This book analyzes the World Social Forum (WSF) in a context of crisis and transition in the history of Western capitalist modernity. Based on ten years of fieldwork on three continents, this book treats social movements as knowledge producers. It pays attention to what movements are doing and saying on the terrain of the WSF over time and from place to place, and to how they theorize its significance.

Framed by the Latin American modernity-coloniality perspective, the book critically engages with discourses of global civil society, autonomism, and transnational feminism toward a reading of the WSF through the lens of ‘colonial difference’. Each chapter outlines a set of contestations and contributions with relevance beyond debates about the WSF. It will be of strong interest to students and scholars of social movement studies; international politics; post-colonial studies; gender studies; sociology; political theory and social work.

chapter |34 pages

2 New politics on the global left

The contested praxis of open space

chapter |22 pages

4 The World Social Forum as ‘new politics'

Autonomist theorizations of the political

chapter |29 pages

5 Contradictions of alter-globalization

Feminists theorize the political at the WSF

chapter |16 pages

6 At the edges of global justice

The global left and subaltern subjectivities