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Talking New Politics: Are Other Worlds Possible?

Edited by Jai Sen and Mayuri Saini

Published by Zubaan Books, New Delhi


In the run-up to the fourth World Social Forum held in Mumbai, India in January 2004, civil activists and students organized a major series of seminars in Delhi University to discuss the Forum and its politics. The 'Open Space' seminar series, as it came to be called, picked up on the idea of the Forum as a relatively free space, where all kinds of ideas could meet and be discussed. The fact that this was a space that was increasingly under assault the world over in the context of post 9/11 politics, made it even more imperative to bring home the importance of an 'open space' to people interested in the process of the World Social Forum, in 'globalization' and its serial impacts, and in what is happening in the turbulent world we live in today, in general.

This book, the first in a series that explore the new ideas generated by the discussions that took place on all these issues, comprises chapters based on the transcripts of presentations made by academics and activists during the seminars, as well as discussions on questions arising from the presentations.

  • Can the World Social Forum help us to conceptualise and actualise a new politics?
  • Can this new politics be free from violence?
  • Can the experience and knowledge of great movements such as the movement for the environment, and the women's movement, contribute to the creation of a new politics?
  • How can such a politics be sustained?
  • In countering the 'old' politics as represented by the power of nations and States, an dmroe recently of global capital, people's groups and movements have attempted to create alternatives of their own, and to forge a new politics. Can these processes be seen as other forms of globalisation — as what has come to be known as 'alter globalisation'?

The essays in this book, written in an easy and accessible style, are informed by these questions. They offer the reader different and complex ways of understanding the processes that have helped to shape the World Social Forum and the new politics that seems to be emerging, and what all this represents, for life, society, and politics more generally.



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