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Making Other Worlds Possible: The Battle in Seattle in World-Historical Context

Smith, J (2019) Making Other Worlds Possible: The Battle in Seattle in World-Historical Context. Socialism and Demicracy, 33 (3). 1 - 22. (In Press)

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The protests against neoliberal globalization at the 1999 ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organization were significant because they represented the first large-scale resistance gaining wide visibility among a global public. The fact that the WTO ministerial was taking place in “the belly of the beast” increased its visibility and significance. It was far from the first mass protest against globalized capitalism, and it wasn’t the most global in its representation. Nevertheless, it disrupted the idea that “there is no alternative” to the neoliberal agenda, encouraged dissent from governments in the global South, and created space for critical debates about the downsides of economic globalization. For the global left, it helped focus energy and inspire hope for a different kind of globalization. Seattle thus launched a movement-building process that gave birth to the World Social Forums, which in turn advanced new movement relationships and organizing that continue today. This article describes initiatives that have developed in the wake of the Battle in Seattle, illustrating how that protest episode contributed to ongoing movement learning and mobilization that fuels popular efforts to make other worlds possible.


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Item Type: Article
Status: In Press
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Smith, Jjgsmith@pitt.eduJGSMITH0000-0002-4808-0391
Date: 15 November 2019
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: Socialism and Demicracy
Volume: 33
Number: 3
Page Range: 1 - 22
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1080/08854300.2019.1676030
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Sociology
Refereed: No
Uncontrolled Keywords: Battle in Seattle, Human rights cities, Food Sovereignty, Indigenous people, Rights of nature, Buen vivir
EditorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Article Type: Research Article
Additional Information: Special issue: SEATTLE+20: Movements at the Millennium
Date Deposited: 21 Oct 2019 15:40
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2019 15:55


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