Alternative futures of globalisation a socio-ecological study of the world social forum process

Ramos, José María (2010) Alternative futures of globalisation a socio-ecological study of the world social forum process. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


Inspired by the initial World Social Forum in Porto Alegre Brazil, over the past decade over 200 local and regional social forums have been held, on five continents. This study has examined the nature of this broader social forum process, in particular as an aspect of the movement for 'another globalisation'. I discuss both the discourses for 'another world', as well as the development of an Alternative Globalisation Movement. As an action research study, the research took place within a variety of groups and networks. The thesis provides six accounts of groups and people striving and struggling for 'another world'. I provide a macro account of the invention and innovation of the World Social Forum. A grassroots film-makers collective provides a window into media. A local social forum opens up the radical diversity of actors. An activist exchange circle sheds light on strategic aspects of alternative globalisation. An educational initiative provides a window into transformations in pedagogy. And a situational account (of the G20 meeting in Melbourne in 2006) provides an overview of the variety of metanetworks that converge to voice demands for global justice and sustainability. In particular, this study has sought to shed light on how, within this process, groups and communities develop 'agency', a capacity to respond to the global challenges they / we face. And as part of this question, I have also explored how alternatives futures are developed and conceived, with a re-cognition of the importance of histories and geo-political (or 'eco-political') structures as contexts. I argue the World Social Forum Process is prefigurative, as an interactional process where many social alternatives are conceived, supported, developed and innovated into the world. And I argue this innovation process is meta-formative, where convergences of diverse actors comprise ‘social ecologies of alternatives’ which lead to opportunities for dynamic collaboration and partnership.

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ID Code: 40986
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Synott, John, Inayatullah, Sohail, & Boulet, Jacques
Additional Information: Recipient of 2010 Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Award
Keywords: critical globalisation studies, critical futures studies, action research, community development, social-ecology, network, social movements, alter-globalisation, World Social Forum process, development, liberalism, cosmopolitanism, Marxism, localisation, ecumenism, gender, evolution, public sphere, structure, agency, embodied cognition, alternative futures, scenarios, ODTA
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 28 Mar 2011 06:07
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2013 07:42

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