World Social Forum

Stephansen, H. World Social Forum. in: Baker, M., Blaagaard, B. and Perez Gonzales, L. (ed.) Routledge Encyclopedia of Citizen Media London Routledge.

Chapter titleWorld Social Forum
AuthorsStephansen, H.
EditorsBaker, M., Blaagaard, B. and Perez Gonzales, L.
Abstract

This entry will begin by providing an overview of the history and development of the World Social Forum (WSF), situating it within the broader context of the global justice movement that emerged in the mid-1990s. Highlighting its unique character as a meeting place for civil society actors from diverse backgrounds – and thus a site of tension between different political traditions – the entry will survey key scholarly and activist debates about the WSF. It will examine controversies about the forum’s supposed status as an ‘open space’, relating this to broader debates about openness and horizontality in social movements and the rise of ‘networked politics’ facilitated by new communications technologies (Juris 2008). Scholarship that has theorized the WSF from a postcolonial perspective will also be covered, focusing on the forum’s potential to advance alternative political and epistemological paradigms (Santos 2006; Conway 2012). The entry will then turn to focus more specifically on the WSF’s relationship to citizen media. Although a concern with media and communications has been largely absent from the literature on the WSF, the forum has provided an important meeting place for media activists from around the world, who have gathered both to produce alternative media coverage of the forum and put media and communications issues on the agenda of global civil society. The entry will discuss the development of transnational networks of media activists within the WSF and the possible emergence of a movement focused on media and communication.

KeywordsWorld Social Forum
Anti-Globalization
Alter-Globalization
Global Justice Movement
Global Public Sphere
Citizen Media Practices
Open Space
Epistemology of the South
Book titleRoutledge Encyclopedia of Citizen Media
PublisherRoutledge
Place of publicationLondon
Web address (URL)http://citizenmediaseries.org/published_volumes/routledge-encyclopedia-of-citizen-media/

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Stephansen, H. and Treré, E. 2019. Practice what you preach? Currents, connections and challenges in theorizing citizen media and practice. in: Stephansen, H. and Treré, E. (ed.) Citizen Media and Practice: currents, connections, challenges London Routledge.

Conceptualising the role of knowledge in ‘acting on media’
Stephansen, H. 2019. Conceptualising the role of knowledge in ‘acting on media’. in: Stephansen, H. and Treré, E. (ed.) Citizen Media and Practice Routledge.

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Stephansen, H. 2019. Conceptualising a distributed, multi-scalar global public sphere through activist communication practices in the World Social Forum. Global Media and Communication.

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Media Activism as Movement? Collective Identity Formation in the World Forum of Free Media
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Understanding micro-processes of community building and mutual learning on Twitter: a ‘small data’ approach
Stephansen, H. and Couldry, N. 2014. Understanding micro-processes of community building and mutual learning on Twitter: a ‘small data’ approach. Information, Communication & Society. 17 (10), pp. 1212-1227. doi:10.1080/1369118X.2014.902984

Digital citizenship? Narrative exchange and the changing terms of civic culture
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Stephansen, H. 2013. Starting from the Amazon: communication, knowledge and politics of place in the World Social Forum. Interface: a journal for and about social movements. 5 (1), pp. 102-127.

Connecting the peripheries: networks, place and scale in the World Social Forum process
Stephansen, H. 2013. Connecting the peripheries: networks, place and scale in the World Social Forum process. Journal of Postcolonial Writing. 49 (5), pp. 506-518. doi:10.1080/17449855.2013.842773

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