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World Protests 2006-2013

Working Paper #274

Isabel Ortiz, Sara Burke, Mohamed Berrada, Hernan Cortes Saenz

Paper  2.22mb pdf

This September 2013 study analyzes 843 protests occurring between January 2006 and July 2013 in 84 countries covering over 90% of world population. The paper focuses on: (i) major grievances driving world protests (ii) who is demonstrating, what protest methods they use, and who are they opposed to (iii) achievements and repression of social movements in the short term, and (iv) the main policy demands of world demonstrators. The paper calls for policy-makers to listen, whether messages are articulate or communicate only through frustration and violence.

About the Authors

Isabel Ortiz
Global Social Justice Program Director
Initiative for Policy Dialogue

Isabel Ortiz is director of the Global Social Justice Program at Joseph Stiglitz’s Initiative for Policy Dialogue, Columbia University, New York. Earlier she was director at the International Labor Organization (ILO Geneva, 2013-19) and at UNICEF (New York, 2009-12); senior official at the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN New York, 2005-09) and at the Asian Development Bank (ADB Manila, 1995-2003), where she was a founding member of the ADB Poverty Reduction Unit. In 1993-95 she was a researcher at the Department of International Economics of the High-Level Council of Scientific Research (CSIC Madrid) and a lecturer at Madrid and Salamanca Universities in Spain. In 1992-93 she worked at the European Commission in Brussels and in 1991 at the UN Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLAC Buenos Aires). Isabel Ortiz has worked in more than 50 countries in all world regions, providing advisory services to governments and engaging in high level initiatives at the United Nations, G20, BRICS, African Union and UNASUR, among others. Additionally, she actively supports policy advocacy work of civil society organizations. She has a MSc and a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics, and has written more than 80 publications translated in several languages.

Sara Burke
Senior Policy Analyst
Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung New York

Sara Burke is a senior expert on the global economy and international financial institutions at the German think tank, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung. Based in the New York office since 2008, she provides policy analysis and advice on economic policy frameworks and the multilateral system, as well as on their social and political impacts. Prior to that, in 2003 she founded and co-edited Gloves Off, a webzine with an economic lens, linking current and historical events. She has published a number of papers on economic and social rights. She has an MA from Stanford University and a BA from Reed College.

Mohamed Berrada
PhD Candidate
Economics Department
The New School

Mohamed Berrada is an economics consultant and entrepreneur. Besides starting and managing a gym in Casablanca, his main research focuses on the long-term impact of colonialism on development. He is a Fulbright scholar and PhD candidate at The New School for Social Research, New York. He has worked on research projects relating to protest movements, inequality, colonialism, and economic development.

Hernan Cortes Saenz
International Relations
Autonomous University of Barcelona

Hernán Saenz Cortés is an International Relations Ph.D. from Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, with ample experience both in research and policy analysis. His main research interests are power relations and its impact on governance, development and finance with a focus on Latin America. He has worked for different NGOs, think tanks and Private Foundations. From 2009 to 2013 he was the Policy and Advocacy Manager at the UBUNTU-World Forum of Civil Society Networks in Barcelona. In 2014, he worked as consultant for different organizations such as the Overseas Development Institute (ODI, London), and became Senior Policy Analyst on Tax Justice and Financing at EURODAD (Brussels, 2014-17). From 2017, he works as a Senior Researcher on Inequality and Tax and as Advocacy Coordinator on European Union - Latin America relations at Oxfam.