Corporate Power & Human Rights—Community Resistance and Social Movements

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2022

Tyler Giannini (Harvard Law School)
Freshman Seminar 72P  4 credits (fall term)  Enrollment:  Limited to 12

How do the seemingly most marginalized take on the most powerful corporations in the world and win? In this seminar, we will delve into this question and what drives community resistance and social movements in the face of frequently daunting odds. We will zero in on community resistance in its many forms when confronting abusive corporations and authoritarian governments often supporting them. Through case studies involving natural gas in Myanmar, gold mining in Papua New Guinea, and chocolate in West Africa, we will discuss both the harms communities experience and how communities can have a seat at the table to demand their rights and take on oppressive systems. We will also look at how North America is implicated in these cases and consider the power dynamics between communities, advocates, businesses, and states that span borders and different cultures. We will also look at ways that communities can build their own power through the solidarity economy and how advocates cannot only combat economic injustice but build their visions of economic justice for the future.

See also: Fall 2022