Handbook on World Social Forum Activism

Overview

The World Social Forums began in 2001 as a civil society countersummit to the World Economic Forum, an annual gathering of global corporate and political elite that shapes global economic policies. Since then the World Social Forums have become the premier focal point for a diverse array of movements and associations advancing alternative visions of globalization. The World Social Forum process encompasses a variety of meetings and networking activities taking place around the world at local, national, regional, ...

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Overview

The World Social Forums began in 2001 as a civil society countersummit to the World Economic Forum, an annual gathering of global corporate and political elite that shapes global economic policies. Since then the World Social Forums have become the premier focal point for a diverse array of movements and associations advancing alternative visions of globalization. The World Social Forum process encompasses a variety of meetings and networking activities taking place around the world at local, national, regional, and global levels. United by a belief that “Another world is possible,” World Social Forum activists are engaging in a massive global experiment to bring about a more democratic and just world. Social Forums held at multiple levels from local to global help connect activists in an increasingly dense network of advocates for radical social change. They have mobilized hundreds of thousands of people and may be one of the most important political developments of our time. The Forums’ overlapping networks link conversations across vast distances as well as over time, allowing unprecedented learning and sharing across movements and across continents. Handbook of World Social Forum Activism brings together some of the leading scholars of the WSF process from North America and Europe to offer comparative and longitudinal analyses of the World Social Forum process. Succinct chapters offer lessons and insights on this important global movement drawing from a variety of innovative research methods. The collection documents and contributes to the ongoing process of reflection and learning from World Social Forum experiences and is accessible to activists, students, and scholars alike.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594519468
  • Publisher: Paradigm Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/28/2012
  • Pages: 476
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Ellen Reese is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Riverside.

Jackie Smith is Associate Professor of Sociology and Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame.

Scott Byrd is a Ph.D. candidate in Sociology at the University of California, Irvine

Elizabeth Smythe is a professor of political science at Concordia University College of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta.

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Table of Contents

List of Tables and Figures
List of Acronyms
Preface and Acknowledgments
Foreword

Introduction: Learning from the World Social Forums
Jackie Smith, Scott Byrd, Ellen Reese, and Elizabeth Smythe

Part I Background and Context

1 Social Forums as Public Stage and Infrastructure of Global Justice Movements
Dieter Rucht
2 (In)Fertile Ground? Social Forum Activism in Its Regional and Local Dimensions
Peter (Jay) Smith and Elizabeth Smythe
3 The Political and its Absence in the World Social Forum: Implications for Democracy in the Forum and in the World
Teivo Teivainen
4 Surveys of World Social Forum Participants Show Influence of Place and Base in the Global Public Sphere
Ellen Reese, Christopher Chase-Dunn, Kadambari Anantram, Gary Coyne, Matheu Kaneshiro, Ashley N. Koda, Roy Kwon, and Preeta Saxena

Part II Campaigns and Movements in the Social Forum Process

5 More Than a Shadow of a Difference? Feminist Participation in the World Social Forum
Lyndi Hewitt and Marina Karides
6 Indigenous Peoples and Social Forums
Marc Becker and Ashley N. Koda
7 Building National Labor Solidarity: Unions and Labor Activists at the 2007 U.S. Social Forum
Ellen Reese, Kadambari Anantram, Linda J. Kim, Roy Kwon, and Preeta Saxena
8 The World Social Forum as a Bounded Open Space: Maintain It, Fix It, or Nix It? Evidence from Post-9/11 Global
Antiwar Activism
Ruth Reitan
9 Our World Is Not for Sale! The WSF Process and Transnational Resistance to International Trade Agreements
Elizabeth Smythe
10 Global Environmentalists and Their Movements at the World Social Forums
Matheu Kaneshiro, Kirk S. Lawrence, and Christopher Chase-Dunn
11 The Road to the World Social Forum: The Case of the Dalit Movement
Peter (Jay) Smith

Part III Local Places and Global Spaces

12 African Voices and Activists at the WSF in Nairobi: The Uncertain Ways of Transnational African Activism
Marie-Emmanuelle Pommerolle and Johanna Siméant
13 Global Movements in Local Struggles: Findings on the Social Forum Process in Italy
Donatella della Porta and Lorenzo Mosca
14 Diverging Visions of Another World in the Making of the Quebec Social Forum
Pascale Dufour and Janet Conway
15 In the Belly of Empire: The U.S. Social Forum Process
Jeffrey S. Juris and Jackie Smith with the USSF Research Collective

Part IV Democratic Innovations

16 Youth Camps and the Bolivarian Revolution: A Story of Horizontalism and Blocked Diffusion
Lesley J. Wood
17 Deliberative Discussion and Languages in the World Social Forum Process
Nicole Doerr
18 Democratic Innovation in the U.S. and European Social Forums
Jackie Smith and Nicole Doerr
19 Transnational Movement Innovation and Collaboration: Analysis of World Social Forum Networks
Scott Byrd and Lorien Jasny
Conclusion: The Space as Actor: The Form and Content of the Social Forum Process
Thomas Ponniah

References
About the Contributors
Index

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