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Globalization and transnational social movement organizations

Smith, J (2005) Globalization and transnational social movement organizations. In: Social Movements and Organization Theory. UNSPECIFIED, 226 - 248. ISBN 9780521839495

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The transnational integration of markets and political institutions, especially prevalent in recent decades, presents new challenges for organizations of activists seeking to protect their existing rights or entitlements or to advance new claims against power holders. As national markets dissolve into a growing global marketplace, national governments have turned increasingly to international organizations to negotiate new rules about the boundaries of state authority. These interdependent and parallel processes of “globalization” (global market integration) and “internationalization” (the increasing importance of relations between nations)1 substantially transform the character of the organizational fields in which social movements seek to pursue their interests. This chapter draws from the insights of social movement and organizational scholarship to analyze the changes in the global political economy that are most relevant for social movement actors. It explores whether and how these changes have influenced the character of the population of transnational social movement organizations. The expansion of the global economy reduces the capacities of states (some more than others) to define and enact their own internal economic policies. It thereby prevents the state from carrying out its traditional functions of regulating the national economy and ensuring the welfare of its citizens. Moreover, the global legal and political environments increasingly constrain the range of policy choices available to national decision makers.


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Item Type: Book Section
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Smith, Jjgsmith@pitt.eduJGSMITH0000-0002-4808-0391
Date: 1 January 2005
Date Type: Publication
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Page Range: 226 - 248
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1017/cbo9780511791000.012
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Sociology
Refereed: Yes
ISBN: 9780521839495
Title of Book: Social Movements and Organization Theory
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 17 Mar 2014 21:06
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2021 12:55


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