Article

Global Actors: Networks, Elites, and Institutions

Mikael Rask Madsen and Mikkel Jarle Christensen

in Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics


Published online October 2016 | e-ISBN: 9780190228637 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780190228637.013.9

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Over the past several decades scholars have intensively debated what factors drive globalization. Answers have ranged from the emergence of the information society and the global economy to value-conflicts embedded in different civilizations. A different yet closely related question is who is driving globalization? That is, however, much less studied, even if it is arguably key to making global governance intelligible. A whole list of actors seem to offer possible answers to the question of who the globalizers are: Are they global institutions such as the World Trade Organization (WTO) or the International Criminal Court (ICC); communities of experts providing technocratic solutions; transnational networks of activists seeking to alter global and national politics by pursuing, for example, environmental or human rights agendas; or are they powerful individuals forming transnational elites taking the fate of the global society in their hands at a safe distance from ordinary politics in places such as Brussels, New York, or Davos?

Keywords: global actors; international institutions; transnational elites; transnational power elites; epistemic communities

Article.  10177 words. 

Subjects: Political Institutions ; Political Behaviour ; Politics and Law ; International Relations

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