Toward a Politics of Possibility: Charting Shifts in Utopian imagination through the World Social Forum Process

by Jose Ramos


In this paper, the World Social Forum Process (WSFP) is situated within contemporary and historical utopian contexts. In so doing the article puts forth the proposition that the WSF sits toward the end of two great utopian projects of the West, state socialism and economic liberalism. Through its tacit and explicit critique of both, the WSF re-configures utopianism around the principle of diversity. In counter-distinction to this, however, a number of forces are articulating totalities, utopian conceptions of alternatives to corporate globalisation. The WSF process is therefore becoming the site of a commingling between a utopianism of diversity and a utopianism of totality, in the movement toward alternative globalization.

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