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Special Issue No 182 of International Social Science Journal

In December 2004, the International Social Science Journal (ISSJ) founded by UNESCO came out with Special Issue no 182 on the theme Explorations in Open Space: The World Social Forum and Cultures of Politics.

Explorations in Open Space: The World Social Forum and Cultures of Politics

While it calls itself “Social”, the World Social Forum is a fundamentally political idea and promotes a specific vocabulary, grammar, and culture of politics. As part of the call for submissions, Jai Sen of CA/CIM (New Delhi) and Chloé Keraghel of ESPERTISE (Paris) who made the proposal for this special issue, sought out a wide-ranging, critical, and insistently plural exploration of the idea and concept of “open space” as a political-cultural concept, focusing on the Forum and its self-defined culture(s) of politics. In these terms, the Forum represents both an important experiment and something of a paradox. On the one hand, it offers a rich vision of an “open space” for movements that challenge empires and celebrate diversity and plurality. On the other hand, the open space is circumscribed by a specific conception of politics and a specific ideological orientation. The journal attempts to bring forth various perspectives on the questions:

  1. Is multiplicity sustainable within and in relation to a single, "unique" larger idea?
  2. Can the culture of "open space" politics operate coherently both within the Forum and in its relations with the world it seeks to change?

Towards a fruitful and focused discussion and analysis of these ideas and questions, the following four broad areas were proposed for exploration:

  • exploring the concept of "cultures of politics",
  • interrogating the WSF's self-defined culture of politics : The concept of "open space",
  • plurality and interdependence in world civil politics,
  • the geography of cyberspace.

The ISSJ sub-space

The ISSJ sub-space of this webspace makes available all the articles that have been published in the journal. These articles are being made available (in HTML format) with the view to furthering the exploration of the idea and reality of the WSF articulated above. As you read the articles, you can post your comments on the article.



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