Global Democracy and the World Social Forums (International Studies Intensives)

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9781612056456: Global Democracy and the World Social Forums (International Studies Intensives)

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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About the Author:

Jackie Smith is Professor, Department of Sociology at the University of Pittsburg. She is also the editor of Journal of World-Systems Research. Smith s most recent books include Social Movements in the World-System: The Politics of Crisis and Transformation, with Dawn Wiest; Handbook on World Social Forum Activism, co-edited with Scott Byrd, Ellen Reese, & Elizabeth Smythe; Globalization, Social Movements and Peacebuilding, co-edited with Ernesto Verdeja, and Social Movements for Global Democracy (2008).

Marina Karides is assistant professor of sociology at Florida Atlantic University. She is an active participant in the World Social Forums and Sociologists Without Borders. Her recent work considers gendered dimensions of globalization and the global justice movement. She has published articles in Social Problems, Social Development Issues, and International Sociology and Social Policy and multiple chapters that critically examine microenterprise development and the plight of informally self-employed persons in the global south. She is currently writing a book on street vendors and spacial rights in the global economy.

Marc Becker teaches Latin American History at Truman State University. His research focuses on constructions of race, class, and gender within popular movements in the South American Andes. He has a forthcoming book on the history of indigenous movements in twentieth-century Ecuador. He is an Organizing Committee member of the Midwest Social Forum (MWSF), a Steering Committee member and web editor for Historians Against the War (HAW), and a member of the Network Institute for Global Democratization (NIGD).

Christopher Chase-Dunn is Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Director of the Institute for Research on World-Systems at the University of California Riverside. Chase-Dunn is the founder and former editor of the Journal of World-Systems Research and author most recently of Social Change: Globalization from the Stone Age to the Present (Paradigm 2013).

Donatella della Porta is professor of sociology at the European University Institute. Among her recent publications are Globalization from Below (2006); Quale Europa? Europeizzazione, identita e conflitti (2006); Social Movements: An Introduction, Second Edition (2006); and Transnational Protest and Global Activism.

Rosalba Icaza Garza is a Marie Curie Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the Iberoamerican Institute, Gothenburg University in Sweden. She acts as an external associate of the Centre for the Study of Globalization and Regionalization (CSGR). Her forthcoming Globalizations article is entitles, "To Be and Not to Be: The Question of Transborder Civic Activism and Regionalization in Mexico. A Critical Account of Neo-Gramscian Perspectives."

Jeffrey S. Juris is assistant professor of anthropology in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Arizona State University. He received his PhD in anthropology from the University of California-Berkeley, where his research explored globalization, social movements, and transnational activism. His forthcoming book, Networking Futures (2008), explores the cultural logic and politics of transnational networking among anticorporate globalization activists in Barcelona. He has also published several articles regarding this topic as well as the relationship between new digital technologies and grassroots social movements.

Lorenzo Mosca is Max Weber fellow at the European University Institute of Florence and collaborates in the DEMOS project with Donatella della Porta. Among his recent publications are "Contamination in Action and the Global Justice Movement" (with


“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.”
―The Guardian
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

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