May 3-4, 2012
SFU Harbour Centre
Because trade and investment are critical to the economic well being of citizens of the Global North, developed nations have made considerable efforts in recent years to standardize international markets, financial practices, and make capital flows more transparent. We have not seen similar efforts to standardize the labor, environmental, and other practices of global multinationals in countries with weak states and significant levels of poverty.
In the past many economists and political scientists dismissed this as a non-issue, claiming that inequality and “abusive” labour and environmental practices in developing nations would be ameliorated only when local actors grew more prosperous and demanded change at the local level. In recent years, however, citizens of the Global North have grown increasingly aware that claim may be flawed, both because of growing inequality and because problems in the developing world have been increasingly visited on wealthy nations.
We have millions of individuals from developing nations adopt the traditional strategies used by the poor to address their conditions (including migration and illicit networks), but also an increase in the use of novel approaches to draw the attention of individuals in the global North to the plight of their neighbors from the South (including the emergence of global extremist networks).
While these developments are often viewed with fear and anger in the North, we propose to view them as a critical opportunity to adopt political, legal, and social practices that account for the fact that just as capital is now global, rights must also acquire a more global tangibility.
Featuring: Liisa North (York), Luis Angel Saavedra (INREDH, Quito), Gretchen Hernandez (SFU) , Drina Saric (Andean University Simon Bolivar), Karyn Keenan (Halifax Initiative), Daniel Kovalik (Labor and Human Rights Lawyer), Lesley Gill (Vanderbilt), Henry Veltmeyer (St. Mary’s), Travis Mathieson (SFU) , John McKay (Canadian Member of Parliament) , Robert Percival (University of Maryland) , Hannah Wittman (SFU), Dawn Hoogeveen (UBC).