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Windows on the Ninth World Social Forum in Belém

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image of Societies Without Borders

This essay provides three windows on the Ninth World Social Forum in Belém, Brazil. We show the multiple ways in which the World Social Forum's plurality and reflexivity challenge traditional dichotomies to build the foundation for a new politics. We argue that the social forum process has developed mechanisms for remaining an open space while simultaneously creating opportunities for unified collective action. We show that the Forum produces complex analyses and comes up with strategies that correspond to these analyses. We provide some evidence for how the social forum process is trying to overcome organizational challenges related to resource distribution and specialization by capitalizing on the network structure of its participants. Finally, we argue that the social forum process is also working on addressing spatial and temporal challenges by trying organizational innovations.

Affiliations: 1: University of Notre Dame


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