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Abstract

The end of the Cold War and globalization processes have led to renewed interest in the study of transnational relations and the impact of non-state actors on world politics. Some authors praise the emergence of a global transnational civil society (Boli and Thomas, 1999; Florini, 2000; Held et al., 1999), while others denounce an increasing transnational capitalist hegemony (Gill, 1995). Both positions ascribe to non-state actors quite an extraordinary influence on outcomes in international politics. It is certainly true that transnational actors — from multinational corporations (MNCs) to International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs) — have left their mark on the international system and that we cannot even start theorizing about the contemporary world system without taking their influence into account. But there is little systematic evidence to sustain claims that the transnational ‘society world’ has somehow overtaken the ‘state world’ (see Czempiel, 1991, on these notions). Rather than analyzing transnational and interstate relations in zero-sum terms, it is more useful to study their interactions and inter-penetration. As Reinicke put it, ‘governing the global economy without governments is not an option. Yet for global governance to succeed, governments will also have to enlist the active cooperation of nonstate actors’ (Reinicke, 1998, 219). The following review of the literature tries to substantiate this point.

Keywords

Global Governance World Politics Epistemic Community Global Civil Society Transnational Actor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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  • Thomas Risse

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