WSF 2006 – Some Hard Questions

This note is to ask some hard questions about the World Social Forum, with the aim of raising some debate on it in the run-up to the world meetings that are coming up later this month. By Jai Sen,

The step, of moving from single-centric Fora to polycentric ones, is ­ as a step in the development of the World Social Forum – as important as the holding of the Forum outside Brazil and in Mumbai, India, in January 2004. But given this significance, and behind this the significance of the World Social Forum as an emerging world institution and as an institution of civil politics, it is important, and perhaps of no small interest, that there is hardly any debate about the polycentric Forum, either as individual meetings or as a collective. Even on the official WSF website, in its Library of Alternatives, there are only two articles ­ and then too, the two are both in Spanish, despite the fact that the three Fora are being held in
English-speaking, French-speaking, and Spanish-speaking parts of the world, and where this distribution was presumably a very careful and intentional decision.

Compared with the storm of articles that the Forum generated in earlier years, this is stunning. What is happening ? Why is there no discussion ? Has the Forum run its course? (Read the rest on

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