International Development Planning Review

Responses by state actors to insurgent civic spaces since the WTO meetings at Seattle

International Development Planning Review (2002), 24, (4), 363–381.

Abstract

Most famously at the World Trade Organization (WTO) meetings in Seattle, meetings of global governance bodies have been the sites of large assemblies critical of perceived global injustices. People who gather outside such meetings often do so in political yet convivial and festive ways as they engage in a process of creating insurgent civic spaces. However, local, regional and national pressures, and the international state actors that host these meetings, have engineered the effective elimination of proximate civic spaces for social protest. The cases of the WTO in Seattle, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Honolulu and the G8 summit in Kananaskis illustrate trends of militarisation, radicalisation, routinisation and dislocation. In hosting such events, state actors should move towards facilitating an active citizenry on a more regular basis, which requires more favourable attention to the need for open civic spaces near world governance events. Such a move will require pressure from non-state, non-corporate actors.

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Author details

Boski, Joseph