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“The World Social Forum was established in 2001 as a counter to the dominant narrative of globalisation coming from the World Economic Forum. The two could not be further apart―not just in message, but in structure and organisation. The WSF I attended in Senegal in 2011 was a chaotic, loud affair, but it was real, passionate and―coinciding with Mubarak’s resignation in Egypt―optimistic that the world could change. The second edition of this book is published by Paradigm in May, and will offer first-hand experiences of the forum’s meetings, explain why it was founded, and explore its continuing relevance.”
Praise for the First Edition
“This book is written partly for an audience that is unfamiliar with the history and characteristics of the WSF, and so it can be used in undergraduate courses with great success. At the same time, the book describes findings from surveys that were gathered at the World Social Forum, and so it will be of interest to more experienced students and researchers as well. Indeed, one of the unique strengths of Global Democracy and the World Social Forums is the data that is used to illuminate key questions...Activists, students, and researchers will certainly find a great deal of value in this book.”
―Journal of World Systems Research
“This is one of the most important books to read to learn about the history of WSF, the perception of its participants, and actual debates taking place at the forums...Academics and other readers interested in social movements and global justice will find an excellent intellectual platform in this book, allowing them to develop new interest and probably new research about the WSF process.”
―Societies Without Borders
“A must read if you want to understand the harsh economic conditions and the political meanness of the world . . . a cabal of robber barons ‘gone wild’ on the international landscape and the peoples’ fight back to reclaim their humanity and dignity, to restore a safe and clean world environment, and to create a fair and just world in which democracy works for all peoples.”
―Dr. Gwen Patton, long-time human rights activist
“This book is a real contribution to the worldwide struggle for global justice. It offers the reader (even those who have been to meetings of the World Social Forum) insight into what the WSF has been, what its internal debates and difficulties are, and how we might move forward.”
―Immanuel Wallerstein, Yale University
The World Social Forum quickly became the largest political gathering in human history and continues to offer a direct challenge to the extreme inequities of corporate-led globalisation. It has expanded its presence and continues to be an exciting experiment in global and participatory democracy. The book's contributors have participated in World Social Forums around the globe. Recounting dozens of dramatic firsthand experiences, they draw on their knowledge of global politics to introduce the process, its foundations and relevance to ongoing transnational efforts toward democracy. This second edition of Global Democracy shows how the Forums have developed since their inception in 2001 and how they are now connected with other global movements including Occupy, the Arab Spring and beyond.
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