Place, space and the reinvention of social emancipation on a global scale: second thoughts on the Third World Social Forum

Peter Waterman

Research output: Working paperAcademic

Abstract

If the first World Social Forum, in Porto Alegre, 2001, was mostly marked by
protest against the World Economic Forum taking place at the same time, and the second, in 2002, by attempts to specify the meaning of ‘Another World is Possible!’, the
third, in January 2003, was marked by a questioning of the extent to which the Forum—–now an increasingly globalised phenomenon—was itself practising what it
preaches to others. This paper considers WSF3 in terms of: 1) the danger of going forward to the past of social movements and internationalism; 2) the problematic relationship with the ‘old’ trade unions; 3) the uneven age, gender, ethnic, etc. composition of
the Forum; 4) the uncertain future of a proposed global social movement network; 5)
the necessity of a communications/media/cultural internationalism; 6) the possibility of
an academy of global empowerment. The conclusion is that the ‘secret of fire’ of radical-democratic and internationalist social movements is now a public one, thus offering
some guarantee of a continuation and deepening of the Forum process.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationDen Haag
PublisherInternational Institute of Social Studies (ISS)
Number of pages32
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2003

Publication series

SeriesISS working papers. General series
Number378
ISSN0921-0210

Series

  • ISS Working Paper-General Series

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