SOAS University of London

SOAS scholars join politicians and social movement leaders at an International Social Forum

16 July 2019

An International Social Forum, held at SOAS University of London this week, hosted the former President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, the leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn and Greek economist Yanis Varoufakis, as well as political campaigners and researchers from the Global South to discuss the global economic framework.

The speakers were also joined by SOAS scholars. Costas Lapavitsas, Professor of Economics and former Syriza MP in Greece, provided the opening remarks.  Dr Rafeef Ziadah, Lecturer in Comparative Politics of the Middle East; Dr Adam Hanieh, Reader in Development Studies and Dr Ruba Salih, Reader, Department of Anthropology and Sociology facilitated several workshop sessions.

ISF Yanis address 2

Greek economist Yanis Varoufakis

The conference constituted the inaugural session of an International Social Forum initiated by the Labour Party in cooperation with the Department of Economics at SOAS. It brought together politicians, academics and activists for a wide-ranging discussion on a new economic order. In particular, the consequences of colonialism and its enduring legacy on the global economic order were extensively debated, as well as the economic exploitation of the Global South, climate change and migration.

Speaking at the Forum, the Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell, accused the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and World Trade Organisation of “failing” to use their mighty resources to take on global warming. He added that countries in the Global South had been “shut out” of major decisions about the global economy for too long and called for a new Global Economic Coordination Council.