Great Depression 70 years ago, pounded the last nail into the coffin of globalization. Already beleaguered by evidence that showed global poverty and inequality increasing, even as most poor countries experienced little or no economic growth, globalization has been terminally discredited in the last two years. As the much-heralded process of financial and trade interdependence went into reverse, it became the transmission belt not of prosperity but of economic crisis and collapse.
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Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Robert McNamara's Second Vietnam
The conventional view of Robert McNamara, who passed away a few days ago, is that after serving as the chief engineer of the disastrous U.S. war in Vietnam, he went on in 1968, to serve as president of the World Bank. In this way, he sought to salve his troubled conscience by delivering development assistance to poor countries. The reality is, as usual, more complex.
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Saturday, June 27, 2009
Global Food Price Crisis
Perhaps the most influential orthodox view on the causes, dynamics, and solution to the food price crisis was provided by Oxford University economist Paul Collier in an article that came out in Foreign Affairs[1] Collier, author of the controversial The Bottom Billion[2], asserted that the food price crisis stemmed from the increased demand for food in Asia, brought on by prosperity that was not matched on the supply side owing to three problems: The failure to promote commercial farming, especially in Africa, the ban against genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in the European Union (EU),
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Tuesday, March 31, 2009
U-20: Will the Global Economy Resurface?
The Group of 20 (G20) is making a big show of getting together to come to grips with the global economic crisis. But here's the problem with the upcoming summit in London on April 2: It's all show. What the show masks is a very deep worry and fear among the global elite that it really doesn't know the direction in which the world economy is heading and the measures needed to stabilize it.
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