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Publication Details

Reference
Bond, Patrick (2007) Global Governance’ or the World Social Forum:
Divergent analysis, strategy and tactics. Centre for Civil Society : 1-23.

Summary
This chapter considers three different conceptualizations – three politico-ideological perspectives within civil society - on global-scale economics and geopolitics. The standpoints can be termed ‘global justice movements’, ‘Third World nationalism’ and the ‘Post-Washington Consensus’. These three perspectives stand in contrast to the fusion of neoliberal economics and neoconservative politics that dominates the contemporary world. The three approaches sometimes converge, but more often than not they are in conflict; as are the civil society institutions which cohere to the three different political ideologies. From different analyses flow different strategies, concrete campaigning tactics, and varying choices of allies. Much transnational social movement literature is bound up in the subjects’ norms, institutions, values, logistics and organizational development (as well as issues and advocacy - as in the case of Millennium Development Goal and anti-poverty campaigning), and very little takes ideology and analysis seriously. In contrast, the advent of the World Social Forum (WSF) – and sharp debates about its merits and capacities – gave rise to new literatures that put transnational networking at the centre of the analysis. However, since so many transnational networks have grown and prospered not through programmatic integration such as the WSF would suggest, but rather through sectoral processes, this means that ideological analysis is that much more complicated. While there is no grand WSF political programme to consider, nor is there likely ever to be one generated through consensus within the WSF, there are hints of a unifying approach within the global justice movements based upon the practical themes of ‘decommodification’ and ‘deglobalisation’ (of capital). However, because neoliberalism and imperialism are the two economic and political sides of the same coin, it is logical to analyse the nature of analysis (and then strategies, tactics and alliances) that emanate from various oppositional forces, to assess whether by facing up to the ideological divergences, those in the global justice movement can anticipate opportunities for joint work with civil society (and occasional state) forces dedicated to Third World nationalism and the Post-Washington Consensus. It is in analysing the various sectoral and cross-sectoral analyses, strategies, tactics and alliances of WSF actors that researchers can perhaps best contribute to the broader project of global justice.

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