The World Social Forum (WSF) has become the focus for a diverse array of movements advancing alternative visions of globalisation. The numerous WSF's have helped to connect activists in an increasingly dense network of advocates for radical social change. They have mobilised hundreds of thousands of people and may be one of the most important political developments of our time. The Handbook of World Social Forum Activism brings together leading scholars of the social forum process from North America and Europe. The collection contributes to the ongoing process of reflection from the WSF experience, and is accessible to activists, students and scholars alike.
“As the WSF slogan proclaims: another world is possible. Anyone who wants this other world would do well to read this book and to think about the leads that it gives. It should certainly be on the shelves of all college and public libraries, and the paperback edition promised by the publishers would be very welcome.”
—Leslie Sklair in the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research
"Those engaged in World Social Forum process all over the planet hope it will continue its way inside the United States, to make possible the building of a new world of justice, peace, and love. I am sure this book will play an important role in this walk."
—Chico Whitaker, from the Foreword
"As the global political order reels from bank failures, rising energy and food prices, and increasingly urgent fiscal crises, activists and critical intellectuals are proposing sustainable alternatives to globalized capitalism. A major site for these debates has been the World Social Forum process, which began in 2001 and has since then mobilized people around the world at the global, regional, and local levels. This book documents this process, informs activists and scholars about the lessons it offers, and analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of the Forum process as it has moved from Latin America, to Africa and Asia and even--in the form of the U.S. Social Forum--to 'the belly of the hegemon.'"
—Sidney Tarrow, Cornell University, author of The New Transnational Activism
"A superb collection, documenting the importance of the World Social Forum in creating a new vision for our movement and our world."
—Maude Barlow, National Chairperson of The Council of Canadians, cofounder of the Blue Planet Project, and 2005 recipient of the Right Livelihood Award.
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 Simeant 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