Focus on the Global South

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Focus on the Global South
Abbreviation FOCUS
Formation 1995
Founder Walden Bello, Kamal Malhotra
Focus Neoliberalism, Globalization, Environmental Justice, Alternative Development
Headquarters Bangkok, Thailand
Product Critical research, Policy Analysis, Conferences, Seminars, Social Forums, Study Programs
Exec. Dir.
Shalmali Guttal

Focus on the Global South (Focus) is a transnational alternative policy group, that produces and disseminates analyses, proposals and information tools oriented towards the enhancement of social and ecological sustainability and engages in advocacy, activism and grassroots capacity building, primarily in South Asia.[1][2] Established in 1995, Focus has active projects in Thailand (through headquarters in Bangkok), India (through its New Delhi office) and in the Philippines (through its Manila office).

Goals and Activities[edit]

Focus combines policy research with advocacy and grassroots capacity building in order to generate critical analysis and debates on policies related to neoliberalism, militarism and corporate-driven globalization, while strengthening just and equitable alternatives. To this end, it seeks to bring together a range of social actors, from state and intergovernmental bodies to social movement groups (to which it has strong local and national connections), in order to develop and share research and analysis that challenge existing corporate and state policies and advocate alternative ways of organizing economic, political and cultural life.[3]

Focus divides its work among five main campaigns or thematic areas:

  • Trade and Investment (the original Focus concern, which investigates the nature and implications of free trade agreement and negations in the Asia-Pacific region),
  • Social Movements (engaging with social movements and front line communities to help mobilize for social change)
  • Climate/ Environmental Justice (providing analyses of the ecological crisis, concentrating on promoting and strengthening alternatives to address how booming Asian’s economies can shift their present trajectory toward a more equitable and environmentally stable path),
  • Land, Water Forest (aimed at defending the Commons and halting the rapid exploitation and commodification of natural and intellectual resources)
  • Deglobalisation (Focus’ flagship campaign, spanning practically all its programs, concentrates on monitoring the financial crisis and the policies of the International financial institutions, and finding alternatives to a global economy centred on the needs of transnational corporations).[4]

In its efforts to generate critical analyses of such processes and promote debate, Focus deploys a wide range of knowledge producing practices, which include research and analysis, conferences and seminars, social forums, study programs, direct action and parliamentary testimonials, joint campaigns and media.[5]

Although Focus is based in the Global South and connects strongly with local movements and national political processes, it continues to produce knowledge for a global public and to make links between local and national movements using regional and international platforms.[6]


  1. ^ Carroll, William. 2015. "Modes of Cognitive Praxis in Transnational Alternative Policy Groups". Globalizations, 1-18.
  2. ^ Carroll, William. 2014. “Alternative Policy Groups and Transnational Counter-Hegemonic Struggle.” Pp. 259-84 in Yıldız Atasoy (ed.) Global Economic Crisis and the Politics of Diversity. London & New York: Palgrave MacMillan
  3. ^ Carroll, William. 2015. "Modes of Cognitive Praxis in Transnational Alternative Policy Groups". Globalizations, 1-18.
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ Carroll, William. 2015. "Modes of Cognitive Praxis in Transnational Alternative Policy Groups". Globalizations, 1-18.

External links[edit]