Haiti Rising - Perils of Privatization
Nandini Gunewardena, UCLA professor of International Development Studies
Nandini Gunewardena, UCLA professor of International Development Studies, discussed how neoliberal policies jeopardized human security. Privatization, deregulation and cut backs in social safety nets eroded locals' agency, access and control of their own livelihoods. The dream of transforming Haiti into the "Taiwan of the Caribbean" was extinguished. Gunewardena was suspicious of the March 9-10 investment summit in Miami, noting that many of its players were from privatized entities. With predatory capital running amuck, neoliberal firms forgo transparency, bypass civil society and portray locals as development disruptors. During this process, human insecurities dwindle. Thus, Gunewardena urges for the empowerment of NGOs and civilians on the ground.
This was part of Haiti Rising, whereby discussion panelists presented different perspectives on Haiti's situation, converging on the main theme of empowering local Haitian communities and being sensitive to their cultures and needs.
The free event was organized by International Development Studies students and faculty. They collaborated with African Studies, History, the Bunche Center for African American Studies, the UCLA Center for Black Studies Research, and the University of California, Santa Barbara. Support came from the UCLA Graduate Division, International Institute and event attendees.
Published: Friday, March 05, 2010