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transnational Theory


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A field of study focusing on cross-boundary political space, arguing that states are not the only significant actors. This theory emphasizes the direct linkages across international boundaries, where at least one actor is non-state; for example, a non-governmental organization or transnational corporation. Transnationalism describes activities that cross state boundaries, such as the flows of ideas, information, money and credit, and people. Radcliffe, Laurie, and Andolina (2002Transnat. Communities Prog. Seminar) argue that ‘the crossing of scales (body, local, national, regional, international) is constitutive of transnationalism. In [the] political transnationalism of Andean indigenous groups, there are multiple scales of interaction, with no fixed location within which actors or practices are found. In other words, transnationalism is as much about discontinuous space as relational space.’ N. Foner (2005) argues that transnationalism did not just appear with recent formulations of late capital or globalization, but rather has existed as a constitutive, dynamic part of migrant experiences; see also Ashutosh (2008) Urb. Geog. 29, 3. For P. Jackson et al. (2004) transnationalism ‘encompasses all of those engaged in transnational cultures, whether as producers or consumers. It includes not just the material geographies of labour migration or the trading in transnational goods and services but also the symbolic and imaginary geographies through which we attempt to make sense of our increasingly transnational world.’ See also Blunt (2007) PHG31, 5 and Ley (2004) TIBG29, 2.

Subjects: Earth Sciences and Geography.


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