The Movements Against Corporate Globalization
Author: Jeffrey S. Juris
Publisher: Duke University Press
Category: Political Science
Since November 30, 1999, when 50,000 protesters converged on Seattle to shut down the World Trade Organization meetings, anti-corporate globalization activists have staged protests against multilateral institutions in cities including Prague, Barcelona, Genoa, and Cancun. Barcelona has emerged as a critical hub, as Catalans have played key roles within the anarchist-inspired Peoples' Global Action and the World Social Forum meetings. In 2001 and 2002, the anthropologist Jeffrey R. Juris participated in Barcelona's Movement for Global Resistance. Combining ethnographic research and activist political engagement, he attended hundreds of meetings, gatherings, and protests while also taking part in online discussions and forums. Those experiences are the basis of Networking Futures, the first ethnography of anti-globalization movements and transnational activist networking. In an account full of activist voices and on-the-ground detail, Juris provides a history of anti-corporate globalization movements, an examination of their connections to local dynamics in Barcelona, and an analysis of the movements' networking politics, or organization and decision-making practices. Depicting direct-action protests in Barcelona and other European cities, he describes how far-flung activist networks are embodied during the protests, and how networking politics are performed in urban spaces during these deliberately spectacular events. He explores emerging forms of grassroots media activism within anti-corporate globalization movements, explaining how activists have used e-mail lists, Web pages, and open editing software to organize actions, share information, collectively produce documents, coordinate at a distance, and stage "electronic civil disobedience." Juris argues that anti-corporate globalization activists are not only responding to growing poverty, inequality, and environmental devastation. Through their organizational structures, decision-making practices, and uses of digital technologies, they are also generating social laboratories for the production of alternative democratic values and practices.