Another World Is Possible

World Social Forum Proposals for an Alternative Globalization

Edited by William Fisher and Thomas Ponniah
With a Foreword by Boaventura De Sousa Santos


The first English-language collection of essays and demands, arising from and written by the most prominent members of the first and second World Social Forums.

In 2001 the first World Social Forum was held in Porto Alegre, Brazil. The meeting was viewed by many at the time as a new manifestation of the global Left, a people's opposition to the World Economic Forum that stood as the first real front to global capitalism since the collapse of the Soviet Union. While many activists and intellectuals on the left have since become deeply critical of the Forum, newer movements, such as Occupy, the Arab Spring and the indignados, have built upon its successes and innovations.

Another World is Possible is the original collection of essays and demands from the heart of the ‘movement of movements’. Based on the work of the first two annual meetings of the WSF, this classic collection not only set out the initial aims of the movements that came together, it also paved the way for the theoretical study of new social movements, their multiple and participatory character. Today, as many crises affect all our lives, it is time to revisit the original demands of a global solidarity movement, united in its determination to fight against the concentration of wealth, the proliferation of poverty and inequalities, and the destruction of our earth, and to reconstitute a global left.

Author Bio

William F. Fisher is professor of international development and social change in the International Development, Community, and Environment Department at Clark University, USA.

Thomas Ponniah is a professor of philosophy and politics in the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences at George Brown College in Toronto, an affiliate of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, and a summer lecturer at Harvard University.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword to the critique influence change edition - Boaventura de Sousa Santos
  • Preface to the critique influence change edition - Thomas Ponniah and William F. Fisher
  • Foreword to the first edition - Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri
  • Preface to the first edition - William F. Fisher and Thomas Ponniah
  • Introduction: The World Social Forum and the Reinvention of Democracy - Thomas Ponniah and William F. Fisher
  • Part I: The Production of Wealth and Social Reproduction
    • Overview: Key Questions, Critical Issues - William F. Fisher and Thomas Ponniah
    • 1. External Debt: Abolish the Debt in Order to Free Development - Eric Toussaint and Arnaud Zacharie 
    • 2. Africa/Brazil - Jacques d'Adesky 
    • 3. Financial Capital - ATTAC-France
    • 4. International Trade - Bernard Cassen, ATTAC
    • 5. Transnational Corporations - Joshua Karliner, CorpWatch and Karolo Aparicio, Global Exchange
    • 6. Labour - Congress of South African Trade Unions; Jeff Faux
    • 7. A Solidarity Economy - Economic Solidarity Group of Quebec; Sandra Quintela 
  • Part II: Access to Wealth and Sustainability
    • Overview: Key Questions, Critical Issues - William F. Fisher and Thomas Ponniah
    • 8. Environment and Sustainabity- Vandana Shiva; Sara Larrain
    • 9. Water – A Common Good - Glenn Switkes and Elias Diaz Pena
    • 10. Knowledge, Copyright and Patents - OXFAM, UK; Francois Houtart
    • 11. Medicine, Health, AIDS - Sonia Correa
    • 12. Food - APM World Network
    • 13. Cities, Urban Populations - Erminia Maricato
    • 14. Indigenous Peoples - Dionito Makuxi, Pina Tembe, Simiao Wapixana, Joel Pataxo, Lurdes Tapajos, Luiz Titia Pataxo Ha-Ha-Hae; Paulo Maldos
  • Part III: The Affirmation of Civil Society and Public Space
    • Overview: Key Questions, Critical Issues - William F. Fisher and Thomas Ponniah
    • 15. The Media - Osvaldo Leon
    • 16. Education - Bernard Charlot
    • 17. Culture - Fatma Alloo, Luiza Monteiro, Aureli Argemi, Imruh Bakari, Xavi Perez
    • 18. Violence - World March of Women; Fatima Mello
    • 19. Discrimination and Intolerance - National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights; Lilian Celiberti
    • 20. Migration and the Traffic in People - Lorenzo Prencipe
    • 21. The Global Civil Society Movement - Latin American Social Observatory and Latin American Social Science Council; Vittorio Agnoletto
  • Part IV: Political Power and Ethics in the New Society
    • Overview: Key Questions, Critical Issues - William F. Fisher and Thomas Ponniah
    • 22. The International Architecture of Power - Walden Bello; Teivo Teivainen
    • 23. Militarism and Globalization - Marcela Escribano
    • 24. Human Rights - Maria Luisa Mendonca
    • 25. Sovereignty - Daniel Bensaid
    • 26. Democracy - M. P. Parameswaran
    • 27. Values - Michal Lowy; Celia Amoros
  • Epilogue: Social Movements' Manifesto
  • Appendices


'The best guidebook that I know for re-imagining a progressive politics responsive to the challenges of the twenty-first century. It brings together the ideas, language, and imaginings of the most articulate voices on the global stage.'
Richard Falk, Princeton University

'The Second World Social Forum was a carnival of ideas and solidarities. Another World is Possible captures superbly their many alternatives to neoliberalism and provides one big "Ya Basta" to the status quo.'
Thomas Mertes, co-author of A Movement of Movements

'A brilliant series of collective thoughts by those who built the WSF on all the major topics of an emancipatory project for the twenty-first century. Indispensable reading for a new generation of activists.’
Geoffrey Pleyers, author of Alter-Globalization

'This new edition reminds us of not only how original and timely the World Social Forum was and what a global impact it had, but also of how changing times are challenging the WSF a decade and more later. Strongly recommended.'
Peter Waterman, co-editor of World Social Forum: Challenging Empires

'A fascinating and valuable reflection of political reality.'
Roger S. Gottlieb, Tikkun


Publication Date: 14 May 2015
400 pages

Product ISBNs: Paperback 2nd Edition: 9781783605170
eBook ePub 2nd Edition: 9781783605200
eBook PDF 2nd Edition: 9781783605194
eBook Kindle 2nd Edition: 9781783605217

Previous Editions: Paperback 1st Edition: 9781842773291

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