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Making Feminist Sense of the Global Justice Movement

Catherine Eschle and Bice Maiguashca

In recent years, the global justice movement has grabbed headlines and reshaped political imaginations worldwide. Surprisingly, however, feminism is largely absent from accounts of the movement—despite the fact that feminists are extensively involved on the ground. Addressing this significant gap in the literature, Eschle and Maiguashca shine a powerful light on what they term "feminist antiglobalization activism." Drawing on their fieldwork at the World Social Forum and European Social Forum, 2003–2005, they begin by outlining the vital role of feminist antiglobalization activism in Forum processes and events while also emphasizing its diversity. The authors then trace the origins of this activism, the critiques and aspirations of those involved, their political practices beyond the Forum, and their efforts to forge a sense of solidarity among themselves and with others. Taking feminism seriously, Eschle and Maiguashca conclude, points us toward a richer and more theoretically nuanced understanding of the global justice movement and its struggle to create other possible worlds. Their book thus offers vital insights not only for feminists, but also for all those interested in contemporary social movements and in global governance and resistance. « less more »
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 280Size: 6 1/4 x 9
978-0-7425-5592-1 • Hardback • February 2010 • $99.00 • (£65.00)
978-0-7425-5593-8 • Paperback • March 2011 • $38.00 • (£24.95)
978-0-7425-6781-8 • eBook • January 2010 • $36.00 • (£24.95)
Catherine Eschle is a senior lecturer in the Department of Government at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. Bice Maiguashca is a senior lecturer in the Department of Politics at the University of Exeter.
Introduction: Making Feminist Sense of the Global Justice Movement
Chapter 1: Constructing Feminist Antiglobalization Activism
Chapter 2: Skeleton Woman at the World Social Forum: Feminist Struggles for Visibility, Voice and Influence, 2001–2005
Chapter 3: Feminist Encounters at the World Social Forum 2003–2005: Uncovering Diversity and Situating Knowledge
Chapter 4: Mapping Feminist Antiglobalization Activism
Chapter 5: Uncovering Origins: Past and Present Sources of Agency for Feminist Antiglobalization Activism
Chapter 6: Naming the Enemy: Feminist Antiglobalization Activists Confront Oppression
Chapter 7: Imagining Other Worlds: The Utopian Dimension of Feminist Antiglobalization Activism
Chapter 8: Collective Action: The Political Practices of Feminist Antiglobalization Activists
Chapter 9: Forging Solidarity: Mobilizing Identities in Feminist Antiglobalization Activism
Conclusion: Rethinking the Global Justice Movement
Catherine Eschle and Bice Maiguashca address a very timely and important theme in their wonderful, accessibly written book on the often invisible and unacknowledged work by feminist activists within the global justice movement. In the process, they develop a feminist framework for understanding that movement. But, more importantly, the book is a testimony to the notion that global justice is for EVERY INDIVIDUAL!
Marianne H. Marchand, Universidad de las Américas, Puebla

In this empirically rich and lucid book, Catherine Eschle and Bice Maiguashca make a very convincing case both for the marginalization of feminist antiglobalization activism from the academic and activist literatures on the global justice movement, and, more importantly, for how this exclusion limits the empirical and conceptual contours of the global justice movement. . . . An important theoretical and political contribution to the global justice movement.
Manisha Desai, University of Connecticut

Eschle and Maiguashca explore an original subject using innovative theoretical tools and rich empirical information (including extensive interviews). At a time of transition in global politics and the social movements that react to and interact with the power structure of the international arena, the authors remind students and scholars alike to reflect on the power relations within progressive movements as well. The authors explore the activities of feminist anti-globalization activists, the tools that scholars and students need to analyze those activities, and the implications of feminist anti-globalization activism for thinking about the global justice movement as a whole. This work is crucially important and well done in a way accessible to scholars, students, and practitioners. . . . Essential.

Eschle and Maiguashca succeed in their attempts to challenge commentary on the role of identity within the global justice movement literature. . . . The authors deepen our understanding of the global justice movement and the [World Social Forum] process while developing a vital critique of the literature on the global justice movement. This book will be of interest not only in its refinement of our understanding of the global justice movement but also in providing a case of uncovering the neglect of feminism activism within studies of social movements. This book builds on and contributes to the literature on the exclusion of women within social movement organizing and therefore is of interest to scholars of feminist activism. It also could serve as a primer for social movement students interested in the global justice movement. . . . A must read for antiglobalization activists of all types for its insightful critiques of both the global justice movement and the social forum process.

This is a great book that fills an important gap in the literature.

Erin Kenny, Drury University

A valuable primer for social movement students interested in the global justice movement

Draws on a range of feminist theories to inform the rich case studies

Brings together a focus on both feminism and the global justice movement

Highlights the significance and diversity of feminist antiglobalization activism

Based on intensive fieldwork undertaken at the World Social Forum

Explores the origins of feminist antiglobalization activism and the critiques, aspirations, and political practices of those involved

Reflects on the implications of feminist antiglobalization activism for theorizing the global justice movement more generally