Networking Futures

The Movements against Corporate Globalization

Networking Futures

Experimental Futures

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Book Pages: 400 Illustrations: 29 illustrations, 8 tables Published: July 2008

Activism, Anthropology > Cultural Anthropology, Globalization and Neoliberalism

Since the first worldwide protests inspired by Peoples’ Global Action (PGA)—including the mobilization against the November 1999 World Trade Organization meetings in Seattle—anti–corporate globalization activists have staged direct action protests against multilateral institutions in cities such as Prague, Barcelona, Genoa, and Cancun. Barcelona is a critical node, as Catalan activists have played key roles in the more radical PGA network and the broader World Social Forum process. In 2001 and 2002, the anthropologist Jeffrey S. Juris participated in the Barcelona-based Movement for Global Resistance, one of the most influential anti–corporate globalization networks in Europe. Combining ethnographic research and activist political engagement, Juris took part in hundreds of meetings, gatherings, protests, and online discussions. Those experiences form the basis of Networking Futures, an innovative ethnography of transnational activist networking within the movements against corporate globalization.

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 movement-related politics, organizational forms, and decision-making. Depicting spectacular direct action protests in Barcelona and other cities, he describes how far-flung activist networks are embodied and how networking politics are performed. He further explores how activists have used e-mail lists, Web pages, and free software to organize actions, share information, coordinate at a distance, and stage “electronic civil disobedience.” Based on a powerful cultural logic, anti–corporate globalization networks have become models of and for emerging forms of radical, directly democratic politics. Activists are not only responding to growing poverty, inequality, and environmental devastation; they are also building social laboratories for the production of alternative values, discourses, and practices.


Networking Futures is a core piece exploring movements against corporate globalization through the exploration of activist organizations as experienced by the author within a wide range of movements, witnessing riots, strikes, and works of different actors within movements. . . . The most interesting note is that the author is endowed with an abundance of facts to educate the reader. Professor Juris has both participated in and interacted with the activist movement—making himself more of an expert on his subject matter than an informer.” — Michael D. Kaluya, Globalizations

Networking Futures is a great read. Scholars of the global justice movement will appreciate its rich accounts of movement practices, and social movement scholars more generally can use it to develop our understanding of the symbolic, spatial and cultural dimensions of organizational forms, practices and identities.” — Lesley J. Wood, Canadian Journal of Sociology

Networking Futures is an excellent read – a good balance of personal description and author involvement, as well as substantial theoretical development. . . . Networking Futures manages to be an amazing book that will intrigue students of social movements, networks, and organizations, as well as interested scholar-activists – and perhaps may inspire more to take up the practice of militant ethnography.” — Dana M. Williams, Critical Sociology

Networking Futures charts a map for understanding how ‘anti-corporate globalization movements are perhaps best understood as social laboratories, generating new cultural practices and political imaginaries for a digital age’ (p. 297). This is an important contribution.” — Kalman Applbaum, American Ethnologist

Networking Futures contributes to a burgeoning literature—authored and read as much by activists as by academics—on the dynamics of the so-called ‘anti-capitalist’ and ‘anti-globalization’ movement.” — Noel Castree, Progress in Human Geography

Networking Futures offers an engaging, comprehensive and richly participatory account of network organizing within the anti-corporate globalization movement. . . . With its commitment to militant ethnography in both method and content, Networking Futures represents an exciting contribution not only to social movement scholarship and science and technology studies, but to the development of critically engaged methodologies and the struggle against corporate globalization itself.” — Angelina I. Zontine, Journal of the Society for the Anthropology of Europe

Networking Futures provides an engaging overview of the anti-corporate globalization movement, and expresses itself best when considering the micro-power struggles that animated the various protest networks. . . .The author does a good job in demonstrating how the political values of the movement were ‘inscribed directly into emerging network architectures’. . . . [T]he most important contribution of this book is its forward-looking perspective. While so much of anthropology is concerned with memory, history, and the past, studying groups of people brash enough to think they are ‘making history’ is a refreshing novelty.” — Eduardo Albrecht, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

“[Networking Futures] has both depth and significant importance for understanding the ebb and flow of radical movements and their complex internal contests.” — Jonathan Pattenden, Journal of International Migration and Integration

“[T]he fact that Juris engages with the contradictions of the horizontal-based networks, that he has seriously thought about the future tasks of the movement and the academic study of anti-capitalist mobilizations, makes this a welcome contribution to an important and burgeoning literature and practice. This book will surely be a major point of reference in future debates in social movement and political theory.” — Sean Purdy, Labour/Le Travail

“A self-ascribed ‘militant ethnographer,’ Juris is clearly a sympathetic and enthusiastic participant in the movements he studies; however, to his credit he does not romanticize or fetishize the networks, instead paying due attention to the limits of network forms and the contradictions of its norms. . . . However, what makes this book especially dynamic is its appeal not only across scholarly disciplines, but also beyond them; the author works to make it relevant and useful, not only to scholars, but also to activists.” — Bruno Renero-Hannan, Comparative Studies in Society and History

“In this book, the anthropologist and activist, Jeff Juris explores, in an exemplary way, the political and cultural practices involved in the construction of transnational networks by activists who oppose neoliberal globalisation. . . . Networking Futures is a book that is absolutely indispensable and that will certainly become a reference that cannot be overlooked for activists, academics and teachers. . .” — Israel Rodriguez-Giralt, Interface

“In this excellent militant ethnography, Jeffrey Juris does several key things. One, he provides a rich and detailed analysis of anticorporate globalization movements in multiple sites, from the local movements in Barcelona to its linkages with such movements in Europe and the World Social Forum. Second, he makes important theoretical and methodological interventions in the social movement literature that are informed by contemporary social and cultural theories rather than relying on social movement theories as is often the case with U.S. social movement analysis. Finally, he makes a thoughtful activist contribution.” — Manisha Desai, Mobilization

“The book displays a multiscalar sensitivity that I found very useful. . . . [T]here is much in this work that potentially bridges the interests and research perspectives of anthropology, political science, and sociology. It is also a good example of where the latter traditions might benefit from exchanges with anthropology.” — Thomas Olesen, Anthropos

Networking Futures [is] an exciting and important book, and a contribution to sociology. . . . Juris provides us with an understanding of how activists are at the forefront of this global transformation, through their creative use of internet and other technologies, and through their comprehensively democratic and reflexive exploration of new social forms.” — Judith Blau, Contemporary Sociology

Networking Futures is one of the very first detailed ethnographic accounts of the alternative globalisation movement. The book manages to weave together some of the key historical moments of its ineluctable rise into a single compelling narrative from the intimate perspective of someone who was there. . . . Juris’s many accounts of the vitality, creativity and innovativeness of the alternative globalisation movement will inspire activists and academics alike for many years to come.” — Marco Cuevas-Hewitt, Anthropological Forum

“As well as being an insightful and inspiring resource for activists, Networking Futures: The Movements Against Corporate Globalisation, is a absorbing history of the ever-evolving contemporary resistance to corporate globalisation. I found it a refreshing antidote to the constant barrage of neo-conservative blather emanating from the mouths of free market evangelists on the pages and the airwaves of the mainstream media—especially read in the context of collapsing global markets!” — Megan Yarrow, M/C Reviews

“The view Juris offers is more in-depth than has been generally reported even by sympathetic journalists. . . . Networking Futures stands as a pioneering document of what may yet prove to be a new new world order.” — Vince Carducci, Popmatters

Networking Futures is a terrific, deeply informed ethnographic account of the origins and activities of the anti–corporate globalization movement. Jeffrey S. Juris’s identity is as much that of an activist who happens to be doing first-rate anthropology as vice versa, and there is much for anthropologists to reflect on in the way that this work is set up and narrated through these dual identities.” — George E. Marcus, co-author of Designs for an Anthropology of the Contemporary

Networking Futures is one of the very first books to map in detail the multiple networks that are challenging corporate globalization. Taking as a point of departure an exemplary case—the Catalan anti–globalization movements of the past decade—Jeffrey S. Juris moves on to chronicle the collective struggles to construct not only an alternative vision of possible worlds but the means to bring them about. Networking Futures is a compelling portrait of the spirit of innovation that lies behind an array of progressive mobilizations, from anarchist movements and street protests to the World Social Forum. Based on a well-developed notion of collaborative ethnography, it is also a wonderful example of engaged scholarship: a much-needed alternative to academic work as usual.” — Arturo Escobar, author of Territories of Difference: Place, Movements, Life, Redes

“Jeffrey S. Juris gives us an illuminating model for how to study networks from below using the tools of ethnography. And in the process he reveals the extraordinary power (as well as the challenges) of network organizing for social movements today.” — Michael Hardt, co-author of Empire and Multitude


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Jeffrey S. Juris is Assistant Professor of Anthropology in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Arizona State University.

Table of Contents Back to Top
List of Illustrations and Tables ix

Acknowledgments xi

Abbreviations xv

Introduction: The Cultural Logic of Networking 1

1. The Seattle Effect 27

2. Anti-Corporate Globalization Soldiers in Barcelona 61

3. Grassroots Mobilization and Shifting Alliances 93

4. Performing Networks at Direct-Action Protests 123

5. Spaces of Terror: Violence and Repression in Genoa 161

6. May the Resistance Be as Transnational as Capital! 199

7. Social Forums and the Cultural Politics of Autonomous Space 233

8. The Rise of Independent Utopics 267

Conclusion: Political Change and Cultural Transformation in a Digital Age 287

Appendix 1: Electronic Resources 303

Appendix 2: Pink and Silver Call, Genoa, July 20, 2001 305

Appendix 3: Peoples' Global Action Organisational Principles 307

Appendix 4: World Social Forum Charter of Principles 311

Notes 315

References 349

Index 365
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-4269-4 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-4250-2
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