Anti-MAI action turning-point against free market fundamentalism: Ranald, Stilwell, Goodman -- M.A.I.
In a forthcoming book Frank Stilwell debates the globalisation context, arguing that transnational economic power and inter-state agreements like the proposed Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI), require transnational as well as national responses. Patricia Ranald analyses the MAI and its implications for Australia, suggesting the proposed Treaty reveals much about the elite consensus on "economic rationalism." James Goodman discusses the Australian and international campaign against the MAI, arguing its relative success marks an historic turning point against free market fundamentalism. Plus articles by some of Australia's peak advocacy groups.
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FORTHCOMING MAI BOOK
Corporate power versus public interests: Opposing the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI)
Patricia Ranald and James Goodman (eds)
PART ONE: POLITICISING 'LIBERALISATION'
1 The globalisation context:
2 Disciplining governments: the MAI proposals
3 Halting a Juggernaut: the anti-MAI campaign
PART TWO: AUSTRALIAN PERSPECTIVES
4. International poverty: Community Aid Abroad; AidWatch.
5. Human Rights: Amnesty International; Uniting Church; Australian Council of Social Services.
6. Labour Rights: Australian Council of Trade Unions; Public Transport Union.
7. Women's Rights: Women in Further Education; Womens International League for Peace and Freedom.
8. Indigenous Rights: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission; NSW Aboriginal Land Council.
9. Public Services: Public Interest Advocacy Centre; Australian Local Government Association; National Tertiary Education Union.
10. Environment: Australian Conservation Foundation; Environment Defenders Office.
11. Media and culture: Communications Law Centre.
Conclusions: Alternatives to the MAI
"Corporate power versus public interests" voices Australian opposition to the OECD's free market fundamentalism, reasserts public priorities, and discusses the alternatives. There are two Parts to the book. PART ONE provides a definitive analysis of the MAI and the campaign against it. In Chapter One Frank Stilwell debates the globalisation context, arguing that transnational economic power and inter-state agreements like the proposed MAI, require transnational as well as national responses. In Chapter Two, Patricia Ranald analyses the MAI and its implications for Australia, suggesting the proposed Treaty reveals much about the elite consensus on 'economic rationalism'. In Chapter Three James Goodman discusses the Australian and international campaign against the MAI, arguing its relative success marks an historic turning point against free market fundamentalism.
PART TWO brings together a range of Australian perspectives on the MAI. In 1998 Australian organisations became active in the international campaign against the proposed Treaty, and several hundred wrote submissions for a Federal inquiry into the MAI, conducted by the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties. Sixteen of these submissions are reproduced, drawn from many of Australia's 'peak' advocacy groups, including those concerned with international poverty, human rights, labour, womens, and indigenous rights, public services, the environment and the media. The submissions offer insights into the wide-ranging implications of the MAI and highlight the way in which the draft MAI extends the legal rights of corporations, which already have considerable market power, at the expense of the rights of governments and citizens.
In the CONCLUSIONS the editors focus on the alternatives to the MAI being debated amongst opposition groups. These signal a new urgency for international as well as national regulation of economic forces. The proposals for an alternative "Peoples Treaty," due to be presented to the UN and WTO in April 1999 [?], are outlined and its prospects are debated.
Patricia Ranald is a Senior Research Fellow at the Public Sector Research Centre, University of New South Wales. She is the author of a number of articles and chapters in books on the role of the state and international trading agreements, and is also the author of Disciplining Governments: what the MAI would mean for Australia (1998) published by the Evatt Foundation and the Public Sector Research Centre.
James Goodman is a post-doctoral researcher in the politics of transnational social movements, at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Technology Sydney. He is the author of several articles and books on globalisation and popular responses to it; his latest publication is Dis/Agreeing Ireland: contexts, obstacles, hopes, edited with James Anderson and published by Pluto Press in London.
Frank Stilwell is an Associate Professor of Political Economy at the University of Sydney, and the author of several books on Australian political economy. He gives radio talks, is a keynote speaker at seminars, etc.
Both Patricia Ranald and James Goodman have been active in the Australia-based campaign against the MAI.
CONTACT DETAILS: Patricia Ranald, Senior Research Fellow, Public Sector
Research Centre, University of New South Wales, NSW 2052 Australia. Phone:
61 2 9385 9242, Fax 61 2 9385 9246; email:
For Ms Ranald's visit to Perth on 26 June 1999 click: http://www.multiline.com.au/~johnm/maispeak.htm
James Goodman, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University
of Technology, Sydney, PO Box 123, Broadway, Sydney, 2007. Phone: 02
9514 2714, Fax: 02 9514 2332; email:
Frank Stilwell: Associate Professor of Political Economy, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2000. Phone: 02 9351 3063, Fax: 02 9552 1118 .His resume is at: http://www.usyd.edu.au/su/econ/staff/stilwell.htm.