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Mobilisation and Defeat: panel to debate The State of Global Civil Society in 2003

In 2003, global civil society saw its biggest mobilisation yet. In the six months between October 2002 and March 2003, there were daily demonstrations against the threatened war on Iraq, and on 15 February 2003 millions marched in more than 800 cities around the world. However, it was also civil society's biggest defeat. The United States and its allies ignored the protests and went to war.

Global Civil Society 2003, will be launched at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) on Tuesday 7 October with an introduction by Baroness Amos, leader of the House of Lords, followed by a debate between Victoria Brittain, Dr Marlies Glasius and Professor Leslie Sklair, chaired by Lord Desai. They will discuss the future of the anti-war movement and the anti-capitalist movement, as well as biological and chemical weapons and religious and nationalist militant groups.

The authors found that:

  • The anti-capitalist and the anti-war movement are closely connected; they meet in Social Forums
  • The global civil society actors campaigning against chemical and biological weapons are very small group, mainly of academic experts, who have not yet been able to make grassroots connections
  • Small peasants, often thought of as the most marginalized and isolated world citizens, have formed vibrant and powerful transnational networks active in global summits

Professor Mary Kaldor, centre director of the Centre for the Study of Global Governance and a contributor to Global Civil Society 2003 said: 'After September 11 you see the growing power of a new group of actors we call regressive globalisers; you could see the retreat of globalisation in the area of law and especially people, combined with a lawless and unfair globalisation in the economy and technology.'

Global Civil Society 2003 is the third edition of the Global Civil Society Yearbook, a joint project of the Centre for Civil Society and the Centre for the Study of Global Governance. The Yearbooks have become an indispensable work on transnational activism and international NGOs. Global Civil Society 2003 contains contributions from Ulrich Beck, Meghnad Desai, Mary Kaldor and Martin Shaw.

The State of Global Civil Society in 2003 is on Tuesday 7 October at 6.30pm in the Old Theatre, Old Building, LSE, Houghton St, London WC2A 2AE. The debate will be introduced by Baroness Amos, leader of the House of Lords, and chaired by Lord Desai. It is free and open to all with no ticket required. Members of the public should contact Conferences on 020 7955 6043 or email events@lse.ac.uk| for more information.


To reserve a press seat or for more information, please contact Jessica Winterstein, LSE Press Office, on 020 7955 7060 or email j.Winterstein@lse.ac.uk|

Notes for editors:

  • Victoria Brittain is a Guardian journalist and an associate of LSE's crisis states programme
  • Dr Marlies Glasius is editor of the Yearbook and based at the Centre for Civil Society and Centre for the study of Global Governance
  • Leslie Sklair is a professor of sociology at LSE
  • Lord Desai, who is chairing the event, has recently retired as professor of economics at LSE and continues to be active in the House of Lords

2 October 2003