This study proposes to examine the recomposition of the practices and notions of social change that are currently used in the World Social Forum (WSF). The alternative globalisation movement is united around the idea of shifting from current societies to “another possible world”. How does the movement envision and implement this shift? Today, the approaches to social change that coexist and interact within the Forums are being completely recomposed, both conceptually and practically. To analyse these evolutions, this paper will study a French group made up of actors implicated in the organisation of the 2003 European Social Forum. The goal of the group is to establish a collective space for self-assessment of the alternative globalisation movement. Since the group lacks an overall vision or political project, it experiences the present as a space that it must completely occupy in order to shape and stimulate the recompositions in progress. It seeks to recompose political goals and an overall vision, using as its starting point the host of practices and analyses found in the Forums. In this approach, by establishing consistency between the form and content of social change and between the different levels and domains of action, localised changes are able to connect, circulate and “become part of a system”.

Bio note

Véronique Rioufol is studying social science at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris, France. Her current research focuses on the World Social Forum as a form of political action at the global level.

E-mail : vero@alliance21.org

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