The Transnational Institute (TNI) is an international research and advocacy institute committed to building a just, democratic and sustainable world. For more than 40 years, TNI has served as a unique nexus between social movements, engaged scholars and policy makers.

Message from the director

For all of us who believe in building a more just and sustainable world, these are times of profound change and challenge. In 2015, TNI took stock of these shifts and dynamics as we looked to focus our work in the coming five years, making the best use of our limited resources. We believe TNI’s strong research expertise, our capacity to see the bigger picture, our history of bringing together unique constituencies, and our determination to identify practical solutions will be critical for building a better future.

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Pablo Fajardo

Lawyer working with indigenous communities demanding justice from Chevron in Ecuador

One thing I really like about TNI is their commitment, that they struggle. We share the indignation that there is no international place to sue transnational corporations, that they can’t be judged internationally.”

41,478 documents downloaded


Unjust investor protections exposed

TNI is committed to exposing injustice in different arenas of policy, even when few others are speaking out. This was the case with our long-standing work on the issue of the unjust protection given to foreign investors, known as Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanisms. These allow corporations to sue governments for regulations that protect the public and the environment. Our work paid off as awareness of these injustices grew and anger spread.

By 2015, ISDS had become such a hotly debated issue in 2015 that the EU Trade Commissioner, Cecilia Malmstrőm admitted that ISDS (investor-state dispute mechanism) had become the “most toxic acronym in Europe”.  As a result, the EU was forced to introduce its first reforms to ISDS.

159 media mentions


Breaking open the drug policy deadlock

The big question for those in favour of drug policy reform is how to break the deadlock at the international level, that legally constrains national laws within the frame of outdated and ideological UN conventions signed in 1961.

TNI knew that the meeting of the UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on Drugs, to be held in April 2016, was unlikely to deliver needed change as a few countries can easily block reform so came up with a strategy that will continue to build on the momentum for change.


Willem Scholten

WHO team leader on access to controlled medicines, 2005 to 2012

I think international drug policy needs to change and that this will only happen if non-governmental organisations act globally and continuously hammer away at the topic. TNI is one of those organisations.”



Special relationship with Myanmar

TNI works closely with movements in many countries worldwide, but has a unique 20-year close relationship with Myanmar. This longstanding work has proved invaluable as the resource-rich southeast Asian nation enters a critical moment of political transition. Ensuring that the benefits of opening up the economy are justly distributed is a major challenge. TNI’s expertise on drug policy, foreign investment and agrarian issues – as well as our historic research on Myanmar’s ethnic diversity – have made TNI a deeply respected partner for Myanmar’s nascent civil society.

913 scholar citations


Public Water Future

In April, TNI co-published the book Our Public Water Future that unveiled the sheer scale of public rejection of water privatisation. The book drew attention to the 235 cities that have reversed privatisation of water services in the last 15 years – many of them as a result of work by partners in the Reclaiming Public Water network that TNI has facilitated since the early 2000s.


Gerard Rundberg

Ex-Director of Waternet, Amsterdam’s public water utility and founder of world waternet foundation

I learned a lot from TNI staff and they learnt a great deal from us and our approach to sharing our public know-how. We have both become ambassadors of public-public water partnerships.

Vicki Hanson

Jamaican Ganja Growers and Producers Association

Through TNI, I was able to learn about the international laws, different models of regulations in Europe as well as meet growers from Bolivia, Guatemala and other countries facing similar situations. I know it won’t be possible to change policies overnight but working internationally with groups like TNI helps us advocate a more human-rights and people-centered approach.”


36% growth in Twitter followers


Most popular publications in 2015

Rachmi Hertanti

Executive Director of Indonesia for Global Justice

It’s great to work with TNI, especially on corporate power and the proposal for a binding treaty. These issues are important to Indonesia, because [current international trade and investment] agreements … have allowed transnational corporations to dominate our national economy and influence our national policies.

30 reports


Remembering Praful Bidwai

A brilliant courageous scholar activist

TNI was deeply shocked when accomplished Indian journalist and long-time fellow Praful Bidwai died unexpectedly whilst attending our Fellows Meeting in Amsterdam on 23 June. The loss was mourned across the world by many people touched and inspired by his brilliant writings, thoughtful insights on key global issues, and his generous, warm personality

To commemorate his life, TNI helped crowdfund 12,000 euros which will go towards supporting the translation of his posthumously published book, The Phoenix Moment – Challenges facing the India Left, into vernacular Indian languages (under way), as well as the publication of his collected works on nuclear weapons (forthcoming).

It will also support an annual prize, the Praful Bidwai Memorial Award, that will honour and highlight courageous and independent voices in journalism in India.

Praful Bidwai


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Associate Fellows

Dot Keet
Dr. Gonzalo Berrón
Dr. David Bewley-Taylor
Pauline Tiffen
Dr. Ricardo Vargas
Dr. Tom Reifer


Dr. Boris Kagarlitsky
Dr. Howard Wachtel
Dr. Jochen Hippler
Dr. Joel Rocamora
John Cavanagh
Dr. Kamil Mahdi
Dr. Kees Biekart
Dr. Marcos Arruda
Mariano Aguirre
Myriam Vander Stichele
Dr. Walden Bello
David Sogge

Board of Advisors

Dr. Godfried van Benthem van den Berg (Netherlands)
Bob Debus (Australia)
James Early (USA)
Halle-Jorn Hannsen (Norway)
Hermann von Hatzfeldt (Germany)
Christine Merkel (Germany)
Prof. Jan Pronk (Netherlands)
Peter Weiss (USA)
Roger van Zwanenburg (UK)

President & Supervisory Board



Fiona Dove (Executive Director)
Rozemarijn Vermeulen/ Michelle van Lanschot (Bureau Manager)
Willem-Paul Herber (Finance Manager)
Martin Jelsma/Ernestien Jensema (Drugs Programme)
Pietje Vervest (Economic Justice Programme)


Nick Buxton
Tessa Kersten
Beatriz Martinez Ruiz


Willem-Paul Herber
Kees Kimman
Katja Gertman


Susan Medeiros
Albi Janssen
Eloise de Souza Barbosa


Amira Armenta
Brid Brennan
Tom Blickman
Ernestien Jensema
Satoko Kishimoto
Pien Metaal
Cecilia Olivet
Hilde van der Pas
Sylvia Kay
Lavinia Steinfort
Teuntje Vosters

Consultants / Research Associates

Dr. Gonzalo Berron (Brazil)
Diana Aguiar Orrico (Brazil)
Monica Vargas (Bolivia/Netherlands)
Tim Feodoroff (France/Netherlands)
Lyda Fernanda Forrero Torres (Colombia)
Sol Trumbo Villas (Spain/Netherlands)
Roelien Knottnerus (Netherlands)
Hannah Twomey (Netherlands)
Zoe Brent (US/Netherlands)
Tom Kramer (Netherlands/Burma)
Dr. Jennifer Franco (Netherlands)
Dr. Vicki Sentas (Australia)
Dr. Gavin Sullivan (Australia/Netherlands)
Dr. Louise Boon-Kuo ( Australia)
Antje Ifrik (Netherlands)
Sebastian Stellingwerff (Netherlands)
Alberto Alonso Fradejas (Netherlands/Spain)
Manuel Perez Rocha (Mexico/USA)


Tereza Filipkova (Czech Republic)
Clara Musta (Uruguay)
Dania Putri (Indonesia)
Andrea Tognoni  (Italy)
Jorge San Vicente Feduci
Natsumi Koike (Japan)
Luuk Schmitz (Netherlands)
Francisco Diaz Heizen (Uruguay)
Matthijs Peters (Netherlands)


Helen Baas
Misrak Alayu
Moestafa Hammash
Daniel Gomez
Christine Lewis Carroll

Anne-Marie Mineur

MEP for Dutch Socialist Party, Netherlands

“TNI is a great partner because they write a lot very good reports that are very useful. They manage to pick out the right topics that are very useful for debates in parliament and at home.

43 multimedia outputs


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