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Non-State Actors in World Politics
Instructor: Nicole Lindstrom
IRES Department
Faculty Tower 309
[email protected]
This seminar explores the role of transnational politics in shaping contemporary global politics.
Although non-state actors have always played a central role in shaping international relations,
numerous actors – including transnational corporations, transnational social movements and
advocacy networks, and transnational criminal networks – have acquired increasing visibility as
independent actors in world politics. Observers differ over whether we are witnessing the
emergence of global civil society, the transnationalization of domestic politics, or a privatization
of governance. In this course we will examine the basic presuppositions of different analytical
approaches to studying transnational politics – including various forms of transnational
mobilization, their interaction with domestic actors, and their relations to international institutions
– and the ways they give rise to different puzzles and research strategies. The first part of the
course begins with conceptual foundations and a survey of international relations, political
science and sociological approaches to the study of transnational politics. The second part of the
course reviews approaches to studying different types of transnational non-state actors, including
international organizations and supranational courts, transnational NGOs, transnational social
movements and advocacy networks. We examine the different roles these actors play, the means
and goals they chose, and the conditions under which they succeed in realizing their objectives. In
the third part of the course we will turn to several issue areas in which non-state actors play an
important role: environment, labor, human rights, alternative globalization movements, and
transnational crime. The course readings include in-depth empirical case studies.
1. Seminar Participation (10%): You are expected to attend each seminar and regularly participate
2. Seminar Presentation (20%): One seminar presentation is required in which you give an indepth presentation of an assigned reading or set of readings. Presentations should include a
summary of the main arguments of the reading, a discussion of how the reading relates to the
broader themes of the course, and questions for discussion. A one-page handout is also required.
3. Midterm Exam (30%): The mid-term exam is a take home exam. *Questions will be distributed
4. Final Term Paper (40%): The final term paper on a course-related topic of your choice,
applying tools you acquire in this (or other) courses. Papers should be approximately 3000 words
in length. You are encouraged to consult with the instructor about your topics.
Seminar 1: Course Introduction
Seminar 2: Transnational Politics: Framing the Debate
Leander, Anna. 2001. “Globalization, Transnational Politics and the Dislocation of Politics.”
COPRI Working Paper 2001/12.
Tarrow, Sidney. 2001. “Transnational Politics: Contention and Institutions in International
Politics.” Annual Review of Political Science 4: 1-21.
Further readings:
Held, D. et. al. 2003. Global Transformations. Oxford University Press.
Josselin, Daphné and William Wallace, eds. 2001. Non-state Actors in World Politics. Palgrave.
Ougaard, Morten and Richard Higgott. 2002. Towards a Global Polity. Routledge.
Risse, Thomas. 2002. “Transnational Actors and World Politics.” Handbook of International
Relations, eds. W. Carlsnaes; T. Risse; B. Simmons. Sage.
Sassen, Saskia. 2001. “Spatialities and Temporalities of the Global: Elements for a Theorization.”
In Globalization, ed. Arjun Appaduri. Duke University Press.
Higgott, r.; Underhill, G.; and A. Bieler. 1999. Non-State Actors and Authority in the Global
System. Routledge.
Hannerz, Ulf. 1996. Transnational Connections. Routledge.
Seminar 3: The post-national constellation and the future of democracy
Habermas, Jürgen. 2001. “The Postnational Constellation and the Future of Democracy.” In The
Postnational Constellation: Political Essays, trans., ed. Max Pensky. Polity.
Anderson, James. 2002. “Questions of Democracy, Territoriality and Globalization” (6-38). In
Transnational Democracy: Political Spaces and Border Crossings, ed. James Anderson.
Further reading:
Held, David. 1995. Democracy and the Global Order: From the Modern State to Global
Governance. Polity.
Evans, Peter. 1997. “The Eclipse of the State? Reflections on Stateness in an Era of
Globalization.” World Politics 50(1): 62-87.
Held, David and Mathias Koenig-Archibugi. 2003. Taming Globalization: Frontiers of
Governance, Polity Press.
Grande, Edgar and Louis Pauly. 2004. Reconstituting Political Authority: Complex Sovereignty
and the Foundations of Global Governance. Toronto University Press.
Seminar 4: Liberal Internationalism: Between Realism and Cosmopolitanism
McGrew, Anthony. 2003. “Liberal Internationalism: Between Realism and Cosmopolitanism.” In
Governing Globalization: Power, Authority, and Global Governance, eds. David Held and
Anthony McGrew. Polity.
Keohane, Robert. 2001. “Governance in a Partially Globalized World.” American Political
Science Review 95(1): 1-13.
Further reading:
Keohane, Robert and Joseph Nye. 1971. Transnational Relations and World Politics. Harvard
University Press.
Keohane, Robert and Joseph Nye. 1977. Power and Interdependence. Addison Wesley Longman.
Keohane, Robert and Lisa Martin. 1995. “The Promise of Institutionalist Theory.” International
Security 20(1): 39-51.
Ikenberry, G. 2001. “American Power and the Empire of Capitalist Democracy.” Review of
International Studies 27: 191-213.
Foot, et. al., eds. 2003. American Hegemony and International Organizations. Oxford University
Rosenau, James. 2002. “Governance in a New Global Order.” In Governing Globalization:
Power, Authority, and Global Governance, eds. David Held and Anthony McGrew. Polity.
Hall, Rodney Bruce and Thomas Biersteker, eds. The Emergence of Private Authority in Global
Governance. Cambridge University Press.
Slaughter, Anne-Marie. 2004. A New World Order. Princeton University Press.
Seminar 5: Transnational Politics and Domestic Change
Risse-Kappen, Thomas. 1995. “Bringing Transnational Relations Back In: Introduction.” In
Bringing Transnational Relations Back In: Non-State Actors, Domestic Structures and
International Institutions, ed. Thomas Risse-Kappen. Cornell University Press.
Risse, T.; S. Ropp; and K. Sikkink. 1999. “The Socialization of International Human Rights
Norms into Domestic Practices: Introduction” (1-38). In The Power of Human Rights:
International Norms and Domestic Change. Cambridge University Press.
Seminar 6: Complex Multilateralism
O’Brien, Robert; Anne Marie Goetz; Jan Aart Scholte; and Marc Williams. 2000. Contesting
Global Governance: Multilateral Economic Institutions and Global Social Movements.
Cambridge University Press. Chapter 1: “Contesting Governance: Multilateralism and global
social movements” (1-23) and Chapter 6: “Complex multilateralism: MEIs and GSMs” (206-
Seminar 7: Towards a Transnational/Global Civil Society?
Kaldor, Mary. 2003. Global Civil Society: An Answer to War. Polity. “Five Meanings of Global
Civil Society” (1-14); “Globalization, the State, and War” (109-141); “September 11: The Return
of the ‘Outside’” (141-160).
Further reading:
Amoore, Louise and Paul Langley. 2004. “Ambiguities of Global Civil Society.” Review of
International Studies 30: 89-110.
Florini, Ann, ed. 2000. The Third Force: The Rise of Transnational Civil Society. Carnegie
Endowment for International Peace.
Anheier, Helmut; Marlies Glasius; and Mary Kaldor. 2001, 2002. Global Civil Society. Oxford
University Press.
Keane, J. 2003. Global Civil Society. Cambridge University Press.
Seminar 8: The Transnational/Global State
Robinson, William. 2004. “The Transnational State” (85-144). A Theory of Global Capitalism:
Production, Class, and State in a Transnational World. Johns Hopkins University Press.
Further reading:
Shaw, Martin. 2000. Theory of the Global State: Globality as an Unfinished Revolution.
Cambridge University Press.
Robinson, William. 2003. Transnational Conflicts: Central America, Social Change, and
Globalization. Verso.
Hardt, Michael and Antonio Negri. 2000. Empire. Harvard University Press.
Sklair, Leslie. 2001. The Transnational Capitalist Class. Blackwells.
Cox, Robert. 1986. “Social Forces, States and World Orders: Beyond International Relations
Theory” (204-251) in Neorealism and its Critics, ed. Robert Keohane. Columbia University Press.
Drainville, André. 1998. “The Fetishism of Global Civil Society: Global Governance,
Transnational Urbanism and Sustainable Capitalism in the World Economy.” In Transnationalism
from Below, eds. Michael Peter Smith and Luis Eduardo Guarnizo. Transaction.
Seminar 9: International Organizations
Barnett, Michael and Martha Finnemore. 1999. “The Politics, Power and Pathologies of
International Organizations.” International Organization 53 (4): 699-732.
Further reading:
Barnett, Michael and Martha Finnemore. 2005. “The Power of Liberal International
Organizations” (161-184). In Power in Global Governance, eds. Michael Barnett and Raymond
Duvall. Cambridge University Press.
Cronin, B. 2002. “The Two Faces of the United Nations: The Tension between
Intergovernmentalism and Transnationalism.” Global Governance 8(1): 53-71.
Barnett, Michael and Martha Finnemore. 2004. Rules for the World: International Organizations
in Global Politics. Cornell University Press.
Keohane, Robert and Joseph Nye. 2003. “Redefining Accountability for Global Governance.” In
Governance in a Global Economy: Political Authority in Transition, eds. Miles Kahler and David
Lake. Princeton University Press.
Seminar 10: International Courts
Snyder, Jack and Leslie Vinjamuri. 2003/04. “Trials and Errors: Principle and Pragmatism in
Strategies of International Justice.” International Security 28, No. 3.
** Read on-line: Marlies Glasius. December 2003. “How Activists Shaped the Court.” Access at
Further reading:
Slaughter, Anne Marie. 2004. “Judges: Constructing a Global Legal System.” A New World
Order. Princeton University Press.
Falk, Richard. 1999. “The Pursuit of International Justice: Present Dilemmas and an Imagined
Future.” Journal of International Affairs 52(2): 430-449.
Scharf, P. 1999. “Responding to Rwanda: Accountability Mechanisms in the Aftermath of
Genocide.” Journal of International Affairs 52(2): 621-46.
Seminar 11: International Non-Governmental Organizations
Boli, John and George Thomas. 1999. Constructing World Culture: International
Nongovernmental Organizations Since 1875. Stanford University Press (hand-outs).
Further reading:
Galtung, D. “A Global Network to Curb Corruption: The Experience of Transparency
International.” In The Third Force: The Rise of Transnational Civil Society. Carnegie
Endowment for Peace.
Uvin Peter. 2000. "Think Large and Act Small: Toward a New Paradigm for Development
NGOs." World Development.
Uvin, Peter. 1995. “Scaling up the grass roots and scaling down the summit: The relations
between Third World Non-governmental Organisations and the United Nations.” Third World
Quarterly 16 (3): 493-513.
Seminar 12: Transnational Social Movements I
Appaduri, Arjun. “Grassroots Globalization and the Research Imagination.” In Globalization, ed.
Arjun Appaduri. Duke University Press.
Porta, Donatella Della and Sidney Tarrow. 2004. Transnational Protest and Global Activism.
Rowman & Littlefield. “Transnational Processes and Social Activism: An Introduction” and
“Social Movements beyond Borders: Understanding Two Eras of Transnational Activism” (handouts).
Seminar 13: Transnational Social Movements II
Khagram, Sanjeev; James Riker; and Kathryn Sikkink, eds. 2002. Restructuring World Politics:
Transnational Social Movements, Networks and Norms. University of Minnesota Press. “From
Santiago to Seattle: Transnational Advocacy Groups Restructuring World Politics (3-23);
“Restructuring the Global Politics of Development: The Case of India’s Narmada Valley Dams
(206-230); “Restructuring World Politics: The Limits and Asymmetries of Soft Power” (301317).
Seminar 14: Transnational Advocacy Networks
Keck M. and Sikkink K. 1998. Activists Beyond Borders. Advocacy Networks in International
Politics. Cornell University Press. “Transnational Advocacy Networks in International Politics:
Introduction” (1-38).
Further reading for seminars 11-14:
Rose, Fred. 2000. Coalitions Across the Class Divide: Lessons from the Labor, Peace and
Environmental Movements. Cornell University Press.
Smith, Jackie and Hank Johnson, eds. 2002. Globalization and Resistance: Transnational
Dimensions of Social Movements. Rowman and Lijkttlefield.
Goodwin, J. 2001. Passionate Politics: Emotions and Social Movements. University of Chicago
Hamel, Pierre; Jan Nederveen Pieterse; Henri Lustiger-Thaler. 2001. Globalization and Social
Movements. Macmillan.
Cohen, R. and S.M. Rai, eds. 2000. Global Social Movements. Athlone Press.
Guidry, J.A. et. al. 2000. Globalization and Social Movements: Culture, Power, and the
Transnational Public Sphere. University of Michigan Press.
Porta, D. et. al. 1999. Social Movements in a Globalizing World. St. Martin’s.
Smith, J. and H. Johnston, eds. 2002. Globalization and Resistance: Transnational Dimensions of
Social Movements. Rowman & Littlefield.
Edwards, Michael and J. Gaventa, eds.. 2001. Global Citizen Action. Lynne Reiner.
Boli J and J. Thomas J, eds. 1999. Constructing World Culture: International Nongovernmental
Organizations Since 1875. Stanford University Press.
Brown L.D. 1998. The Struggle for Accountability: the World Bank, NGOs, and Grassroots
Movements. MIT Press.
Della Porta, D.; Hanspeter K.; Rucht, D, eds. 1999. Social Movements in a Globalizing World.
London: Macmillan.
Evangelista M. 1999. Unarmed Forces: Transnational Relations and the Demise of the Soviet
Threat. Cornell University Press.
Guidry JA, Kennedy MD, Zald MN. 2001. Globalizations and Social Movements: Culture,
Power, and the Transnational Public Sphere. University of Michigan Press.
Seminar 15: The European Union as a laboratory for global polity?
Jørgensen, K. and B. Rosamond. 2001. “Europe: A Laboratory for a Global Polity?” (189-206) in
M. Ougaard and R. Higgott, eds. Towards a Global Polity. Routledge.
Further reading:
Greven, Michael and Louis Pauly. 2001. Democracy beyond the State? The European Dilemma
and Emerging Global Order.
Seminar 16: Trans-European Contentious Politics
Imig Doug and Sidney Tarrow, eds. 2001a. Contentious Europeans: Protest and Politics in an
Emerging Polity. Rowman & Littlefield. “Studying Contention in an Emerging Polity” (3-26);
“Mapping the Europeanization of Contention: Evidence from a Quantitative Data Analysis (2749).
Further reading:
Berezin, Mabel and Martin Schain, eds. 2003. Europe Without Borders: Territory, Citizenship
and Identity in a Transnational Age. Cornell University Press.
Imig D. and S. Tarrow S. 1999. “Europeanization of movements? A new approach to
transnational contention.” In Social Movements in a Globalising World, ed. D della Porta, H
Kriesi, D Rucht, Macmillan
Seminar 17: Transnational labor
O’Brien, Robert; Anne Marie Goetz; Jan Aart Scholte; and Marc Williams. 2000. Contesting
Global Governance: Multilateral Economic Institutions and Global Social Movements.
Cambridge University Press. “The World Trade Organization and Labour” (67-108)
Film screening: Bread and Roses (Ken Loach, 2002)
Further reading:
O’Brien, Robert. 2001. “Workers and World Order: The Tentative Transformation of the
International Union Movement.” Review of International Studies 26(4): 533-56.
Josselin, Daphne. 2001. “Back to the front line? Trade Unions in a Global Age.” In Non-State
Actors in World Politics, eds. Daphne Josselin and William Wallace. Palgrave.
Seminar 18: Environmental Social Movements
O’Brien, Robert; Anne Marie Goetz; Jan Aart Scholte; and Marc Williams. 2000. Contesting
Global Governance: Multilateral Economic Institutions and Global Social Movements.
Cambridge University Press. “The World Bank, The World Trade Organization and the
Environmental Social Movement” (109-158).
Further reading:
Wapner, Paul. 1995. “Politics Beyond the State: Environmental Activism and World Civic
Politics.” World Politics 47: 311-340.
Keck M. 1995. Social equity and environmental politics in Brazil: lessons from the rubber tappers
of Acre. Comparative Politics 27:409-413.
See journal of Global Environmental Politics.
Seminar 19: Transnational politics of human rights
Risse, Thomas. 2000. “The Power of Norms versus the Norms of Power: Transnational Civil
Society and Human Rights” (177-210). In The Third Force: The Rise of Transnational Civil
Society, ed. Ann Florini. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Further reading:
Klotz, A. 2002. “Transnational Activism and Global Transformations: The Anti-Apartheid and
Abolitionist Experiences.” European Journal of International Relations 8(1): 49-76.
Risse, T.; S. Ropp; and K. Sikkink. 1999. The Power of Human Rights: International Norms and
Domestic Change. Cambridge University Press.
Thomas D. 2000. The Helsinki Effect: International Norms, Human Rights, and the Demise of
Communism. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press
Seminar 20: Alternative globalization/transnational movements
Rojo, Raúl Enrique; Carlos R. S. Milani: and Carlos Schmidt Arturi. 2004. “Expressions of
International Contestation and Mechanisms of Domestic Control” and Immanuel Wallerstein
“The Dilemma of Open Space: the Future of the World Social Forum”. International Social
Science Journal 182, December 2004 (handouts).
Film screening: Surplus (2004)
Further reading:
Ancelovici, Marcos. 2002. “Organizing Against Globalization: The Case of ATTAC in France.”
Politics & Society 30 (3): 427-463.
Kaldor, Mary. 2000. “Civilizing Globalization? The Implications of the ‘Battle in Seattle’”
Millenium 29(1): 105-114.
Houtart, F. and F. Polet. 2001. The Other Davos: The Globalization of Resistance to the World
Economic System. Zed.
Smith, Jackie. 2002. “Globalizating Resistance: The Battle of Seattle and the Future of Social
Movements.” Mobilization 6: 1-19.
Seminar 21: Transnational criminal/terrorist networks
Mittleman, James. 2000. “Chapter 11: Globalized Organized Crime” (203-222). In The
Globalization Syndrome: Transformation and Resistance. Princeton University Press.
The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks
Upon the United States. “Al Qaeda Aims at the American Heartland.”
Further reading:
Edwards, Adam and Peter Gill. 2003. Transnational Organised Crime: Perspectives on Global
Security. Routledge.
Williams, Phil. 1999. “The Dark Side of Global Civil Society: The Role and Impact of
Transnational Criminal Organizations as a Threat to International Security.” In International
Security Management and the United Nations, eds. M. Alagappa and T. Inoguchi. United Nations
University Press.
Seminar 22: Conclusions
Centre for the Study of Global Governance
Global Policy Forum
Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation
Center for the Study of Contentious Politics at Cornell University [see also Workshop on
Transnational Contention].
Civil Society International
Transnational Institute
Transnational Communities Programme
Global Policy Forum