Article

Transnational Actors

Peter Hägel

in International Relations

ISBN: 9780199743292
Published online March 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199743292-0016
Transnational Actors

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Transnational relations are usually defined as regular cross-border interactions in which nonstate actors play a significant role. This opens a wide research area in the context of globalization where a great variety of actors participate in growing global exchanges. Of particular importance for international relations (IR) are transnational actors that wield considerable influence on politics across borders, such as nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), multinational corporations (MNCs), religious actors, terrorism rebels, criminal actors, and diasporas and ethnic actors. The social and cultural consequences of globalization are being explored under the heading of “transnationalism,” a burgeoning research area shared by several disciplines from across the humanities and social sciences, paying special attention to migration and hybrid identities. Some of this research is clearly relevant for IR, especially as it contributes to questioning the nation-state as the basic unit of world politics. The juxtaposition of society versus states, a concern of the early transnational relations debate during the 1970s, is still shaping a lot of “contentious politics” and “social movements” research on transnational actors. But in many cases, the relationships between domestic politics, transnational actors, and international affairs are more complex, e.g., when states sponsor terrorism or when NGOs, MNCs, states, and international organizations engage in global public policy networks.

Article.  7701 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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