Robin Broad

Robin Broad
American University Washington D.C. | AU · School of International Service

Doctor of Philosophy

About

65
Publications
11,090
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Introduction
Robin Broad, a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow, is a Professor at American University. Dr. Broad has a wide range of professional experiences – from international economist in the US Treasury Department to work with civil-society organizations in the Philippines and El Salvador. She is an active "scholar participant" in the movement to create a more just and sustainable economic globalization. Building on training in development economics and ecology, Dr. Broad’s work has evolved to what she terms “trans-disciplinary” research. Her lens is multi-level, moving from local to national to global. Her current book project – The Water Protectors: How Ordinary People Save a Country from Big Gold – is an account of how El Salvador became the first country to pass a law banning metals mining.
Research Experience
September 1990 - June 2020
American University Washington D.C.
Position
  • Professor (Full)
Description
  • John Simon Guggenheim Fellow (2018).
Education
June 1980 - May 1983
Princeton University
Field of study
  • Woodrow Wilson School
September 1978 - May 1980
Princeton University
Field of study
  • Woodrow Wilson School
September 1972 - June 1977
Williams College
Field of study
  • Economics & Environmental Studies

Publications

Publications (65)
Technical Report
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OceanaGold Corporation (OceanaGold), an Australian-Canadian company, is one of dozens of transnational mining companies in the Philippines that have been reaping profits by mining gold, silver, copper, and other minerals. Its underground Didipio Gold and Copper Mine (Didipio mine) in the Northern Luzon province of Nueva Vizcaya started open-pit com...
Article
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On April 9, President Duterte issued a warning to mining companies in a speech in Davao City: "I do not want to see bald mountains in the areas you have mined. I want to see trees as tall as me in 6 months. If I don't see any in the area you destroyed, consider your permit revoked." These are bold and important words. The Philippines hosts dozens o...
Article
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Recently there have been two giant wins for democracy, human rights, and the environment in an unlikely spot: the small, embattled nation of El Salvador. The most recent win was in March 2017, when the national legislature voted overwhelmingly to make El Salvador the first nation on earth to ban all metals mining, an activity that threatened that...
Article
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This article focuses on delineating the conditions under which the governments of poorer countries become active defenders and protectors of the environment. It does so based on field work in two poorer countries, El Salvador and Costa Rica, where the governments have instituted moratoria on financially lucrative but environmentally destructive min...
Article
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Largely out of sight in the rugged mountains of Nueva Vizcaya, Australian-Canadian company OceanaGold has been making millions mining gold and copper, while local people and the environment suffer. The company has repeatedly violated President Duterte’s calls for responsible mining. OceanaGold has not adhered to its commitments under its mining per...
Article
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OceanaGold has been stunningly defeated in El Salvador, at least for the time being. The months to come will determine whether it can be defeated in the Philippines by 2019. In March 2017, the small nation of El Salvador took a huge step towards protecting its environment for present and future generations when its legislature passed a law outlawi...
Presentation
As part of our efforts to help document successful campaigns against extractive projects in Latin America, we co-hosted this video conference together with the Institute for Policy Studies - IPS. We sat down with four of the activists at the centre of the international solidarity effort in support of the anti-mining struggle in El Salvador to get t...
Article
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The cry of “water is life” has spread from farmers in El Salvador, over a decade ago, to families in Flint, Michigan, to the Standing Rock Sioux in North Dakota, and now to lawmakers in El Salvador. On March 29, this small Central American country’s national legislature stood up to enormous pressure from global mining corporations and passed the...
Article
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This week, labor, environmental, religious and other groups, representing over 180 million people from around the world, sent a letter to a corporate mining CEO — a letter that is also a wake-up call for President Trump's trade agenda. The letter highlights the problems with the so-called "investor-state" provision in trade deals, first created th...
Article
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This article analyses mining policy as an indicator of a larger question: are some Third World governments starting to steer away from plunder ‘extractivism’ towards a paradigm that prioritises the environment? We begin with the cases of El Salvador and Costa Rica, which have major mining bans in place. We then present the results of our research i...
Article
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The executives of a global mining corporation assumed it would be easy to get their way in Cabañas, a rural region of northern El Salvador. They were wrong. What they wanted was to extract the rich veins of gold buried near the Lempa River, the water source for more than half of El Salvador’s 6.2 million people. Instead, local farmers and others ca...
Article
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If you needed one more reason to take sides in the last great fight of the Obama years, that of the corporate giveaway package known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), here it is.  Last week, the tribunal at the center of the proposed TPP ruled against a global mining firm that sued El Salvador, but only after seven years of deliberations and...
Article
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In November 2015, just after President Obama finally stood up to the fossil fuel industry and rejected the TransCanada Corporation’s application for its tar sands pipeline through the United States, I issued a warning: In The Hill, I applauded the Obama decision and laid out the reasons why, under current trade and investment rules, TransCanada had...
Article
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On March 2, in the dark of the night, armed assailants broke into the Honduran home of Berta Cáceres and shot her four times, killing her. The assailants also wounded a Mexican colleague, Gustavo Castro, who survived only by playing dead. Cáceres was in Washington just last year to receive the 2015 Goldman Environmental Prize, the environmental equ...
Chapter
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Robin Broad and John Cavanagh demonstrate how one small country, El Salvador, long at the mercy of foreign powers and transnational corporations, has achieved near consensus that gold mining, and the destruction of water, land, and livelihood that go with it, must stop. Although not focused on a fossil fuel, the chapter highlights a similar resista...
Article
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This paper focuses on the main venue for investor-state dispute settlement: the World Bank Group’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). The paper’s analysis establishes significant ICSID bias in favor of corporations and commercial interests. At its core, the paper is a case study of what transpired after the governme...
Article
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The Nobel Peace Prize committee can, when it gets it right, present to the world unlikely heroes who can inspire us to rethink what it means to “wage peace.” This year, the committee got it right by honoring not only Malala Yousafzai, whose first name alone elicits widespread recognition, but also Kailash Satyarthi, a little-known hero with a big...
Article
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This comment deconstructs four contesting definitions of “responsible mining”: (1) a neoliberal definition; (2) a variant on the first focused on the addition of corporate social responsibility; (3) a structuralist definition; and (4) a definition based on a more comprehensive notion of economic, environmental and social responsibility. The author...
Article
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Over the past several decades, multinational corporate Goliaths have helped to write and rewrite hundreds of rules skewing tax, trade, investment and other policies in their favor. The extraordinary damage these policies have caused has become increasingly apparent to the communities and governments most directly affected by them. This, in turn, ha...
Article
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Efforts to reduce unemployment and curb inequality must be considered alongside urgent threats to the environment and democracy. Most progressives have long embraced a clear alternative to the conservative story that prosperity flows best from a “free market” unfettered by government regulation and taxes. The standard progressive response: governm...
Article
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This article tracks the debate about development in theory and practice, moving from the global level of the development debate to the rice fields of the Philippines. The authors offer a reframing of the development debate through the lens of ‘vulnerability’ versus ‘rootedness’ in social, environmental and economic terms. They argue that food and f...
Article
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Based on in-country field work, this article looks at the voluntary transition from chemical-intensive to organic and bio-dynamic (including integrated pest management) in two rice-growing communities in Mindanao, the Philippines' southern-most island. Coauthor Robin Broad lived in Mindanao in the late 1970s when such communities were being transit...
Article
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Hunger continues to be one of humanity’s greatest challenges despite the existence of a more-than-adequate global food supply equal to 2,800 kilocalories for every person every day. In measuring progress, policymakers and concerned citizens across the globe rely on information supplied by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), an agency of th...
Article
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Thirty years ago, several thousand civilians in the northern Salvadoran community of Santa Marta quickly gathered a few belongings and fled the US-funded Salvadoran military as it burned their houses and fields in an early stage of the country’s twelve-year civil war. Dozens were killed as they crossed the Lempa River into refugee camps in Hondura...
Article
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This article argues that the contemporary triple crises of finance, food and environment, which have shaken the global economy since 2008, have exposed what should be seen as the Achilles heel of the dominant development theory and practice of the past 30 years: vulnerability. We argue that the crises not only add momentum to the delegitimisation o...
Article
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Our search for rootedness has brought us back to the Philippines, back to communities in the south where Robin spent a year over three decades ago. We spend time with the family of a rice farmer, Delia, on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao. Delia, her husband Romulo, two daughters, one son, and three grandchildren live in a simple but roo...
Article
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It makes us angry when we hear—time and again—mainstream pundits and policy makers claim that there is no alternative to the past 30 years’ path of gearing economies toward the global market. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Currently, as financial markets stagnate and food prices swing wildly and the environment is under siege, more and mo...
Article
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Twenty-nine years ago, at the height of the bloody Marcos dictatorship in the Philippines, then–first lady Imelda Marcos was an honored guest at a piano concert at the Kennedy Center in Washington. During a break in the program, Walden Bello, a leader of the anti-Marcos activists in the United States, slipped down to the front of the auditorium wit...
Book
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"Development Redefined offers an invaluable rethinking of development theory and practice by two of the world's most respected scholars/citizens. Their experience, insight, knowledge, activist commitment, and engaging style make this book indispensable reading for anyone concerned with global economic justice and making the world a better place." -...
Article
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This article looks at ‘knowledge management’, using a case study of the World Bank's research department, located in the Bank's Development Economics Vice-Presidency (DEC). Despite the Bank's presentation of its research arm as conducting ‘rigorous and objective’ work, the author finds that the Bank's ‘knowledge management’ involves research that h...
Article
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Despite widespread analysis of the World Bank's lending operations by both supporters and critics, there has been little external or systematic analysis of the Bank's research department. This is remarkable, given that the Bank has become the hub of development research worldwide. This article begins to fill in that gap by exploring the political e...
Article
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Thomas Friedman and Jeffrey Sachs—articulate, learned globetrotting pundits— would seem an unlikely duo to hijack the development debate. Yet, through their best-selling books—Friedman’s The World Is Flat and Sachs’s The End of Poverty—their prominent exposure in the U.S. media, and endorsements by celebrities like Bono, the superstar lead singer o...
Article
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During the final two decades of the twentieth century, development theory and practice were dominated by a neoliberal ‘Washington Consensus’. This article analyzes the shifting debate over that Consensus. The article focuses on the current ‘elite’ debate about the Consensus in an attempt to gauge the extent of change. It does so by coding primary r...
Article
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A GENERATION from now, analysts may look back at the World Trade Organization summit in Mexico as a turning point in the increasingly contentious globalization debate. Why? Because for the first time in decades of globalization negotiations, democracy trumped narrow elite interests. India, Brazil, China and nearly two dozen other poor nations, repr...
Article
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The purpose of this article is to enrich the understanding of the precursors to today's global citizen movement against corporate-led globalisation and to draw on that history for its relevance to the contemporary period and movement. In doing this, we provide snapshots of three dynamic waves of economic integration that provoked cross-border resis...
Book
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“This is an excellent book! The format, substance, biographical material, choice of original selections, and writing style are splendid. . . . Broad states she was motivated to produce this book because of her 'frustration over the simplistic way in which opposition to current forms of globalization was portrayed in the mainstream media.' ... [V]er...
Book
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The second edition of this premier collection of essays lays out the democratic, ecologically sound, socially just alternatives to corporate globalization by focusing on constructive, achievable goals. Written by a premier group of 21 thinkers from around the world, the second edition of Alternatives to Economic Globalization lays out democratic,...
Article
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Between the early 1980s and the late 1990s, an elite consensus swept the globe that unfettered free markets provided the formula to make rich countries out of poor. In policy circles, this formula came to be known as the “Washington Consensus.” As we approach the new century, however, deep cracks have appeared within this consensus. Its legitimacy...
Article
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By the end of 1998, the daily value of foreign exchange transactions hovered between $1.5 and $2.0 trillion. Less than 5 percent of this activity had anything to do with trade or other “real” economic activity; the vast majority was the work of a new breed of currency speculator. As currencies surged or collapsed in the newly volatile global econom...
Article
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There is a rich quarter-century history of attempts, many of them international in scope, to make corporations more accountable to communities, workers and environmental concerns. Yet, unlike the environmental movement or the civil rights movement, there is no self-conscious "corporate accountability movement." Instead, there are hundreds of scatte...
Article
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LET THE holiday shopping mania begin. Your kids have already told you what they must get, and you might be trying to balance this with some broader concerns. Did a child assemble that cherished doll? Was that avidly-sought video game made in a sweatshop? Were workers locked inside the Teddy Bear factory and forced to work overtime to meet the Ch...
Article
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"... the economies of the developing world ... are, in aggregate, growing faster than those of the major industrial countries." World Bank, Global Economic Prospects and the Developing Countries, 1994, p 5 During much of the Cold War, the central dilemma of development economics was how to reverse the growing economic gap between the rich and poo...
Article
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In the study of the factors that contribute to economic development, one of the least studied and most misunderstood involves natural resources. Indeed, until recently, the topic of natural resources was noticeably absent in more than a cursory fashion from most post-World War II writings on economic development. Many modern development theorists h...
Article
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For four and a half decades, the Cold War offered Americans a prism through which to view the three-quarters of humanity who live in the impoverished countries of Latin America, Africa, and Asia. The United States fought or funded wars and covert operations in dozens of these countries-including Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Iran, Korea,...
Article
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Book review by Steven R. Brechin of Plundering Paradise: The Struggle for the Environment in the Philippines by Robin Broad and John Cavanagh. [Citation: Broad, Robin and John Cavanagh. Plundering Paradise: The Struggle for the Environment in the Philippines. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994. Link to the book: https://www.ucpress.edu/...
Article
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The conventional literature in the environment and development field often presents a rather deterministic view of the relationship between poverty and the environment, revolving around the negative impact of the poor on the environment. Based on extensive fieldwork in rural communities across the Philippines, this article is a case study of that r...
Article
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Indonesian plywood is the cheapest to cut and transport. Logging in Indonesia and protests by the Dayaks and other indigenous people of Indonesia are examined. Environmental activism is also becoming stronger in the Philippines. Link to the Article: http://www.american.edu/sis/faculty/upload/borneo-on-the-brink-amicus-summer-94.pdf See "Full Tex...
Book
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“A book that combines the close observations and engaging style of a good travelogue with an analysis grounded in a deep knowledge of the Philippines.... Few books chronicle the struggles of common citizens to protect the environment that supports their livelihood. This one does so extremely well and is recommended to both academic and public libra...
Article
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The Bush administration has bequeathed to President Clinton two immediate Third World economic policy challenges of enormous importance to our nation: a deeply flawed trade agreement with our North American neighbors and a beleaguered and ineffectual foreign-aid establishment. The Clinton/Gore administration's response to these trade and aid challe...
Book
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To be born into the Philippines today is to face a future that is, at best, uncertain. The nation’s forests, coral reefs and productive soil are being destroyed at a rate that is among the fastest in the world. For the tens of millions of Filipinos that live off the land and the sea, this means steadily declining yields of rice, corn and fish. Deg...
Article
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As the 1990s begin, the development debate has all but disappeared in the West. Monumental changes in Eastern Europe and Latin America are widely interpreted as proof of the superiority of development models that are led by the private sector and oriented toward exports. Free-market capitalism is said to have prevailed because only it promises grow...
Book
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"This seminal work details the Philippine experiment with the International Monetary Fund/World Bank structural adjustment model of development....Well written, superbly organized, and thoroughly researched, this book is must reading.” -- Choice “Never ... has there been a case study [of structural adjustment] of this depth, based on both internal...
Article
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The streets of the Philippines came alive in 1989. On May Day nearly 150,000 workers marched through the country's major cities, demanding an increase in the abysmally low minimum wage. More than 100,000 public schoolteachers - joined at times by up to 400,000 government workers - braved the torrential tropical rains of August in a three-week strik...
Article
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This article in International Economy provides a political-economic analysis of the Philippines based on the authors’ 1988-89 sojourn there as visiting research associates at the University of the Philippines/Diliman under a joint grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. During this period, they traveled across the country (fro...
Article
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This is a book review of The Philippine State and the Marcos Regime: The Politics of Export by Gary Hawes. Link to the article: https://www.jstor.org/stable/20071064?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents See "Full Text" for full citation and working hyperlink.
Article
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A growing grass-roots environmental movement in the Philippines discovers that the "old politics" is back, or perhaps never left.
Article
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For over a decade the most common policy advice given to developing countries by international development institutions has been to copy the export-oriented path of the newly industrializing countries, the celebrated NIC's. These economies—Brazil, Hong Kong, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan—burst into the world manufacturing market in the...
Article
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Editors introduction: From time to time, The International Economy will invite experts who have worked behind-the-scenes in key government posts to express their views on current issues. Ms. Broad, now a resident associate with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, has served on the staff of the U.S. Treasury and Congress....
Book
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Text by: Broad, Cavanagh, and Weaver. “A Journey Through the Global Debt Crisis”. Debt Crisis Network. 1988.
Article
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Tomorrow, as the third world drowns in debt, 3,000 of the world's financial managers will gather here for the annual meeting of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. A continent away from the consequences of the debt, they are likely to avoid facing the problem head-on and instead to engage in what the economist Martin Feldstein has a...
Article
Full-text available
Tomorrow, as the third world drowns in debt, 3,000 of the world's financial managers will gather here for the annual meeting of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. A continent away from the consequences of the debt, they are likely to avoid facing the problem head-on and instead to engage in what the economist Martin Feldstein has a...
Article
Full-text available
The export-oriented industrialization policies that ensued under the multilateral institutions' collaboration with segments of the Philippine state had significant ramifications for various sets of international and national actors. Under the weight of the Bank's and Fund's successful policy influence in 1979 to 1982, localists lost every foothold...
Thesis
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Thesis (Ph. D.)--Princeton University, 1983. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 498-515). Microfilms. This dissertation attempts to add a new element to the study of policy formulation by examining the influence of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund on aggregate economic policy making in less developed countries (LDCs). Of...
Article
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Based on in-country field work from 1977-78, this article focuses in on Del Monte Corporation's Philippine Packing Corporation in Bukidnon, using a narrative non-fiction lens along with empirical data to provide one of the first case studies of what subsequently became known as "land grabbing." Note: The Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars is now...

Network

Cited By

Projects

Projects (7)
Project
Within the broader arena of Critical Development Studies, this Project focuses on “The Global Context for Development or Under-Development: The Role of Global Institutions in Setting Third-World Countries on Neoliberal Development Paths – From the IMF and the World Bank, to the WTO and ICSID (& ISDS Clauses).” The author’s earlier work here includes her doctoral dissertation (1983) and book Unequal Alliance (University of California Press), with a focus on the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund and global corporations. Her work as of 2011-2018 continues this focus but expands to include investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) clauses and arbitration venues, notably the World Bank Group’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), as in her University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law article.
Project
Within the broader arena of Critical Development Studies, this Project focuses on “Competing Development Paths: The Vulnerability Presented by Neoliberalism vs. the ‘Rootedness’ of Economically, Environmentally, and Socially Responsible Development – The Market is Not Enough.” The earliest articles under this Project include “No More NICs” and “Development: The Market is Not Enough” and were published in Foreign Policy. Subsequent publications -- such as “Reframing Development in the Age of Vulnerability: from case studies of the Philippines and Trinidad to new measures of rootedness” and "The Development and Agriculture Paradigms Transformed: Reflections from the Small-Scale Organic Rice Fields of the Philippines"-- zero in on the concepts of neoliberal “vulnerability” versus economic, environmental, and social “rootedness” (a term the author argues is a better reflection of on-the-ground articulations by the marginalized and dispossessed than is “vulnerability”).
Project
Within the broader arena of Critical Development Studies, this Project focuses on “Resolving the Anthropogenic Root-Causes of Development Problems: The Need for a Political Ecology Lens.” It could also be thought of as a project related to Environment & Development in the Third World context of marginalization and dispossession.