Best-selling journalist Antony Loewenstein trav­els across Afghanistan, Pakistan, Haiti, Papua New Guinea, the United States, Britain, Greece, and Australia to witness the reality of disaster capitalism. He discovers how companies such as G4S, Serco, and Halliburton cash in on or­ganized misery in a hidden world of privatized detention centers, militarized private security, aid profiteering, and destructive mining.

Disaster has become big business. Talking to immigrants stuck in limbo in Britain or visiting immigration centers in America, Loewenstein maps the secret networks formed to help cor­porations bleed what profits they can from economic crisis. He debates with Western contractors in Afghanistan, meets the locals in post-earthquake Haiti, and in Greece finds a country at the mercy of vulture profiteers. In Papua New Guinea, he sees a local commu­nity forced to rebel against predatory resource companies and NGOs.

What emerges through Loewenstein’s re­porting is a dark history of multinational corpo­rations that, with the aid of media and political elites, have grown more powerful than national governments. In the twenty-first century, the vulnerable have become the world’s most valu­able commodity. Disaster Capitalism is published by Verso in 2015.

Profits_of_doom_cover_350Vulture capitalism has seen the corporation become more powerful than the state, and yet its work is often done by stealth, supported by political and media elites. The result is privatised wars and outsourced detention centres, mining companies pillaging precious land in developing countries and struggling nations invaded by NGOs and the corporate dollar. Best-selling journalist Antony Loewenstein travels to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Haiti, Papua New Guinea and across Australia to witness the reality of this largely hidden world of privatised detention centres, outsourced aid, destructive resource wars and militarized private security. Who is involved and why? Can it be stopped? What are the alternatives in a globalised world? Profits of Doom, published in 2013 and released in an updated edition in 2014, challenges the fundamentals of our unsustainable way of life and the money-making imperatives driving it. It is released in an updated edition in 2014.
forgodssakecover Four Australian thinkers come together to ask and answer the big questions, such as: What is the nature of the universe? Doesn't religion cause most of the conflict in the world? And Where do we find hope?   We are introduced to different belief systems – Judaism, Christianity, Islam – and to the argument that atheism, like organised religion, has its own compelling logic. And we gain insight into the life events that led each author to their current position.   Jane Caro flirted briefly with spiritual belief, inspired by 19th century literary heroines such as Elizabeth Gaskell and the Bronte sisters. Antony Loewenstein is proudly culturally, yet unconventionally, Jewish. Simon Smart is firmly and resolutely a Christian, but one who has had some of his most profound spiritual moments while surfing. Rachel Woodlock grew up in the alternative embrace of Baha'i belief but became entranced by its older parent religion, Islam.   Provocative, informative and passionately argued, For God's Sakepublished in 2013, encourages us to accept religious differences, but to also challenge more vigorously the beliefs that create discord.  
After Zionism, published in 2012 and 2013 with co-editor Ahmed Moor, brings together some of the world s leading thinkers on the Middle East question to dissect the century-long conflict between Zionism and the Palestinians, and to explore possible forms of a one-state solution. Time has run out for the two-state solution because of the unending and permanent Jewish colonization of Palestinian land. Although deep mistrust exists on both sides of the conflict, growing numbers of Palestinians and Israelis, Jews and Arabs are working together to forge a different, unified future. Progressive and realist ideas are at last gaining a foothold in the discourse, while those influenced by the colonial era have been discredited or abandoned. Whatever the political solution may be, Palestinian and Israeli lives are intertwined, enmeshed, irrevocably. This daring and timely collection includes essays by Omar Barghouti, Jonathan Cook, Joseph Dana, Jeremiah Haber, Jeff Halper, Ghada Karmi, Antony Loewenstein, Saree Makdisi, John Mearsheimer, Ahmed Moor, Ilan Pappe, Sara Roy and Phil Weiss.
The 2008 financial crisis opened the door for a bold, progressive social movement. But despite widespread revulsion at economic inequity and political opportunism, after the crash very little has changed. Has the Left failed? What agenda should progressives pursue? And what alternatives do they dare to imagine? Left Turn, published by Melbourne University Press in 2012 and co-edited with Jeff Sparrow, is aimed at the many Australians disillusioned with the political process. It includes passionate and challenging contributions by a diverse range of writers, thinkers and politicians, from Larissa Berendht and Christos Tsiolkas to Guy Rundle and Lee Rhiannon. These essays offer perspectives largely excluded from the mainstream. They offer possibilities for resistance and for a renewed struggle for change.
The Blogging Revolution, released by Melbourne University Press in 2008, is a colourful and revelatory account of bloggers around the globe why live and write under repressive regimes - many of them risking their lives in doing so. Antony Loewenstein's travels take him to private parties in Iran and Egypt, internet cafes in Saudi Arabia and Damascus, to the homes of Cuban dissidents and into newspaper offices in Beijing, where he discovers the ways in which the internet is threatening the ruld of governments. Through first-hand investigations, he reveals the complicity of Western multinationals in assisting the restriction of information in these countries and how bloggers are leading the charge for change. The blogging revolution is a superb examination about the nature of repression in the twenty-first century and the power of brave individuals to overcome it. It was released in an updated edition in 2011, post the Arab revolutions, and an updated Indian print version in 2011.
The best-selling book on the Israel/Palestine conflict, My Israel Question - on Jewish identity, the Zionist lobby, reporting from Palestine and future Middle East directions - was released by Melbourne University Press in 2006. A new, updated edition was released in 2007 (and reprinted again in 2008). The book was short-listed for the 2007 NSW Premier's Literary Award. Another fully updated, third edition was published in 2009. It was released in all e-book formats in 2011. An updated and translated edition was published in Arabic in 2012.

Mining company operates in repressive Eritrea, questions abound

This week the Guardian published my story on the role of Australian and foreign mining companies in Africa. One of the companies I identity is Australian firm Danakali, currently operating in Eritrea. 10 days before publication I emailed questions to the corporation seeking answers. No response. A few days later I emailed again and called its Perth office. Again, nothing. Now, a few days after my story was released, the company’s CEO and Managing Director Paul Donaldson has emailed me some answers. He’s unhappy with my article and its lack of “objectivity”. I’ll let readers decide whether a company operating in one of the world’s most repressive regimes has questions to answer about its behaviour. The following are my original questions and Donaldson’s answers:

Operating in Africa can be a challenging regulatory environment. How does your company operate in a country such as Eritrea?
We are a small company in the feasibility study stage. We have a group of local geologists, safety, environmental and administrative personnel based in our Asmara office. They are all our employees and are on annual salaries. We have safety and travel protocols for commuting between office and site, have introduced risk assessment processes before conducting any site work and do monthly safety inspections at site.

Requirements for mining are outlined in the Eritrean Mining proclamation which identify the need for a bankable feasibility study with an accompanying social, environmental impact assessment and environmental management plan before a mining license can be granted. We work closely with the ministry of land and environment and the ministry of energy and mines to ensure that we meet/exceed these requirements.

A look at our asx announcements will demonstrate to you that our SEIA is being done to the equator principles, and that we have been conducting environmental baseline assessments to support the environmental impact assessment. The work is also being conducted by a Perth based environmental group who have been engaged to ensure this work is done to meet the equator principles, which is of the highest standard and underpins the social and environmental management plan.

In conducting this work, and again with reference to our published information, this includes stakeholder engagement and is particularly relevant to communities in close proximity to the resource.

Eritrea has been accused by the UN, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International for its human rights abuses. How does your company ensure that human rights abuses aren’t being breached during its operations?

Firstly you should already be aware that we are not actually in operation. We are in feasibility study stage. All of our study work is conducted by paid personnel – both nationals and where appropriate expats. Secondly, the joint venture company is currently working through its operating policy’s which will be adopted when the project is further advanced. This includes corporate, social responsibility that ensures that human rights abuses do not occur. The existing Bisha operation which is a joint venture between the Eritrean National Mining company and Nevsun have led the way in this respect (I note there is no mention of them in your article).

What kind of relationship does your company have with the Eritrean government?
As per our company presentations – we have a good working relationship with the government. We meet regularly with the Ministry of Energy and Mines and the Ministry of Land and Environment. The Eritrean National Mining company is our joint venture partner.

Do you think that Australian companies, operating outside Australian borders, should have to abide by any basic operating standards, regulations etc and should this be enforced by the Australian government?

Publicaly listed Australian companies do have to abide by standards of good corporate governance. It is a condition. Safety, environmental, training performance all form part of public company reporting protocols when in operation.
Having said that, my views are as follows:
1. The first priority is to comply to the local regulations, which most African countries have, albeit at different levels of maturity

2. After that foreign companies should be working with the regulators within the relevant jurisdiction to continually lift the bar on standards

3. Companies should always be self and third party auditing to ensure compliance to their own policy and standards

4. It is not appropriate for the Australian government to enforce regulations in another country. However, it is important to foster information sharing between emerging and developed mining jurisdictions.

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