The world is for the public good, such is the Great Way. Confucius Two dangers constantly threaten the world: order and disorder. Paul Valéry An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come. Victor Hugo True peace is not merely the absence of tension, it is the presence of justice. Martin Luther King, Jr. *

Citizens’ Reappropriation of Politics

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Citizens’ Reappropriation of Politics



On the Road to a Citizens Assembly

Interview by the NGO Traversées of Gustavo Marín, program officer at the Charles Léopold Mayer Foundation for the Progress of Humankind and member of the World Social Forum International Council. Taped in April 2007 at the preliminary South Cone Citizens Assembly in Antofagasta, Chile, the interview covers the beginnings, the nature, and the future of the different international civil-society deliberative processes.

Gustavo Marín tells of the birth and the encouraging, albeit uneven development of the first global citizen deliberative processes. He talks about the global counter-summits of the 1990s, the World Social Forums of the 2000s and a unique network developed throughout the whole period, the Alliance for a Responsible, Plural and United World.

For the Charles Léopold Mayer Foundation and some of its partners, the goal is to build constituent processes, where different social actors and sectors (young people, women, labor unions, the military, parliamentarians, farmers, teachers, etc.) can succeed in implementing another policy at the international, or even global scale, where others have failed so far: international institutions and governments, because of their compartmentalized interests; civil society and social movements, which, although they demonstrate and make proposals, have not been capable of changing the policies of the major powers, starting with the United States.



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