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Is the world Social Forum a democratic global civil society?

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on the specifics of the main institutional platform of the movement(s) World Social Forum (WSF) regarding its democratic and global quality and scope. A global civil society is not just the interlinking of 200 national civil societies but the institutionalization of global political spaces, both in opposition to and functionally integrated with a global market and a global state. The main empirical studies display that WSF actually has a serious social deficit, global deficit and democratic deficit. The future of WSF demands that the plurality of a Wiki-kind of network creativity is combined with a collaboration of alternative theme-experts/ professionals so that a heterogeneity of perspectives are facilitated together with temporary unity in action, with mobilization around common ground, alternatives and action campaigns.

Keywords: democratic deficit; global civil society; political spaces; World Social Forum (WSF)



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