Restructuring World Politics: Transnational Social Movements, Networks, and Norms

Restructuring World Politics: Transnational Social Movements, Networks, and Norms

Restructuring World Politics: Transnational Social Movements, Networks, and Norms

Restructuring World Politics: Transnational Social Movements, Networks, and Norms

Excerpt

This volume grew out of a series of conversations over many years among a group of faculty and students participating in the MacArthur Consortium on Peace and International Cooperation that linked the University of Minnesota, the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and Stanford University. We also invited practitioners and activists to join our conversations and present their views and concerns. Our discussions started at a MacArthur Consortium workshop, “Democracy, Popular Empowerment, and Development, ” held in Minneapolis in 1994, when a small group of us discovered that we had many common intellectual agendas and questions. Although our research focused on different issue areas and different parts of the world, we were all interested in trying to explain and understand transnational processes that involved nonstate actors as central players.

We called these actors transnational networks, coalitions, or movements, and we understood that they have the potential to transform both domestic political systems and international politics, especially by creating issues, mobilizing new constituencies, altering understandings of interests and identities, and sometimes changing state practices. In particular, these forms of transnational collective action helped bring new norms into politics and instantiate them through their practices. Because our disciplines provided relatively little theoretical guidance to help us with our research, we used our mutual discussions to explore issues, share ideas, suggest approaches, and develop elements of a common framework in which to situate our work.

The early group included people working on human rights and environmental nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in Indonesia, democratization in Senegal, international norms around women and children's rights, the . . .

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