Sociology and Criminology-Open Access

Sociology and Criminology-Open Access
Open Access

ISSN: 2375-4435



Global Civil-society Movements: What the World Social Forum Can do toChange the Worlds Situation

Kazem Alamdari

About 155,000 people from different global movements participated in the 5th annual meeting of the World Social Forum (WSF) in Porto Alegre, Brazil, in January 20051. Apparently, participants had one thing in common: they saw the neo-liberal trend of globalization as an obstacle to achieving social justice and a better world. This paper argues that (1) neo-liberal globalization is not the only obstacle to social justice, human rights, and economic development in the majority of developing societies; and (2) the alternative the WSF suggests to change the capitalist world-system is not realistic and feasible. Also, with a ten-fold increase over the past five years, the WSF could move toward a new stage of its global role by not only advocating for the economic needs of the poor but also echoing the voices of people calling for democracy and human rights in different parts of the world. In the era of globalization, the WSF has the potential to be transformed from “an open meeting space for reflective thinking” into an established body that represents civil societies instead of governments, thus becoming a global entity parallel to the United Nations. In other words, it would be a permanent global NGO forum capable of bridging local and global civil-society movements based on the common objectives of achieving economic, political, and religious reforms. At the end, this paper presents some policy recommendations and specific mechanisms for exerting pressure on governments and global capitalist entities to follow the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other common goals.