Special Issue: Guest Editors' Introduction
PORTAL opens 2006 with a special selection of papers focusing on the transformative power of social movements. In an age of globalisation and of ideologies of globalism, we debate sources and potential for alternative scenarios, for ‘other worlds.’ Many commentators have proclaimed this the global age, where humanity lives under one world power, one world market, and one world order. Yet many other worlds find new and fertile ground in this age, flourishing against the norm. Social movements set new agendas, inspire participation and crystalise solidarity. At the centre of contestation, they can create emancipatory knowledges—knowledges for change. In this issue of PORTAL we ask how social movements generate new ways of being, new subjectivities, or new modes of existence. We debate the role of affective meaning, of symbolic action and collective conscience, and discuss the place of reflective action. Contributors debate the dialectics between power and counter-power, and the role of strategic conflict and dialogue. They analyse sources of revolutionary and transformative change, discussing the praxis of counter-globalism.