In a new review at JCA, editor Kevin Hewison reviews Confronting Corporate Power. Reflections of a United Nations Revolutionary by Frederick Clairmont.
The book is an autobiographical account of the trials, tribulations and triumphs of generating progressive scholarship in hostile intellectual and bureaucratic settings and especially at UNTAD.
Clairmont was around at the birth of the Journal of Contemporary Asia and has contributed to the journal over five decades. Indeed, his reflections in Confronting Corporate Power began as an effort to build on his critique of UNCTAD and its founding secretary-general Raul Prebisch, originally published in this journal.
In all of his work, Clairmont asks: “Who wins? Who loses? And how? What are the laws of motion of contemporary capitalism, and how does it operate in different places at different times?” (7–8).
In the book, attention is to the conflicts they unleashed, within UNCTAD and beyond. The story told is of a constant struggle to confront corporate capitalism and its defenders in a range of institutions. Remarkably, thanks to his supporters and comrades, the insight of some senior UNCTAD administrators and his own indefatigable spirit for those fights, Clairmont survived and even thrived and the reports he produced shed much light on the nature of global exploitation.
Copies of the review can be downloaded using this link: https://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/8BUQGDIEXEMD4PJBNWS2/full?target=10.1080/00472336.2020.1735127