The issue of the day remains what Manmohan Singh in 1988 called "global perestroika". Without more democracy in the global institutions, it is unlikely that a new policy framework can be crafted that addresses the needs of the world's people.
The policy framework that our governments now labour under, namely neoliberalism, does not permit sufficient innovation from elected officials to address the core problems of education, employment, health care and a wider social imagination. New ideas are being incubated every day, but their creativity is stifled by the claustrophobia that allows finance to breathe but social life to asphyxiate.
Global perestroika calls for these new ideas to be given their day in the sun.
Mr. Vijay Prashad
Professor of International Studies, Trinity College, Hartford , USA
Mr. Vijay Prashad, renowned academic and author has confirmed his participation at the UNCTAD Public Symposium that is being held in Geneva on 24-25 June 2013.
Mr. Prashad earned his BA in History from Pomona College, Claremont, California, in 1989; his MA in History from the University of Chicago, in 1990; and his PhD in History from the University of Chicago, in 1994.
Mr. Prashad is the author of fifteen books, of which five were published in 2012. They include:
Arab Spring, Libyan Winter (India's The Hindu called this "a book that deserves to become essential reading, a canonical account of a world-historic chain of events")
Uncle Swami: South Asians in America Today (the Boston Globe called this book "required reading for anyone who wants to understand race, assimilation and patriotism")
The Poorer Nations: A Possible History of the Global South (former United Nations Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali called this "a contribution to the intellectual-cum-political emancipation of developing countries and their empowerment through greater self-reliance on their own intellectual and analytical resources")
Other books by Vijay Prashad include The Darker Nations: A People's History of the Third World (2007), Keeping Up with the Dow Joneses: Debt, Prison, Workfare (2003), Fat Cats and Running Dogs: The Enron Stage of Capitalism (2002), Enron Blowout: Corporate Capitalism and the Theft of the Global Commons (2002), and Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting: Afro-Asian Connections and the Myth of Cultural Purity (2001).
Vijay Prashad also writes regularly in the media - as a columnist for Frontline magazine (Chennai, India), as a contributing editor for Himal Southasian (Kathmandu, Nepal) and for Bol (Lahore, Pakistan), and as a fortnightly contributor to Asia Times, an occasional correspondent for al-Akhbar (Beirut, Lebanon), and a regular contributor to Counterpunch.
In 2013-2014, Mr. Prashad will be the Edward Said Chair at the American University of Beirut, in Lebanon.