The World Social Forum

  • Patrick Bond


The World Social Forum (WSF) is the premier site of activist civil society, aiming to prove that “Another World is Possible” through networking and creativity for social change. The WSF’s origins in the global struggles against neoliberalism and war at the turn of the millennium required a form that transcended standard sectoral transnational solidarity but that was not open to political vanguardism. Hence the style of most WSF events since the 2001 founding has been an “open-space” festival-type set of conference panels and large plenaries. But at some point the lack of coherence and inability to draw participants from their single-issue silos became a source of frustration. Occasional attempts to add political programmatic content have faltered. There is an open question as to whether the WSF will change from its open, unstructured format, and whether the world’s critics of status quo economics, politics, gender/race relations, and environmental policy will generate further strategies for international collaboration.


Civil Society Social Movement Global Civil Society World Social Forum World Water Forum 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Civil SocietyUniversity of KwaZulu-NatalDurbanSouth Africa

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