ArticlePDF Available

Transnational Communities and Their Impact on the Governance of Business and Economic Activity

Article

Transnational Communities and Their Impact on the Governance of Business and Economic Activity

Abstract

The collective endeavor that has culminated in the production of this volume has allowed us to explore an interesting diversity of empirical settings in which transnational communities could be identified and seemed to play a role. In this concluding chapter, we take stock of what we can learn from a systematic comparison of transnational communities and of their role in those very different settings. Through such a comparison, we get a clear picture of the peculiar nature of communities with a transnational scale and scope. In the first section of the conclusion, we outline some key findings in that regard. In the second section, we then reflect more particularly on the impact that transnational communities have on the governance of business and economic activity. The nature of transnational communities: outlining some key findings, In the introduction to this volume, we suggested five structuring and defining features of transnational communities. First, they represent, for their members, one among several community affiliations. Second, members are cosmopolitans but usually of a “rooted” kind. Third, transnational communities are imagined communities of a fluid and dynamic nature. Fourth, they exhibit a fair amount of within-community diversity. Fifth and finally, transnational communities are time-bound, non-essential and non-permanent collectives. After our journey through a multiplicity of diverse empirical settings, we should reflect a bit more on those five defining features – asking ourselves, in particular, how they might play out in the governance activities of transnational communities.
C:/ITOOLS/WMS/CUP/694201/WORKINGFOLDER/DJI/9780521518789C01.3D
3
[3–36] 9.1.2010 6:27AM
1 Transnational communities and
governance
Marie-Laure Djelic and Sigrid Quack
The dichotomy of Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft, as coined originally by
Ferdinand Tönnies, has profoundly shaped the use of the concept of com-
munityin the social sciences (Tönnies 2002 [1897]). As shown by Renate
Mayntz in this volume, the term community,when used alone and not
qualied, still tends to suggest close-knit if not primary groups with rich
emotional ties. It also conjures up geography and bounded space, local con-
nectedness and physical proximity.
As such, the concept of community often stands in an awkward position in
the study of contemporary, dierentiated, andindividualist societies. It has been
mobilized descriptively to suggest the resilience of certain traditional ties, even
in the context of rapid individualization and dierentiation (Park and Burgess
1921; Park 1952). It has also been used normatively to argue for the need to
preserve such forms of close-knit social organization in the face of progressive
social anomie and disintegration (Bellah et al. 1985; Putnam 2000). On the
whole, however, the decline of community (Gemeinschaft) has tended to be
contrasted with the progress of Gesellschaft understood as an association of
individual and dierentiated members coming together more or less perma-
nently, mostly to serve their own interests. In contemporary literature, an urge
to reconcile the term communitywith the evolution of our world including
the progress of Gesellschaft as a dominant form of social organization more or
less everywhere is palpable. This urge often manifests itself in the use of the
term in a qualied fashion as in communities of limited liability(Janowitz
1952), communities of interest,”“epistemic communities,or communities of
practice(Wenger 1998; Haas 1992a, 1992b; see also Mayntz in this volume).
Exploring the notion of community
We propose that there may be a need to go one step further and to question
altogether the stark dichotomy and evolutionary polarity theorized by
C:/ITOOLS/WMS/CUP/694201/WORKINGFOLDER/DJI/9780521518789C01.3D
4
[3–36] 9.1.2010 6:27AM
Tönnies. In fact, we already nd support for this proposition in the work of
some of Tönniess best known contemporaries.
Moving beyond dichotomies . . .
In a review of Tönniesbook Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft (Tönnies 2002
[1897]), Emile Durkheim made it clear that he did not follow the logic
advocated by the author to its conclusion. He stopped short, in particular, of
systematically opposing modern society and a sense of community.
Durkheims argument was as follows:
I believe that the life of large social aggregates is entirely as natural as that of small
aggregates ... Beyond purely individual movements, there is in our contemporary
societies a genuinely collective activity that is as natural as that of smaller societies of
former times. It is dierent, to be sure; it is of a dierent sort but between these two
species of the same kind, as dierent as they might be, there is no dierence in nature.
(Durkheim 1889: 8)
1
In his own work, Durkheim contrasted societies regulated by mechanical
solidarityon the one hand and those characterized by what he called organic
solidarityon the other (Durkheim 1984 [1893]). The latter type of societies
reected the progress of dierentiation and individualization, as well as
organic complementarities symbolized by an intense division of labor. Still,
according to Durkheim, even in the most modern of our societies the social
link normally should not disappear. That is, it could, but in that case we would
be on the way towards social pathology characterized in particular by
anomie and revealed by increasing rates of suicide (Durkheim 1997 [1897]).
The social link, the collective consciousness, the totem that brought group or
society members together was naturally bound to change its form in those
societies. Its profound nature and function, however, essentially remained
unchanged. As Durkheim argued:
no society can exist that does not feel the need at regular intervals to sustain and
rearm the collective feelings and ideas that constitute its unity and personality.
(Durkheim 2001 [1912]: 322)
A complete reading of the work of Durkheim thus suggests the persistence
of community in the midst of society, not as an archaic remnant but as a
reinvented and adapted form of social connection.
If we look closely, we nd that Max Weber reached similar conclusions, also
taking his distance, as it were, from Tönniess strong dichotomy. Weber
4 Marie-Laure Djelic and Sigrid Quack
C:/ITOOLS/WMS/CUP/694201/WORKINGFOLDER/DJI/9780521518789C01.3D
5
[3–36] 9.1.2010 6:27AM
contrasted communal social relations and associative ones. A social relation-
ship he called communal(Vergemeinschaftung)if and so far as the orienta-
tion of social action is based on a subjective feeling of the parties, whether
aectual or traditional, that they belong together.In contrast, he labeled
associative(Vergesellschaftung) those relationships where the orientation
of social action rests on a rationally motivated adjustment of interests or a
similarly motivated agreement, whether the basis of rational judgment be
absolute values or reasons of expediency(Weber 1978: 40). Webers level of
analysis was the relationship and not society as a whole. This allowed him to
bypass the evolutionary polarity proposed by Tönnies. This level of analysis
made it possible to acknowledge and allow for the permanent coexistence to
dierent degrees and in dierent forms, naturally of a sense of community
and associative dierentiation. According to Weber,
[t]he great majority of social relationships has this characteristic [communal] to some
degree, while being at the same time to some degree determined by associative
factors. ... Every social relationship that goes beyond the pursuit of immediate
common ends, which hence lasts for long periods, involves relatively permanent
social relationships between the same persons and these cannot be exclusively con-
ned to the technically necessary activities. (Weber 1978: 41)
What we can draw from this is that any social aggregate coming together around
a common end, objective, or project for a certain period of time could eventually
come to exhibit a sense of community. This would naturally vary in degree,
intensity, and forms of expression. Weber provides us with further tools to
recognize community when we see it. The simple existence, he tells us, of a
common situation, common modes of behavior, or a common feeling is not
enough to allow us to talk of community. A communal relationship implies, rst
of all, a relationship. This means that individuals in a similar situation or
predicament should come to do more than simply coexist. They should engage
with each other and reciprocally around that situation or predicament. The social
relationship that emerges in the process can become communalif this reci-
procal engagement generates feelings of belonging together(Weber 1978: 42).
Georg Simmel proposed a slightly dierent but compatible approach to the
issue, also distancing himself somewhat from the strong dichotomy suggested
by Tönnies. Simmel saw the progress of individualization as coming together
with a transformation (and not the disappearance) of social bonds. Individual
dierentiation came together, in fact, with an opening up of narrow social
circles and with the emergence of new forms of social belonging. In reality,
individualization opened up the possibility of and created the need for
5 Transnational communities and governance
C:/ITOOLS/WMS/CUP/694201/WORKINGFOLDER/DJI/9780521518789C01.3D
6
[3–36] 9.1.2010 6:27AM
belonging to a multiplicity of more or less interconnected social groups or
communities. In the words of Simmel,
dierentiation and individualization loosen the bond of the individual with those who
are most near in order to weave in its place a new one both real and ideal with
those who are more distant. (Simmel 1971: 256)
The use of a counterexample allows him to clarify this argument further:
The insularity of the caste [in India] maintained by an internal uniformity no less
strict than its exclusion of outsiders seems to inhibit the development of what one
has to call a more universal humanity, which is what makes relationships between
racial aliens possible. (Simmel 1971: 256)
In other words, social links, group belonging, and community feeling do not
disappear with the progress of dierentiation and individualization far from
it. The meaning and form associated with these notions is certainly bound to
change in the process. But in the event we might even witness an intensica-
tion of the possibilities for social belonging and hence a multiplication of
community forms.
Norbert Elias makes a dierent and quite interesting contribution to this
discussion (Elias 1974). He also moves away from the stark dichotomy
theorized by Tönnies, while calling for a recontextualization of the study of
communities. The development and transformation of communities, he
argues, cannot be understood in isolation from the development of society
as a whole, particularly in relation to state formation. Communities exist, Elias
tells us, in less or more dierentiated societies alike but their features and
structures vary markedly, depending on the degree of dierentiation of the
society. In more dierentiated societies, communities tend to be less dier-
entiated. The process is the following. As societies become more complex and
dierentiated, many of the prerogatives and decision-making powers tradi-
tionally exercised at the community level move upwards and are taken up at
higher levels of integration (that is, at the level of the region or of the nation-
state). In Eliass own words: The scope and dierentiation of functions at the
community level decreases as those at other levels of integration [national in
particular, authorscomment] increase(Elias 1974: xxxixxxii).
. . . to a focus on process
These types of contingency perspectives on communities turn our attention to
dynamics and processes. Seen from this angle, communities are no longer static,
6 Marie-Laure Djelic and Sigrid Quack
C:/ITOOLS/WMS/CUP/694201/WORKINGFOLDER/DJI/9780521518789C01.3D
7
[3–36] 9.1.2010 6:27AM
essentialist structures. They are uid, relational constructs, constantly on the
move and in process. We should consider, rather than communities, processes
of community formation, maintenance, decline, and even disintegration.
Weber has underscored the importance of timein community-building
atimethat could be reduced to more or less long periods,but did not
suggest eternity. According to Weber, social aggregates coming together
around common ends, objectives, projects, or identity-building can poten-
tially become communities and one of the conditions for this is their
inscription in time (Weber 1978: 4043). Community-building and mainte-
nance are very much processes set in time. Weber did not take the next step,
but one can easily extend the argument to consider community decline or
disintegration. A community that has been built up and sustained over time
could certainly become threatened, weakened, or even destroyed, too, under
certain conditions and pressures. Hence, any kind of community should be
understood as a time-bound entity and construction, and not as a necessary,
permanent, timeless, or essential collective.
Simmel provides a slightly dierent perspective on this question of tempor-
ality. In less dierentiated societies, community-belonging has a tendency to
be quite stable and limited to a small number of proximate groups that the
individual, on the whole, does not choose.In a dierentiated and indivi-
dualized society, every single one of us enjoys much greater freedom to
associate with or, on the contrary, to leave or dissociate from dierent social
circles or communities. Hence, individual involvement in particular commu-
nities could turn out to be only temporary naturally with a great deal of
variation. Morris Janowitz (1952) comes up with a vivid image of what this
implies. He coins the term community of limited liabilityto describe the
temporal inscription of community involvement and belonging. The notion of
community of liability
emphasizes that in a highly mobile society, people may participate extensively in local
institutions and develop community attachments, yet be prepared to leave those
communities if local conditions fail to satisfy immediate needs or aspirations.
(Suttles 1972: 48)
Janowitz originally coined this term to describe the partial and temporally
bound involvement of individuals in local communities. However, the notion
can apply more broadly to communities in general, even when they are not
associated with local territory or physical proximity. According to Janowitz,
the notion of community of limited liabilityalso suggested the possibility
that members were dierentially involved and invested at any point in time.
7 Transnational communities and governance
C:/ITOOLS/WMS/CUP/694201/WORKINGFOLDER/DJI/9780521518789C01.3D
8
[3–36] 9.1.2010 6:27AM
A community did not imply, nor did it require, the same type of intense
involvement on the part of all its members. In fact, a community could even
survive with only a small minority of active custodians.The rest of the
membership could be connected in a more passive manner (Janowitz 1952;
Suttles 1972: 9).
The contingency perspective can be taken one step further. We can think of
communities as being actively constructed and shaped over time by members
or individuals involved in one way or another. The web of multiple group
aliations, as described by Simmel (1955 [1908]), suggests a multiplicity of
latent identities that can all generate community mobilization. Out of their
situated interactions with many dierent others,people select and give
priority to certain relations and connections. Over time, naturally, we should
not forget that orders of priority may change. Hence, a particular individual
may give priority through time to dierent relations and connections. If
reciprocated, the orientation to particular relations can become the founda-
tion of community construction. Processes of community construction imply,
in turn, the stabilization of collective identities. These collective identities, at
any point in time, unite but also dierentiate a given member set. The
construction of communities hence also implies in parallel the setting up
and structuration of social boundaries. Exclusion and separation are the
other face of community inclusion and belonging.
The notion of social boundaries is an old one in sociology, at the core of the
classical contributions of Durkheim, Weber, and Marx. Social boundaries are
called into being by the exigencies of social interactionand become estab-
lished as communities interact in some ways or others with entities from
which they are, or wish to be distinguished(Cohen 1985: 12). The collective
identity of a community thus becomes constituted through the dialectical
interplay of processes of internal but also external denition (Jenkins 1996;
Lamont and Molnár 2002). Simmel went a step further in the exploration of
the notion of social boundaries when he placed the individual at the center of
multiple group aliations. Boundary-making and boundary-spanning activ-
ities should be conceived, then, as happening in parallel, across and between a
multiplicity of communities. This obviously generates signicant complexity
and uidity, and calls for a focus on dynamics and processes.
The symbolic construction of community
Simmels argument that dierentiation and individualization mean both a
weakening of local links and a greater likelihood of community bonds at a
8 Marie-Laure Djelic and Sigrid Quack
C:/ITOOLS/WMS/CUP/694201/WORKINGFOLDER/DJI/9780521518789C01.3D
9
[3–36] 9.1.2010 6:27AM
distance points us towards the symbolic dimension of communities. This
symbolic construction is attributable both to the members of those commu-
nities and to those standing outside, all the more as they exchange and
interact. Cliord Geertz dened man as an animal suspended in the webs
of signicance he himself has spun(1975: 5). For a number of contemporary
social anthropologists and sociologists, communities are best understood as
being progressively turned or woven into symbolic constructs. As such, a
community becomes for individual members a resource and repository of
meaning, and a referent of their identity(Cohen 1985: 118).
The notion of symbolic construction makes communities conceivable even
in the absence of direct and regular contact or interaction. Benedict Anderson
argued as much when he explored the emergence of nations as imagined
communities(Anderson 2006). In his words:
A community is imagined if its members will never know most of their fellow-
members, meet them or even hear of them, yet in the mind of each lives the image
of their communion. (Anderson 2006: 6)
Anderson describes the emergence of nation-states as reecting the symbolic
construction of a unique type of political community. Towards the end of the
eighteenth century, the nation as a community developed out of the conu-
ence and convergence of dierent historical forces. The nation-state emerged
progressively as an imagined community bounded by well-dened borders
and acting as a sovereign entity in at least theoretical independence of
others. The development of capitalism combined with the emergence of
publishing to allow for the emergence of those imagined communities.
Nation-states as imagined communities were then shaped in distinctive
ways by social groups in dierent parts of the world. Local languages often
played an important if not determinant role in the mobilization of a perceived
common identity in those young nations. Once it had been established, the
nation as an imagined community attained the character of a model. It was
then diused, applied, merged, and fused, across the world, with dierent
political and ideological frames.
While the nation as an imagined community has in many respects unique
features, it nevertheless shares its symbolic character with many other types of
communities. Benedict Anderson acknowledges as much when he proposes
that all communities larger than primordial villages of face-to-face contact
(and perhaps even these) are imagined(Anderson 2006: 6). All communities
thus could be envisioned and redened as imagined communities.What
makes the nation unique and distinct as a community is that symbolic
9 Transnational communities and governance
C:/ITOOLS/WMS/CUP/694201/WORKINGFOLDER/DJI/9780521518789C01.3D
10
[3–36] 9.1.2010 6:27AM
construction there largely transcends the social links connecting members.
Furthermore, the success of the nation and associated nation-state as a model
is quite unparalleled. This model has diused and institutionalized success-
fully across the world as a core imagined political and social community.
Imagined communities are collective attractors but they are also polarizing
entities. The imagined community is constituted as much through shared
belonging and meaning inside as through dierentiation and separation from
the outside. Social anthropologist Anthony Cohen summarizes this quite well
when he claims that
[t]he quintessential referent of community is that its members make, or believe they
make, a similar sense of things either generally or with respect to specic and
signicant interests, and, further, that they think that that sense may dier from
one made elsewhere. (Cohen 1985: 16)
This should not be taken to mean that imagined communities are perfectly
homogeneous and tightly bounded spheres, however. In fact, imagined com-
munities do not necessarilysuggest the same things for all their members. Their
very nature as webs of signicanceor webs of meaningleaves room for
variation. Even though a sense of belonging can be broadly shared, the parti-
cular meaning associated with the community, as well as the understanding of
community boundaries, can vary between members. While communities are
constituted by culture and function as culture, they also generate and dene
tool kitsthat members or for that matter non-members can use to
strategize upon the further development and symbolic constitution of those
communities (Swidler 1986). An understanding of communities as being at the
same time relational, social, and symbolic constructs allows us to conceive of
communities as being dierentially homogeneous with respect to shared mean-
ings. Some communities can be relatively uniform and exhibita common way
of thinking, feeling and believing(Kluckhohn 1962: 25). Dierentiated socie-
ties might be populated, on the other hand, by increasing numbers of internally
more pluralist communities, consisting of a mélange or variety of ways of
thinking, feeling, and believing that dierent members attach to the community.
Of course, there are limits to such aggregation. The community can be a
container of diversities but within bounds. At the same time as the com-
munity can accommodate diversities it also keeps them within limits. In the
words of Cohen:
The triumph of community is to so contain this variety that its inherent discordance
does not subvert the apparent coherence which is expressed by its boundaries. If the
members of a community come to feel that they have less in common with each other
10 Marie-Laure Djelic and Sigrid Quack
C:/ITOOLS/WMS/CUP/694201/WORKINGFOLDER/DJI/9780521518789C01.3D
11
[3–36] 9.1.2010 6:27AM
than they have with the members of some other community, clearly, the boundaries
have become anomalous and the integrity of the communitythey enclose has been
severely impugned. (Cohen 1985: 20)
Taking stock what does it take to talk of community?
This exploration of classical and more current debates around the notion of
community allows us to draw up a number of propositions. The progress of
dierentiation and individualization associated with modern and postmodern
societies neither destroys nor threatens the possibility of community feeling.
Traditional communities can survive even if they come to be transformed. But
what is more interesting is the increasing possibility for dierent forms of
community-building. In more dierentiated and individualized societies,
individuals have the possibility to enter into and belong to a multiplicity of
more or less open, more or less interconnected, more or less distant commu-
nities. These communities reect and build upon social interactions but they
are also symbolic constructions. A rethinking of community along the lines
proposed here makes it possible to think of community-building even in the
absence of local territory and physical proximity (see also Mayntz in this
volume). It shows, furthermore, that an imagined community, once estab-
lished, is conceivable even in the absence of much direct and regular interac-
tion or social interconnection.
Hence, we can propose here that territory and physical proximity, not to
mention direct interaction, are neither necessary nor dening components of
the concept of community. Territory, physical proximity, and direct interac-
tion dene one particular form important, but only one amongst others in
which a sense of community has expressed itself and expresses itself in human
history. We suggest moving away from rigid evolutionary frames and from a
picture of social transformation that follows a linear sense of time where, for
example, tightly knit and localized communities would precede in time dis-
tant, loosely tied, and more dierentiated communities. Only then can we
understand and explain the existence, as early as the Middle Ages, of com-
munities that had little to do with a traditional sense of Gemeinschaft.
Anderson describes what he calls classicalor pre-nationalcommunities,
which existed and thrived in spite of physical distance, virtuality,absence of
common territory, and even lack of direct interaction, and this well before the
kind of technologies we are familiar with today. The Roman Catholic Church,
its associated Europeanuniversities, and the transregional commercial
11 Transnational communities and governance
C:/ITOOLS/WMS/CUP/694201/WORKINGFOLDER/DJI/9780521518789C01.3D
12
[3–36] 9.1.2010 6:27AM
guilds are amongst the examples that Anderson identies and discusses
(Anderson 2006: 15).
Moving from there, it is easy to understand that similarity and homogeneity
particularly those stemming from ascriptive characteristics are not indis-
pensable either. They can naturally serve as the basis of community-building,
but community-building is also possible around a limited convergent object
with an only partial sense of belonging between individuals that remain
otherwise profoundly dierent. Community-building in an individualizing
and dierentiating society might increasingly be taking place through the
relational and symbolic connection of individuals, who might be extremely
dierent from each other in many respects. Community-building might be
happening successfully in spite of these dierences (Simmel 1971: 251.).
Finally, a related reection leads us to question also the absolute requirement
of long-term, if not permanent, bonds as the measure of community, as often
assumed in classical community studies (Bell and Newby 1974). The under-
standing of community as promoted in particular by Weber and Simmel, and
later on by Janowitz, points to much more exible congurations, in which
individuals can be connected to communities for only a limited period of time
and communities themselves are social forms changing signicantly through
time.
To bring together and summarize this discussion, we would therefore
suggest that a number of attributes traditionally associated with the notion
of community are possible but not necessary. They dene and characterize
certain types of community, but a community does not have to exhibit those
features in order to be one. Below is a list of those possible but non-necessary
attributes:
!Bounded territory
!Physical proximity
!Direct and regular interactions
!Similarity and homogeneity
!Ascriptive bond
!Permanence and stability
If these attributes are not necessary to the concept of community, the next
question concerns which dimensions in fact structure and dene that concept.
What does it take to talk of community? Building upon the discussion we
had above, at this point we can oer a proposition.
We can talk of community when a social aggregate is characterized by the
mutual orientation of members. This mutual orientation is articulated around
a common constructed or imagined identity and/or a common project.
12 Marie-Laure Djelic and Sigrid Quack
C:/ITOOLS/WMS/CUP/694201/WORKINGFOLDER/DJI/9780521518789C01.3D
13
[3–36] 9.1.2010 6:27AM
This mutual orientation creates a form of dependence between members. The
common identity or project, furthermore, is constructed, sustained, or
defended through a form of active engagement and involvement on the part
of at least a minority of members. All this activity translates into and sustains a
sense of belonging. The bullets below are a summary presentation of those
constitutive dimensions or necessary attributes.
!Mutual orientation of members;
!Articulated around a common identity and/or a common project;
!A sense of reciprocal dependence;
!A form of active engagement and involvement from at least a minority of
members;
!All this translating into and sustaining a sense of belonging.
Bringing the notion of community into the study
of transnational phenomena
In the notion of the nation as imagined community, the symbolic construct
reaches well beyond direct social relations and physical networks. The nation
as imagined community implies a sense of belonging to a social and political
formation much larger than the local and face-to-face communities that the
concept of Gemeinschaft traditionally summons up. The nation as a commu-
nity carries with it a symbolic meaning with potentially signicant scope and
reach. Anderson provided a convincing description of how, in the process of
nation-building, one particular social identity among others came to be carved
out and shaped as a collectively shared mindset (Anderson 2006 [1983]).
Anderson also underscored the important institutional work involved in the
stabilization and diusion of that mindset, in particular through the socializa-
tion and control of current members and future generations.
Our world, however, can no longer be understood if it ever could as
expressing an international concert of nations,where national sovereignty
combines with a Westphalian balance of power.Most spheres of economic
and social life, in most corners of the world, are not only constrained by
national communities and their associated institutions but also become
enmeshed in transnational dynamics. We live in a world in which order-
creating capacities are no longer reducible to nation-state power (Held 1995).
Transnational governance has been a reality of our world for quite some time.
The nation-state is not disappearing but it has to accept the signicance of
13 Transnational communities and governance
C:/ITOOLS/WMS/CUP/694201/WORKINGFOLDER/DJI/9780521518789C01.3D
14
[3–36] 9.1.2010 6:27AM
transnational governance and adapt to it (Jordana and Levi-Faur 2004; Djelic
and Sahlin-Andersson 2006; Djelic and Quack 2008; Graz and Nölke 2008).
The current nancial and economic crisis will possibly only reinforce this
trend, and calls for global governance with more bite are being heard in all
policy-making circles (for example, Daily Telegraph 2008; Zeng 2008; G20
2009).
2
We need, as a consequence, to t our conceptual tools to the multi-
level nature of contemporary governance (Djelic and Quack 2008). We
suggest in that context that bringing the notion of community into the
study of transnational governance can be extremely useful.
Naturally, we do not have to start from scratch. First, we can draw inspira-
tion and insights from various contributions that have brought the notion of
community to the study of global processes such as migration, social and
political activism, or expertise. Second, we can build upon a budding attempt
to consider transnational governance elds as social but also potentially
symbolic arenas (Morgan 2001; Djelic and Sahlin-Andersson 2006). In the
remainder of this section, we explore those dierent contributions to see what
happens when we bring the notion of community into the study of transna-
tional phenomena.
Transnational migration
Arst important strand of literature points to the increasing geographical
extension, across local and national borders, of naturalcommunities, that is,
communities based on ascriptive characteristics such as ethnicity or kinship
(Wyman 1993; Soysal 1994; Portes 2000). In a seminal article, Alejandro
Portes (2000: 254) states:
What common people have done, in response to the process of globalization, is to
create communities that sit astride political borders and that, in a very real sense, are
neither here nor therebut in both places simultaneously.
Transnational communities, in that sense, are composed primarily of
migrants and of relatives and friends of migrants. Those communities tend
to be seen as emerging from the aggregation of multiple grassroots initiatives.
They are cultural and social containers, reproducers and transformers. They
facilitate local integration while at the same time maintaining real and sym-
bolic connections with the original cradle of the community. They can
articulate themselves around political projects both in the home and the
host countries but also very much at the interconnection of the two.
Communities constructed around processes of transnational migration
14 Marie-Laure Djelic and Sigrid Quack
C:/ITOOLS/WMS/CUP/694201/WORKINGFOLDER/DJI/9780521518789C01.3D
15
[3–36] 9.1.2010 6:27AM
often also have an economic dimension and reality. They embed and generally
facilitate microeconomic initiatives. The latter tend to materialize around the
exploitation of structural advantages stemming from the existence of national
borders and/or from the capacity of members of the community to cross those
borders. According to Portes, transnational economic activity of this kind has
a cumulative and aggregative character, which means in the end
the transformation of the original pioneering economic ventures into transnational
communities, characterized by dense networks across space and by an increasing
number of people that lead dual lives. Members are at least bilingual; move easily
between dierent cultures; frequently maintain homes in two countries; and pursue
economic, political, and cultural interests that require a simultaneous presence in
both. (Portes 2000: 264)
Not all migrants, naturally, can thus be labeled transnational.Portes sug-
gests instead that the term should be reserved for those activities that require
the involvement of participants on a regular basis as a major part of their
occupation(Portes 2000: 264). Nor does every migration network constitute
a community. Instead, mutual orientation and a shared sense of identity and
belonging may vary among the members of networks, and in some instances
may be absent altogether.
Recent migration studies have increasingly pointed to everyday practices,
artifacts, and ideas as making sense of the complexity of inter-related social
relationships in migration networks (Vertovec 2001). This body of work
suggests that migrant and diaspora communities are often pluri-localin
the sense that their members maintain multiple and overlapping ties to their
region or place of departure, as well as to their place of arrival. The malleability
and changeability of migrant communities becomes particularly apparent in
what Ludger Pries (2001: 67) identies as transmigrants.
Transmigrants are moving in new pluri-local transnational social spaces where
individual and collective biographical life projects, everyday life as well as the real
objectivesequence of life stations span between dierent geographical-spatial
extensions.
The notion of transnational social spaceshas, as Thomas Faist (2000: 13)
recognizes, broadened the scope of migration studies. Beyond the movement
of people, migration studies should also consider the transnational circulation
of ideas, symbols, and material culture. Faist goes on to propose a typology of
transnational social spaces. His rst type, kinship groups,is predicated on
ties of reciprocity. His second type, transnational circuits,is structured by
15 Transnational communities and governance
C:/ITOOLS/WMS/CUP/694201/WORKINGFOLDER/DJI/9780521518789C01.3D
16
[3–36] 9.1.2010 6:27AM
instrumental exchange-based connections. For his third type he uses the label
transnational communityin a way that is perfectly compatible with the
propositions we oered in the previous section. According to Faist, transna-
tional communitiesare based on diuse solidarity with a collective identity
(Faist 2000: 20210).
The notion of transnational social spaces also raises questions about the
often presumed social and cultural homogeneity of transnational migrant
communities. The success of Chinese business networks, in particular, is
often portrayed as a by-product of a closely knit and culturally homogenous
diaspora community. Heidi Dahles (in this volume), in contrast, shows that
this community is both socially constructed and mediated through institu-
tional and policy frames, and therefore better described as a loosely connected
patchwork of partly converging and partly conicting practices and princi-
ples.In other instances, transnational circuits of exchange between dierent
ethnic groups might give rise to strategizing that leads to the formation of
trans-ethnic business communities. The case of the shuttle traders in Laleli,
Istanbul, studied by Mine Eder and Özlem Öz (in this volume) provides an
example of such a newly formed trans-ethnic and translocal community
which is nourished by its members partly for but cannot be reduced entirely
to economic reasons. Overlaps of multiple group aliation and entangled
economic and social motivations can also be observed among Chinese- and
Indian-born engineers who have worked in Silicon Valley and use their
double-community aliation to transfer technical and institutional know-
how back to the economies of their or their parentshome country (Saxenian
2005, 2006).
In sum, the most interesting recent contribution of transnational migration
studies is to make us go through the looking glass. Apparently homogeneous
and closely knit ascriptive communities in fact turn out to be socially con-
structed, hence malleable and open to transformations over time as interac-
tions of their members unfold across multiple group aliations and locations.
Transnational activism
A second strand of literature considers the progress of transnational social
formations that are activated by and around social or political issues, common
goals or interests. Interestingly, this literature has, on the whole, not used or
appropriated the term community,preferring terms such as networksor
social movements(Smith et al. 1997; Keck and Sikkink 1998; Katzenstein
et al. 1999; Guidry et al. 2000; Smith and Johnston 2002; Tarrow 2005).
16 Marie-Laure Djelic and Sigrid Quack
C:/ITOOLS/WMS/CUP/694201/WORKINGFOLDER/DJI/9780521518789C01.3D
17
[3–36] 9.1.2010 6:27AM
Margaret Keck and Kathryn Sikkink (1998) come close to the notion of
transnational community, even though they do not use the word. Keck and
Sikkink propose that
a transnational advocacy network includes those relevant actors working interna-
tionally on an issue, who are bound together by shared values, a common discourse,
dense exchanges of information and services. (Keck and Sikkink 1998: 2)
The authors talk of networksrather than of communities.Still, the descrip-
tion they propose of transnational advocacy networks as communicative
structures,as political spaces, in which dierently situated actors negotiate
formally and informally the social, cultural, and political meanings of their
joint enterprise(Keck and Sikkink 1998: 3) suggests that they are, at least
implicitly, talking about transnational networks that, in certain instances, come
close to being communities. Keck and Sikkink focus primarily on how transna-
tional advocacy networks are able to aect policy outcomes and implementa-
tion, in particular through the reformulation of issues and the reframing of
debates. This is directly applicable to our preoccupation with transnational
governance processes including regulatory outcomes and their implementa-
tion. Still, Keck and Sikkink pay much less attention to the social interactions
that might in time transform networks into communities with actor-like qua-
lities. In contrast, Mark Schrad in this volume is interested in the process
through which a budding transnational activist network with a focus on tem-
perance could, in time and step-by-step, turn into what was eectively a
transnational imagined community.
The work of Sidney Tarrow takes us in complementary and quite interest-
ing directions. Tarrow explores the role and importance of transnational
social formations that bring together around a common goal and/or common
values a multiplicity of heterogeneous members (Tarrow 2005). According to
Tarrow, transnational activists are
individuals and groups who mobilize domestic and international resources and
opportunities to advance claims on behalf of external actors, against external oppo-
nents, or in favor of goals they hold in common with transnational allies. (Tarrow
2005: 43)
Tarrow focuses on the relational dimension of transnational activist groups as
networks of heterogeneous members. Like Keck and Sikkink, he is much less
explicit when it comes to symbolic interaction and to the development of
shared understandings and meanings within those groups. Tarrow tends to
understand cosmopolitan identities as mostly the products of social relations
17 Transnational communities and governance
C:/ITOOLS/WMS/CUP/694201/WORKINGFOLDER/DJI/9780521518789C01.3D
18
[3–36] 9.1.2010 6:27AM
and he suggests, as a consequence, a focus on the relational roots of those
identities. Åge Mariussen (in this volume) is also particularly interested in the
reconciliation of diversities and heterogeneities through a common project or
agenda with transnational reach. However, he proposes to explore, beyond
mere social and relational dimensions, the ways in which activist networks
come in time to exhibit community-like features in spite of great diversity.
Similarly, Leonhard Dobusch and Sigrid Quack, and Anca Metiu (in this
volume) focus their analyses on how locally rooted activists campaigning for
open content copyright licenses and free/open software by means of virtual
networking join like-minded groups from other locations in transnational
social movements with shared orientations, mutual dependency, and com-
mon sets of norms and goals.
Tarrows cosmopolitans are, interestingly, rooted cosmopolitans,and
undeniably this is one source of diversity or heterogeneity within transnational
social formations (see also Cohen 1992). This insight and the associated
qualication of cosmopolitanismare important, we suggest, for our argument.
As we project the notion of community into transnational arenas, we should
not forget that potential members of transnational communities remain at the
very same time embedded and rooted in other, often national or more local
communities. In particular, as actors move their activities, experiences, and
cognitive references beyond and outside the boundaries of the nation-state(s)
to which they belong, they remain linked and connected to those nation-states
in various other ways. The degree, intensity, and nature of the links vary
and are essentially matters for empirical investigation. In the end, however,
we should not forget that transnational networks and communities have this
dual character. The members of transnational networks and communities
are simultaneously aliated with (multiple) networks and communities of
national, regional, or local scope. Out of those multi-level forms of aliation
and association, complementarities as well as conicts in social roles and
identities are likely to evolve. We suggest that a focus on the interaction between
the local/national and the transnational is necessary to reach a better under-
standing of the nature and role of transnational communities. Only then can we
identify and theorize the mechanisms turning transnational networks into
transnational communities. Only then can we hope to understand and account
for the specic features and functions of transnational communities as they
broker across multiple boundaries. Most chapters in this volume provide clear
evidence of rooted cosmopolitanism although there is considerable variation
as regards how deep the roots go. Most chapters also document the fact that
this is not incompatible with processes of transnational community formation.
18 Marie-Laure Djelic and Sigrid Quack
C:/ITOOLS/WMS/CUP/694201/WORKINGFOLDER/DJI/9780521518789C01.3D
19
[3–36] 9.1.2010 6:27AM
Transnational knowledge and expertise
A third interesting strand of literature points to the constitution of transna-
tional networks or communities in the process of knowledge production and
diusion. Relevant concepts are professional and epistemic communities, as
well as communities of practice.
Professional communities have typically been conceived as constituted
within modern societies bounded by nation-states, or as a community within
a community(Goode 1957). In this context, professions denote occupational
groups that, based on their abstract knowledge and practical expertise, pursue
what Margali Sarfatti Larson (1977) called a common professional project:
exclusive control over the exercise of particular knowledge and expertise in a
specic jurisdiction based on educational credentials and recognition by the
state (Abbott 1988). Professionalization in this sense inevitably involves the
formation and development of a community where members share common
professional norms and ethics, and orient their individual and group activities
towards a shared collective goal and feeling of solidarity. While cross-border
communication and exchange between professional communities has
occurred for a long time through international conferences and associations,
the contemporary period of globalization suggests the possibility of a more
profound transformation of professional communities, in particular through
transnationalization.
Research on the growth and internationalization of professional service
rms in elds such as accounting, consulting, and law has pointed to the
emergence of international networks of professionals (McKenna et al. 2003;
Morgan and Quack 2005; Faulconbridge and Muzio 2007) and the increasing
authority of expert knowledge in many transnational governance elds (Cutler
2008) and world society in general (Meyer et al. 1997). The spread of this
transnational professionalism, however, is more often than not based on a
diuse public recognition of knowledge and expertise in dealing with highly
specialized and complex matters rather than on the classical control over
licenses to practice exercised by professional associations or the state (see
Fourcade [2006] on the global profession of economists, and Kuhlmann
and Saks [2008] on new forms of professional governance of health). In this
volume, Glenn Morgan and Izumi Kubo, Asma Hussain and Marc Ventresca,
and Carlos Ramirez, explore the degree to which transnational professionalism
of this novel type gives rise to transnational communities of experts and
practitioners and how they impact on previously insulated national profes-
sional communities.
19 Transnational communities and governance
C:/ITOOLS/WMS/CUP/694201/WORKINGFOLDER/DJI/9780521518789C01.3D
20
[3–36] 9.1.2010 6:27AM
While professional communities start from a national base, epistemic
communities, as conceived by Peter Haas, are from the outset involved with
problems of global concern(Haas 1992a: 1) and therefore are transnational
in reach. In an attempt to explain the formation of policy preferences of state
actors in international politics, Haas has drawn attention to the notion of
epistemic community as
a network of professionals with recognized expertise and competence in a particular
domain and authoritative claim to policy-relevant knowledge within that domain or
issue area. (Haas 1992a: 3)
Epistemic communities may consist of professionals from a variety of dis-
ciplines, but they usually have a shared set of principled beliefs, common
causal beliefs, shared notions of validity, and a common policy enterprise.
Empirical studies of epistemic communities point to their inuence in shaping
policy agendas at the international and national level (Drake and Nicolaïdis
1992; Haas 1992b; Verdun 1999). While most of the epistemic communities
studied by Haas and his colleagues involved only a small number of members,
transnational epistemic communities can be also facelesswith members
having direct interactions only with small subsets of the community (see, for
example, the scientic epistemic communities discussed by Renate Mayntz in
this volume). They are also characterized by the absence of ascriptive bonds
and possibly even by a fair amount of diversity and heterogeneity within the
membership.
Nevertheless, epistemic communities have all it takes, eectively to be
communities. They are characterized by the mutual orientation of their
members, one which is articulated around common cognitive and/or value
frames and generally translates into some form of reciprocal dependence.
They also exhibit a degree of engagement and involvement from at least a
minority of members. This combines with socialization mechanisms that have
a broader impact. In the process, this translates into and sustains a real sense
of belonging and collective identity. While epistemic communities are
increasingly transnational, their members are likely to retain some form of
local or national presence, embeddedness, inuence, and even authority. As
the contributions by Dieter Plehwe, and Leonhard Dobusch and Sigrid Quack
(in this volume) show, this combination can allow those communities to be
powerful mechanisms at the interface between transnational and national
spheres of governance. While Dobusch and Quack in their study of an
epistemic community of copyright lawyers show how an originally US-
based community of experts gradually extended across borders and was
20 Marie-Laure Djelic and Sigrid Quack
C:/ITOOLS/WMS/CUP/694201/WORKINGFOLDER/DJI/9780521518789C01.3D
21
[3–36] 9.1.2010 6:27AM
inuential all along the rule-setting process, Plehwe points to the transna-
tional discourse community of neoliberal intellectuals that has generated the
principled beliefs underlying the activities and goals of many contemporary
epistemic communities.
Community of practiceis yet another concept that refers to transnational
collectives occupied with the development of knowledge and expertise. Etienne
Wenger (1998) used the term to describe like-minded groups of practitioners
who are oriented towards a shared interest in learning and applying a common
practice. Communities of practice operate within a knowledge domain that
endows practitioners with a sense of a joint enterprise. People become a
community of practice through relationships of mutual engagement that bind
members together into a social entity.Shared practices, in turn, are main-
tained by a repertoire of communal resources, such as routines and discursive
patterns (Wenger 1998: 7285). Communities of practice are in principle open
to outsiders because their main purpose is to introduce newcomers to the
practices of the eld, as well as to further develop the knowledge and capabil-
ities of their members. As knowledge accrues through interaction between
members, communities of practice become social entities of collective learning.
More than through direct and regular contacts, the social gluein such
communities is produced by a sharing of practices and discourse. Communities
of practice can have highly dispersed memberships across a multiplicity of
countries that are rarely in direct contact. Such communities of practice are
likely to exist in many knowledge domains, including technology, manage-
ment, nance, law and accounting, and education, but have rarely been
studied in their transnational dimension. In this volume, Anca Metiu explores
the potential of a virtual online community of free/open source developers for
knowledge transfer between industrialized and developing countries. She
nds positive spillover eects that go beyond the transfer of mere program-
ming knowledge and foster social organization in regionalized subcommu-
nities of practice. Tim Bartley and Shawna Smith (in this volume) show how
originally localized small communities gave rise to transnational communities
of certication practitioners and how initially separate certication commu-
nities in the elds of forest certication and labor are becoming increasingly
interconnected.
A slightly dierent but related use of communities of practice can be found
among scholars of international relations. Building on the work of Karl
Deutsch and colleagues (1957) in Political Community and the North
Atlantic Area, which highlighted the importance of communication between
states and mutual responsiveness for the emergence of security communities,
21 Transnational communities and governance
C:/ITOOLS/WMS/CUP/694201/WORKINGFOLDER/DJI/9780521518789C01.3D
22
[3–36] 9.1.2010 6:27AM
more recent work draws attention to the role of deliberation and learning in
transgovernmental and transnational policy networks (Nye and Keohane
1971; Risse-Kappen 1994, 1995). Emanuel Adler, in particular, has investi-
gated communities of practice in international politics (Adler 2005). In his
work on the expansion of the NATO security community to states in Central
and Eastern Europe during the 1990s, Adler (2008) shows how political
practice among NATO ocials fostered learning among old and new mem-
bers, transformed goals and identities, and helped to institutionalize a norm of
self-restraint.
While the above cited literature points to variations in the internal cohesion
of communities in their norms, values, and practices, as well as to dierent
degrees of openness to new members, studies on transnational elites, as
presented below, depict communities that are more exclusive in nature.
Transnational elites
A number of interesting insights can be found in the literature on elites. The
work of Ulf Hannerz on intellectual elites is particularly interesting. We can
also prot from the literature on power elites, though it tends to restrict its
scope to the national level and only rarely addresses the transnational.
Hannerz has studied a particular kind of transnational cosmopolitan. In his
book Cultural Complexity, written in 1992, he provides a description of
transnational intellectuals, insisting that they constitute a community with-
out boundaries.To make this more explicit, he cites George Konrad who
portrays the transnational culture of intellectuals as follows:
We may describe as transnational those intellectuals who are at home in the cultures
of other peoples as well as in their own. They keep track of what is happening in
various places. ... They have friends all over the world ... They y to visit one
another as easily as their counterparts two hundred years ago rode to the next town to
exchange ideas. (Konrad 1984: 2089, cited in Hannerz 1992: 258)
The label communities without boundariesrefers here to the relatively free
ow of like-minded individuals engaged in intellectual production and recog-
nizing each other as equals in this respect. The focus here is on ows,the
movements and interactions of a number of individuals across multiple
borders and boundaries.The focus is also on the mutual recognition of
those individuals as belonging to similar social and cognitive strata (Hannerz
1992). According to Hannerz, culture, meaning, and, as a consequence,
identities are all processual. In his words, he
22 Marie-Laure Djelic and Sigrid Quack
C:/ITOOLS/WMS/CUP/694201/WORKINGFOLDER/DJI/9780521518789C01.3D
23
[3–36] 9.1.2010 6:27AM
wanted to emphasize that only by being constantly in motion, forever being recreated,
can meanings and meaningful forms become durable ... To keep culture going,
people as actors and networks of actors have to invent culture, reect on it, experi-
ment with it, remember it (or store it in some other way), debate it and pass it on.
(Hannerz 1997: 5)
This processual picture emphasizes the multiplicity of possible ows, the
crossing of many boundaries. It also gives a sense of permanent uidity. The
sense of community that emerges is compatible with Simmels take on
the issue. Individuals are enmeshed in a web of group aliations; they belong
to multiple social circles or communities. The latter are uid constructs. The
collective sense of identity and belonging is in constant (re)construction. The
very boundaries of those communities are uid and under permanent rene-
gotiation (Hannerz 1996).
In 1956, C. Wright Mill, in The Power Elite, described the role, impact, and
power in the United States of a small group of individuals who controlled a
disproportionate amountof wealth, privilege, and leverage over decision-making
(Mills 1956; see also Domho1967). Mills insisted that this elite brought
together individuals from diverse and heterogeneous spheresbusiness, politics,
the military, the media, and academia. In spite of this internal diversity, the
American power elite shared an uneasyalliance based on a community of
interestsand even a common world view. Mills (1956: 283) described this as
follows:
Within the higher circles of the power elite, factions do exist; there are conicts of
policy; individual ambitions do clash ... But more powerful than these divisions are
the internal discipline and the community of interests that bind the power elite
together.
This power elite appears to be situated immediately upwards of and is in fact
served by professional, expert, and knowledge communities of dierent
kinds, even if some of the most prominent professionals and experts belong to
the core.
The power elite are not solitary rulers. Advisers and consultants, spokesmen and
opinion-makers are often the captains of their higher thought and decision. (Mills
1956: 4)
The notion of power elite certainly does not apply only to the United States (in
very dierent contexts, see Lannes 1940; Djilas 1957). Furthermore, this notion
can be extended across national borders. In the 1980s, theAmsterdam school
pointed to the importance of transnational power networks. Kees van der Pijl
23 Transnational communities and governance
C:/ITOOLS/WMS/CUP/694201/WORKINGFOLDER/DJI/9780521518789C01.3D
24
[3–36] 9.1.2010 6:27AM
and his colleagues explored the sociology and political economy of a transna-
tional ruling class formation (van der Pijl 1984). Transnational in this context
denotes, as Leslie Sklair (2001: 2) states, forces, processes, and institutions
that cross borders but do not derive their power and authority from the state.
Studies have identied transnational interlocks in which directors serve on the
boards of two or more corporations from dierent countries (Carroll and
Fennema 2002; Kentor and Jang 2004) and report an increase of the propor-
tion of non-domestic directors on the boards of transnational companies in
the period 19932005 (Staples 2006). Whether these networks give rise to a
sense of belonging and shared identities, however, remains an open question.
As Charles Harvey and Marie Mclean (in this volume) show in their in-depth
study of directors of the hundred largest British and French companies,
mindsets, dispositions, and predilections of corporate elites in spite of strong
national embeddedness, are opening up progressively to broader transna-
tional communities in the making. Given their multiple membership in
national and transnational communities, the impact of such power elites on
the structuring and regulation of human activity in various spheres is a
question of great relevance, particularly in the context of the current economic
crisis (Overbeek et al. 2007; Rothkopf 2008). In respect of the principled
beliefs underlying much of pre-crisis political economy, Plehwe (in this
volume) considers the community dimensions of a neoliberal transnational
intellectual elite, symbolized by the Mont Pèlerin Society, and the ways in
which it turned itself into a transnational power elite.
The transnational governance of business and the elusive
notion of community
Empirical and theoretical contributions on transnational governance all point
to the great multiplicity and variety of the actors involved (Morgan 2001; Djelic
and Quack 2003; Tamm Hallström 2004; Djelic and Sahlin-Andersson 2006;
Graz and Nölke 2008). Transnational governance processes bridge dierent
divides and, in particular, bring together actors from the business, public, and
civil society spheres. On the business side, multinational companies, service
intermediaries, professional networks, and associations or business-oriented
non-governmental organizations (BINGOs) are more or less prominently
involved. On the public side, international organizations, supranational bodies,
national governments, departments, ministries or agencies, policy networks,
public think tanks, and quasi non-governmental organizations (QUANGOs)
24 Marie-Laure Djelic and Sigrid Quack
C:/ITOOLS/WMS/CUP/694201/WORKINGFOLDER/DJI/9780521518789C01.3D
25
[3–36] 9.1.2010 6:27AM
can all be present. On the civil society side, nally, independent non-
governmental organizations, advocacy networks, academic experts, or the
media, to the extent that they can be detached from both the business and
the public spheres, are also potentially important actors (Boli and Thomas
1999; Florini 2003). Hence, insofar as the analysis of transnational governance
has been actor-centered, it has tended to focus on organizations as formal
structures and physical nodes in relational networks.
As Renate Mayntz shows in her contribution to this volume, the community-
like nature of social formations has rarely been a central focus in studies of
transnational economic governance. There are, of course, a number of inter-
esting exceptions that point the way towards useful explorations. In his
pioneering contribution, Glenn Morgan proposed that the structuring of
transnational imagined communitiesmight be an important background
process in relation to the construction and monitoring of common transna-
tional rules for the economic game (Morgan 2001). Mayntz (in this volume)
also points to the partial but growing use, in the literature on transnational
economic governance, of concepts such as epistemic communitiesor social
movementsthat suggest more than formal connections or network interac-
tions. Discussion of the dierent strands of the literature presented above
leads us to draw up a number of preliminary propositions on the nature of
communities as they play out in the transnational context and more
specically in transnational governance elds.
First, it appears that transnational communities can be seen as representing a
special instance of the de-naturalizationof community-belonging described
by Simmel (Simmel 1971). Joining and becoming part of a transnational
community qualies the adherence and connection to an imagined national
community but it does not fully displace or destroy it. Transnational commu-
nities are bound to make the web of group aliations much denser, at least for a
number of individuals (Simmel 1955). The multiple community aliations
stemming from the involvement in transnational communities de-naturalize
perceptions of traditional community adherence and belonging.
Second, members of those transnational communities and more particu-
larly those that are actively engaged and involved are cosmopolitans,but of
the rootedkind (Hannerz 1990, 1992; Cohen 1992; Ackerman 1994; Tarrow
2005). The active membership of transnational communities spends a varying
amount of time in horizontalforms of involvement pursuing the common
object of that community across and beyond a multiplicity of boundaries. Their
loyalty is strongly to that common object, project, cognitive or expert base,
or value system. In that sense, active members of transnational communities
25 Transnational communities and governance
C:/ITOOLS/WMS/CUP/694201/WORKINGFOLDER/DJI/9780521518789C01.3D
26
[3–36] 9.1.2010 6:27AM
are strangers(Simmel 1971: 14349) or cosmopolitans(Merton 1948;
Gouldner 1957; Vertovec and Cohen 2002). In the words of Jeremy Waldron,
cosmopolitansare positively viewed as individuals who do not take their
cultural identities to be dened by any bounded subset of the cultural resources
available in the world(Waldron 1992: 108). At the same time, the relevance
and impact of transnational communities as regardsdierent forms of activities,
debates, governance, or policy-makingimplies a certain form of rootednessin
local and, in particular, national groups or communities (Cohen 1992; Hannerz
1992, 1996; Tarrow 2005). Simmelsstrangeris also an element of the group
itself; his position as full-edged member involves both being outside it and
confronting it(Simmel 1971: 144).
Third, transnational communities are social and symbolic constructions.
While members of transnational communities may remain rooted, to dierent
degrees, in local or national settings, transnational communities provide for a
common sense of belonging that is still compatible with a variety of inter-
pretations and the specicity of meanings stemming from this dierentiated
rootedness. In fact, the active carving out of a common identity in private and
public discourse by both members and non-members is reminiscent of the
process described by Anderson involving the invention and propagation of
the nation as an imagined community. Exactly because transnational com-
munities are to be seen as imagined communities in addition to and, in a
sense, on top of a number of other group aliations, members have the
possibility to strategize upon their membership in the pursuit of their goals.
This multiplicity of aliations is likely to provide members with a richer
repertoire of reexive practices of sense-making and generate strategies that
stand at the crossroads of diverse community aliations (Stark et al. 2006).
Fourth, and as a consequence of the above propositions, transnational
communities allow for a fair amount of within-group diversity. Here again,
Simmel provides a powerful formulation:
[W]ith the stranger, one has only certain more general qualities in common ...
individuals share those in addition to their individual dierences ... As such, the
stranger is near and far at the same time ...Between those two factors of nearness and
distance, however, a peculiar tension arises since the consciousness of having only the
absolutely general in common has exactly the eect of putting a special emphasis on
that which is not common. (Simmel 1971: 14648)
The various strands of literature discussed in the previous section all highlight
the existence, emergence, structuration, and relevance of social formations
that reach beyond national borders. In those transnational social formations,
26 Marie-Laure Djelic and Sigrid Quack
C:/ITOOLS/WMS/CUP/694201/WORKINGFOLDER/DJI/9780521518789C01.3D
27
[3–36] 9.1.2010 6:27AM
people bring together and collectively reect upon experiences in various
national or local societies or communities. They develop joint activities, dene
and pursue common goals and projects with a transnational scope and reach.
This all happens, however, without the necessary presumption of intense
homogenization. In fact, the literature tends to underscore that, within the
bounds of transnational social formations whether labeled networks,
groups, or communities there remains considerable heterogeneity between
members. This heterogeneity may ultimately be unbridgeable but it can be
kept within bounds through various forms of socialization mechanisms,
through the development and stabilization of common practices, goals, or
norms. Heterogeneity is not a problem. It might even be a strength as long as it
does not prevent a common orientation and a common sense of belonging
around particular projects or goals, or around certain shared cognitive frames.
Finally, we need to pay attention to the temporal dimension of community
involvement (McAdam and Sewell 2001). Using Janowitzs (1952) term, trans-
national communities are in all likelihood communities of limited liabilityto a
greater extent than traditional communities of the ascriptive kind, closer to
Tönniess understanding of Gemeinschaft. The notion of communities of
limited liabilityin this context refers to the fact that members are more likely
to come and go and to exhibit varying degrees of involvement and participation
through time (Smith and Wiest 2005). It also reects the possibility of limits in
temporality. Transnational communities are time-bound entities andconstruc-
tions and not necessary, permanent, timeless, or essential collectives.
With these ve propositions in mind, the contributions to this volume aim
to explore the role of transnational communities in the governance of business
activity. In addition to highlighting the relevance of community-like social
formations in the coordination and regulation of economic and business
processes, those contributions also confront and move to address some
unresolved issues related to the nature, workings, and impact of those trans-
national communities that are present in the economic and business sphere.
Six such issues are encountered throughout the dierent chapters of this
volume:
1. The formation, rise, change, and possible weakening or even demise of
transnational communities over time.
2. The two-sided interaction between transnational communities and
local/national communities and the process of emergence of rootless
cosmopolitans.
3. The process through which transnational communities are socially and
symbolically constructed and reconstructed through time.
27 Transnational communities and governance
C:/ITOOLS/WMS/CUP/694201/WORKINGFOLDER/DJI/9780521518789C01.3D
28
[3–36] 9.1.2010 6:27AM
4. The ways in which members and non-members use the symbolic material
associated with transnational communities to pursue their own strategies,
locally or transnationally.
5. The interplay between processes of transnational community-building and
parallel processes of formal organization.
6. The regulatory impact of transnational communities, particularly with
respect to economic and business activity.
In all likelihood, some of our ndings, on a number of issues at least, are more
broadly applicable to transnational communities in general and hence could
also be of use in transdisciplinary debates on transnational communities, their
role and impact.
Contents of the book
The dierent chapters in this volume all start out from the ve propositions on
the nature of transnational communities described above and summarized
below:
!One among several community aliations;
!Members are rooted cosmopolitans;
!Imagined communities of a uid and dynamic kind;
!Fair amount of within-community diversity;
!Time-bound, non-essential, and non-permanent collectives.
All the chapters in this volume explore the role and impact of transnational
communities in relation to governance usually focusing on business activity.
In addition although the empirical terrains are extremely diverse the
chapters all encounter one or several of the ve remaining open issues
presented above and summarized below:
!The temporal ebb and ow of transnational communities;
!Transnational communities and local/national interplay;
!Process of symbolic construction and reconstruction of transnational
communities;
!Strategic use of the symbolic building blocks of transnational communities;
!Transnational communities and organization;
!Transnational regulatory impact.
Part I of the volume explores the concept of community and its articulation in
terms of transnational issues and phenomena. After the present introductory
chapter, Chapter 2 by Renate Mayntz pushes further the understanding of
transnational communities as a distinct social formation as compared to
28 Marie-Laure Djelic and Sigrid Quack
C:/ITOOLS/WMS/CUP/694201/WORKINGFOLDER/DJI/9780521518789C01.3D
29
[3–36] 9.1.2010 6:27AM
markets, hierarchies, and networks, which dominate the literature on global
governance. While the coordinating mechanism in markets is exchange, in
hierarchies command, and in networks negotiation, in communities it is
mutual observation and the conscious orientation of individual behavior
towards shared values, knowledge, or skills. The author points to the ubiqui-
tous interpenetration of transnational communities with other social forms.
Since transnational communities are often embedded in or cross over with
other types of collective, in particular formal organizations, they are often
overlooked and underestimated as regards their relevance for the formation
and operation of transnational governance.
Parts II to V take up the two rst chapterspursuit of a comprehensive
comparative analysis of transnational communities, each of them focusing on
one particular kind of community. In each Part, dierent cases and stories
are presented in an eort to elicit the complex articulation of communities in
transnational contexts.
Part II brings together two storiesof apparently classical, ascriptive
communities with a view to examining what happens when they extend
transnationally. Dahles, in Chapter 3, critically explores the notion and reality
of a transnational Chinese community and its role in transnational business
activity. Instead of an homogeneous and closely knit ascriptive community,
she presents the transnational Chinese communityas a complex and frag-
mented imagined community. It is socially constructed and often mediated
through national institutional and policy frames, resulting in a loosely con-
nected patchwork of partly converging and partly conicting practices and
principles. The case of the shuttle traders in Laleli, Istanbul, studied by Eder
and Öz in Chapter 4, shows the physical encounter, interaction, and in
time partial integration of diverse ascriptive groups into an emergent trans-
ethnic and translocal community which is nourished by its members partly
for though it cannot be reduced entirely to economic interests.
In Part III, four dierent professional communities are examined, in each
case exploring the particular context of transnational extension. In Chapter 5,
Harvey and Maclean look at elite corporate directors in Britain and France.
They nd evidence that those elite directors are attuned to the demands and
requirements of competing across international boundaries. They also show a
growing recognition of shared values, assumptions, and beliefs at the transna-
tional level. That said, it is also clear that community aliations remain
primarily national, regional, or local. In Chapter 6, Morgan and Kubo show
that professionals in the private equity sector in Japan are connected to a
broader transnational community in the making, but remain deeply embedded
29 Transnational communities and governance
C:/ITOOLS/WMS/CUP/694201/WORKINGFOLDER/DJI/9780521518789C01.3D
30
[3–36] 9.1.2010 6:27AM
nationally. The evidence suggests the progressive constitution of a transna-
tional community of private equity professionals, with emerging common
modes of acting and organizing. The evidence also shows considerable
regional or national variation, however, and Japan in particular remains
very much on the edge of this community. Hussain and Ventresca, in
Chapter 7, explore the historical development of global nance associations
and the emergence of an archipelago of communities of professional practi-
tioners, increasingly sharing common ideas and even a common culture.
Finally, in Chapter 8, Ramirez investigates how a transnational community
of accountants that was initially structured on the basis of the worlds
largest accounting rms attempted to spread their version of professional-
ism to France, which hitherto had followed a very dierent path in the
professionalization of accounting. The author shows how this transnational
professional community eectively expanded its regulatory leverage across
national borders by linking up with and gradually transforming the pre-
viously insulated French accounting elite.
Parts II and III started from communities that originally had a local base and
then explored what happens when those communities extend transnationally
in one way or another. In Part IV, we turn to an exploration of virtual
communities communities that are created by interaction via the Internet
or are based to a large extent on online interaction. Many of these communities
from very early on dene themselves transnationally without paying too much
attention to nationalities or borders. Nonetheless, virtual communities are, as
revealed in the contributions to this Part, also locally and/or nationally rooted.
In Chapter 9, Metiu examines the role of gift exchange in free/open source
software communities and its potential as a mechanism for knowledge transfer
from industrialized to developing countries. The results show that free/open
source communities contribute eectively to increasing the skills of developers
in the South, fostering solidarity in local virtual communities in developing
countries, and making free/open source software available in remote parts of
the world. In Chapter 10, Dobusch and Quack investigate the multifaceted
transnational community for open content copyright licenses, crystallizing
around the non-prot organization Creative Commons.The chapter high-
lights the mobilizing capacity of dierent types of transnational online com-
munities, in particular the interaction between an epistemic community, a
social movement, and a non-prot organization, and their capacity for eective
transnational standard-setting.
Part V extends the exploration to interest or issue-based communities. We
have a mixture of cases here, ranging from the dicult projection of nationally
30 Marie-Laure Djelic and Sigrid Quack
C:/ITOOLS/WMS/CUP/694201/WORKINGFOLDER/DJI/9780521518789C01.3D
31
[3–36] 9.1.2010 6:27AM
based communities into a transnational arena to the construction of diverse
and uid communities around an issue dened from the start as global. In
Chapter 11, Schrad analyses the historical case of the transnational temper-
ance community. He examines the development, structuration, and tem-
poral evolution of the transnational temperance movement in terms that are
clearly generalizable to movements of more recent vintage. He also shows
how the temperance cause stimulated one of the rst truly transnational
communities. Fetzer, in Chapter 12, follows the historical development of an
issue industrial democracy with a focus on how trade unions reacted to
that issue in the European context. He argues that, until the late 1980s, trade
union responses to European Community initiatives were premised solely
on minimizing the impact of regulation on the achievements of industrial
democracy at the national level. Since then, this defensive pattern has come
to be modied and trade unions are now making greater eorts to give
workersparticipation a European dimension.
In Chapter 13, Plehwe investigates the historical roots and evolution of
the Mont Pèlerin Society of neoliberal intellectuals. The author argues
that in order to understand the origins of neoliberal values and principled
beliefs one has to explore the constitution and working of a transnational
comprehensive discourse community of intellectuals and organizations
that has forged a normative worldview informing the development of
knowledge, expertise, and practices in many issue areas, discourse elds,
and countries. In Chapter 14, Mariussen explores the emergence of a new
global market for carbon capture and storage and shows that a transna-
tional community is being built in parallel around this essentially global
issue. Finally, an examination of social and environmental certication by
Bartley and Smith in Chapter 15 shows how communities of practice can be
both cause and consequence of transnational governance. The authors
point to older communities of practice, organized around political and
religious resistance to American Cold War foreign policy, which laid the
ground for the emergence of novel transnational communities of certica-
tion practitioners. The latter are likely to shape the future of transnational
governance insofar as they may provide new actors with access to dening
the rules of the game while also carrying the certication model into other
domains.
Having explored such a wide range of cases, in the concluding chapter we
draw together the theoretical insights that emerge from the systematic com-
parison and confrontation of the diverse empirical stories with regard to their
impact on transnational economic governance.
31 Transnational communities and governance
C:/ITOOLS/WMS/CUP/694201/WORKINGFOLDER/DJI/9780521518789C01.3D
32
[3–36] 9.1.2010 6:27AM
NOTES
1. Our translation. The French text reads: Je crois que la vie des grandes agglomérations
sociales est tout aussi naturelle que celle des petits aggrégats ...En dehors des mouvements
purement individuels, il y a dans nos sociétés contemporaines une activité proprement
collective qui est tout aussi naturelle que celle des sociétés moins étendues dautrefois. Elle
est autre assurément; elle constitue un type diérent, mais entre ces deux espèces dun même
genre, si diverses quelles soient, il ny a pas une diérence de nature.
2. Naturally, an alternative scenario could be that the current nancial and economic crisis
leads in time and at least for a while to a recentering inwards in many nations, with a
powerful return of states and the temptation to engage in dierent kinds of isolationism and
protectionism.
REFERENCES
Abbott, A. 1988. The system of professions: An essay on the division of expert labor. University of
Chicago Press.
Ackerman, B. 1994. Rooted cosmopolitanism,Ethics 104: 51635.
Adler, E. 2005. Communitarian international relations. London: Routledge.
Adler, E. 2008. The spread of security communities: Communities of practice, self-restraint,
and NATOs post Cold War transformation,European Journal of International Relations
14: 195230.
Anderson, B. 2006 [1983]. Imagined communities. London and New York: Verso.
Bell, C. and Newby, H. (eds.) 1974. The sociology of community: A selection of readings. London:
Frank Cass.
Bellah, R., Madsen, R., Sullivan, W., Swidler, A. and Tipton, S. 1985. Habits of the heart.
Berkeley: University of California Press.
Boli, J. and Thomas, G. (eds.) 1999. Constructing world culture: International nongovernmental
organizations since 1875. Stanford University Press.
Carroll, W. K. and Fennema, M. 2002. Is there a transnational business community?,
International Sociology 17 (3): 393419.
Cohen, A. P. 1985. The symbolic construction of community. London and New York: Routledge.
Cohen, M. 1992. Rooted cosmopolitanism,Dissent 39 (4): 47883.
Cutler, C. 2008. The legitimacy of private transnational governance.Paper presented at the
conference Law and legitimacy in the governance of transnational economic relations,
Villa Vigoni, June 2224.
Daily Telegraph. 2008. EU ministers back nancial regulation,November 5. www.telegraph.co.
uk/nance/3382933/EU-ministers-back-nancial-regulation.html. Accessed November 8,
2008.
Deutsch, K. W., Burell, S. A. and Kann, R.A. 1957. Political community and the North Atlantic
area. Princeton University Press.
Djelic, M.-L., and Quack, S. (eds.) 2003. Globalization and institutions: Redening the rules of
the economic game. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
32 Marie-Laure Djelic and Sigrid Quack
C:/ITOOLS/WMS/CUP/694201/WORKINGFOLDER/DJI/9780521518789C01.3D
33
[3–36] 9.1.2010 6:27AM
Djelic, M.-L. and Quack, S. 2008. Institutions and transnationalisation,in Greenwood, R.,
Oliver, C., Suddaby, R. and Sahlin-Andersson, K. (eds.), Handbook of organisational
institutionalism. Los Angeles: Sage, pp. 299323.
Djelic, M.-L., and Sahlin-Andersson, K. (eds.) 2006. Transnational governance: Institutional
dynamics of regulation. Cambridge University Press.
Djilas, M. 1957. The new class. New York: Praeger.
Domho, G. W. 1967. Who rules America? Englewood Clis, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Drake, W. and Nicolaïdis, K. 1992. Ideas, interests, and institutionalisation: Trade in service
and the Uruguay round,International Organization 46: 38101.
Durkheim, E. 1889. Communauté et société selon Tönnies,Revue Philosophique 27: 41622.
Durkheim, E. 1984 [1893]. The division of labor in society. New York: MacmillanThe Free
Press.
Durkheim, E. 1997 [1897]. Suicide. New York: MacmillanThe Free Press.
Durkheim, E. 2001 [1912]. The elementary forms of religious life. Oxford University Press.
Elias, N. 1974. Towards a theory of communities,Foreword, in Bell, C. and Newby, H. (eds.),
pp. ixxli.
Faist, T. 2000. The volume and dynamics of international migration and transnational social
spaces. Oxford University Press.
Faulconbridge, J. R. and Muzio, D. 2007. Reinserting the professional into the study of global
professional service rms: The case of law,Global Networks 7(3): 24970.
Florini, A. 2003. The coming democracy: New rules for running a new world. Washington, DC:
Island Press.
Fourcade, M. 2006. The construction of a global profession: The transnationalization of
economics,American Journal of Sociology 122 (1): 14594.
G20. 2009. Leadersstatement: The global plan for recovery and reform,Communiqué of the
G20 Meeting in London, April 2. www.g20.org/Documents/nal-communique.pdf.
Accessed April 8, 2009.
Geertz, C. 1975. Thick description: Toward an interpretative theory of culture,in Geertz, C.,
The interpretation of cultures. London: Hutchinson, pp. 330.
Goode, W. J. 1957. Community within a community: The professions,American Sociological
Review 22 (2): 194200.
Gouldner, A. 1957. Cosmopolitans and locals: Toward an analysis of latent social roles,
Administrative Science Quarterly 2(3): 281306.
Graz, J.-C., and Nölke, A. (eds.) 2008. Transnational private governance and its limits. London:
Routledge.
Guidry, J., Kennedy, M. and Zald, M. (eds.) 2000. Globalizations and social movements: Culture,
power and the transnational public sphere. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Haas, P. 1992a. Introduction: Epistemic communities and international policy coordination,
International Organization 46 (1): 135.
Haas, P. 1992b. Banning chlorouorocarbons: Epistemic community eorts to protect strato-
spheric ozone,International Organization 46 (1): 187224.
Hannerz, U. 1990. Cosmopolitans and locals in world culture,Theory, Culture and Society 7:
23751.
Hannerz, U. 1992. Cultural complexity. Studies in the social organization of meaning. New York:
Columbia University Press.
33 Transnational communities and governance
C:/ITOOLS/WMS/CUP/694201/WORKINGFOLDER/DJI/9780521518789C01.3D
34
[3–36] 9.1.2010 6:27AM
Hannerz, U. 1996. Transnational connections. London: Routledge.
Hannerz, U. 1997. Flows, boundaries and hybrids: Keywords in transnational anthropology,
Department of Anthropology Working Paper WPTC-2K-02. Stockholm University.
Held, D. 1995. Democracy and the global order: From the modern state to cosmopolitan
governance. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Janowitz, M. 1952. The community press in an urban setting. Glencoe, IL: The Free Press.
Jenkins, R. 1996. Social identity. London: Routledge.
Jordana, J. and Levi-Faur, D. (eds.) 2004. The politics of regulation: Institutions and regulatory
reforms for the governance age. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
Katzenstein, P., Keohane, R. and Krasner, S. (eds.) 1999. Exploration and contestation in the
study of world politics. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Keck, M. E. and Sikkink, K. 1998. Activists beyond borders. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
Kentor, J. and Jang, Y. S. 2004. Yes, there is a (growing) transnational business community,
International Sociology 19 (3): 35568.
Kluckhohn, C. 1962. The concept of culture,in Kluckhohn, R. (ed.), Culture and behavior.
New York: Free Press, pp. 1973.
Konrad, G. 1984. Antipolitics. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.
Kuhlmann, E. and Saks, M. (eds.) 2008. Rethinking professional governance: International
directions in health care. Bristol: Policy Press.
Lamont, M. and Molnár, V. 2002. The study of boundaries in the social sciences,Annual
Review of Sociology 28: 16795.
Lannes, R. 1940. Les deux cents familles ou les maîtres de la France. Paris: Sorlot.
Larson, M. S. 1977. The rise of professionalism: A sociological analysis. Berkeley: University of
California Press.
McAdam, D. and Sewell, W. Jr. 2001. Its about time: Temporality in the study of social
movements and revolutions,in Aminzade, R. et al. (eds.), Silence and voice in the study of
contentious politics. Cambridge University Press, pp. 89125.
McKenna, C., Djelic, M.-L. and Ainamo, A. 2003. Message and medium: The role of consulting
rms in globalization and its local interpretation,in Djelic, M.-L. and Quack, S. (eds.),
pp. 83107.
Merton, R. 1948. Patterns of inuence: A study of interpersonal inuence and of commu-
nications behaviour in a local community,in Lazarsfeld, P. and Stanton, F. (eds.), Man in
the city of the future. London: Collier-Macmillan, pp. 180219.
Meyer, J., Boli, J., Thomas, G. M. and Ramirez, F. O. 1997. World society and the nation-state,
American Journal of Sociology 103 (1): 14481.
Mills, C. Wright. 1956 [2000]. The power elite. Oxford University Press.
Morgan, G. 2001. Transnational communities and business systems,Global Networks:
A Journal of Transnational Aairs 1(2): 11330.
Morgan, G. and Quack, S. 2005. Institutional legacies and rm dynamics: The internationa-
lisation of British and German law rms,Organization Studies 26: 176586.
Nye, J. S. and Keohane, R.O. 1971. Transnational relations and world politics: A conclusion,
International Organization 25 (3): 72148.
Overbeek, H., van Apeldoorn, B. and Nölke, A. (eds.) 2007. The transnational politics of
corporate governance regulation. London: Routledge.
Park, R. 1952. Human communities: The city and human ecology. Glencoe, IL: The Free Press.
34 Marie-Laure Djelic and Sigrid Quack
C:/ITOOLS/WMS/CUP/694201/WORKINGFOLDER/DJI/9780521518789C01.3D
35
[3–36] 9.1.2010 6:27AM
Park, R. and Burgess, E. 1921. Introduction to the science of sociology. University of Chicago
Press.
Portes, A. 2000. Globalization from below: The rise of transnational communities,in Kalb, D.,
van der Land, M., Staring, R., van Steenbergen, B. and Wilterdink, N. (eds.), The ends of
globalization: Bringing society back in. Lanham: Rowman & Littleeld, pp. 25370.
Pries, L. (ed.) 2001. New transnational social spaces. London: Routledge.
Putnam, R. 2000. Bowling alone. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Risse-Kappen, T. 1994. Ideas do not oat freely: Transnational coalitions, domestic structures
and the end of the Cold War,International Organization 48: 185214.
Risse-Kappen, T. (ed.) 1995. Bringing transnational relations back in. Cambridge University
Press.
Rothkopf, D. 2008. Superclass: The global power elite and the world they are making. New York:
Macmillan-Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Saxenian, A. 2005. From brain drain to brain circulation: Transnational communities and regional
upgrading in India and China,Studies in Comparative International Development,40 (2):
3561.
Saxenian, A. 2006. The new argonauts: Regional advantage in a global economy. Cambridge,
MA: Harvard University Press.
Simmel, G. 1955 [1908]. The web of group aliations,in Simmel, G., Conict and the web of
group aliations. New York: Free Press, pp. 12595.
Simmel, G. 1971. On individuality and social forms, edited by D. Levine. University of Chicago
Press.
Sklair, L. 2001. The transnational capitalist class. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
Smith, J. and Johnston, H. (eds.) 2002. Globalization and resistance: Transnational dimensions
of social movements. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littleeld.
Smith, J. and Wiest, D. 2005. The uneven geography of global civil society: National and global
inuences on transnational association,Social Forces 84 (2): 62152.
Smith, J., Chateld, C. and Pagnucco, R. (eds.) 1997. Transnational social movements and global
politics. Syracuse University Press.
Soysal, Y. 1994, Limits of citizenship: migrants and postnational membership in Europe,
Chicago University Press.
Staples, C. L. 2006. Board interlocks and the study of the transnational capitalist class,Journal
of World-Systems Research 12 (2): 30919.
Stark, D., Vedres, B. and Bruszt, L. 2006. Rooted transnational publics: Integrating foreign ties
and civic activism,Theory and Society 35 (3): 32349.
Suttles, G. 1972. The social construction of communities. University of Chicago Press.
Swidler, A. 1986. Culture in action: Symbols and strategies.American Sociological Review
51 (2): 27386.
Tamm Hallström, K. 2004. Organizing international standardization. Cheltenham: Edward
Elgar.
Tarrow, S. 2005. The new transnational activism. Cambridge University Press.
Tönnies, F. 2002 [1897]. Community and society. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications.
van der Pijl, K. 1984. The making of an Atlantic ruling class. London: Verso.
Verdun, A. 1999. The role of the Delors Committee in the creation of EMU: An epistemic
community?,Journal of European Public Policy 6: 30828.
35 Transnational communities and governance
C:/ITOOLS/WMS/CUP/694201/WORKINGFOLDER/DJI/9780521518789C01.3D
36
[3–36] 9.1.2010 6:27AM
Vertovec, S. 2001. Transnational social formations: Towards conceptual cross-fertilization.
Paper (WPTC-0116) presented at workshop on Transnational migration: Comparative
perspectives,June 30July 1, Princeton University.
Vertovec, S. and Cohen, R. (eds.) 2002. Conceiving cosmopolitanism: Theory, context and
practice. Oxford University Press.
Waldron, J. 1992. Minority cultures and the cosmopolitan alternative,University of Michigan
Law Review 25:514.
Weber, M. 1978. Economy and society. 2 vols., edited by G. Roth and C. Wittich. Berkeley:
University of California Press.
Wenger, E. 1998. Communities of practice: Learning, meaning, and identity. Cambridge
University Press.
Wyman, M. 1993. Round-trip to America: The immigrants return to Europe, 18801930. Ithaca,
NY: Cornell University Press.
Zeng, M. 2008. World Bank President: Need to reform nancial regulation, supervision sys-
tems,Dow Jones Newswires (October 13). www.fxstreet.com/news/forex-news/article.
aspx?StoryId=b4602d9f-de06-4014-a088-de85dc8c947e. Accessed November 8, 2008.
36 Marie-Laure Djelic and Sigrid Quack
... Cohen et al. (1985: p16) (Morgan, 2001). L'appartenance à une communauté transnationale est une forme parmi d'autres de participation et d'affiliation qui peut être combinée avec d'autres appartenances communautaires, dérivées de la nationalité, de la profession, des pratiques partagées, de l'idéologie ou de la base de savoir commun (Morgan, 2001;Djelic & Quack, 2010b). Sachant que les membres des communautés transnationales ont des affiliations dans de multiples communautés, ces communautés transnationales sont susceptibles de présenter un certain degré de complexité interne ainsi qu'un certain degré d'hétérogénéité et de conflictualité au sein de la communauté (Djelic & Quack, 2010b). ...
... L'appartenance à une communauté transnationale est une forme parmi d'autres de participation et d'affiliation qui peut être combinée avec d'autres appartenances communautaires, dérivées de la nationalité, de la profession, des pratiques partagées, de l'idéologie ou de la base de savoir commun (Morgan, 2001;Djelic & Quack, 2010b). Sachant que les membres des communautés transnationales ont des affiliations dans de multiples communautés, ces communautés transnationales sont susceptibles de présenter un certain degré de complexité interne ainsi qu'un certain degré d'hétérogénéité et de conflictualité au sein de la communauté (Djelic & Quack, 2010b). En tant qu'espace où des perspectives contradictoires et contrastées peuvent être discutées, délibérées et négociées, ces communautés forment des tribunes publiques d'où des solutions largement acceptables peuvent émerger face aux questions complexes politiques. ...
... Cette valeur réside dans le potentiel de développement des mécanismes communautaires pour (ré-) aligner les orientations cognitives et normatives de ses membres au fil du temps par le biais de processus qui conduisent vers des solutions (globales) largement acceptables. En tant que telles, les communautés transnationales jouent un rôle important afin d'encourager la transformation de préférence pour tout ou partie de leurs membres (Djelic & Quack, 2010b). Ainsi, ces communautés développent des règles dans un environnement dans lequel collaboration se combine avec concurrence, augmentant l'importance de la négociation et de l'accord mutuel (Djelic & S.-Andersson, 2006;Djelic & Sahlin, 2010 (Hail et al., 2010). ...
Article
This dissertation explores the efforts of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) to produce a common set of accounting standards accepted for worldwide market regulation. In doing so, it examines how a process of accounting (institutional) change - referred to as a convergence process - has evolved within the transnational accounting standard-setting space. This research investigates the role that institutions and politics play in the FASB-IASB convergence process, more broadly, as well as their role in the processes by which standard setters go about collective policy-making on one highly contested standard. With the accounting policy-making literature serving as a foundation tying together the works within this dissertation, I mobilize institutional and political perspectives to systematically explore the convergence of accounting standards through three empirical papers. Each of these studies focuses on standard-setting activities occurring between 2002 and 2011 and utilizes case study methods drawing on multiple data sources including archival documents, indirect observation and interviews with key informants. The first paper focuses on understanding the phenomenon of accounting convergence and its relationship to broader political and institutional trends through a variety of diffusionist mechanisms from neo-institutional theory. This dissertation then turns to the standard-setters themselves as focal actors and links these actors to the meaning systems they employ in the shaping of accounting convergence. The second paper focuses on competing meaning systems that standard setters adhere to and the factors that affect collective policy decisions. More specifically, it is interested in the negotiated order (Strauss et al. 1963) which takes shape on the basis of these factors. Finally, the third paper studies the process by which accounting standard setters persuade their public audience (and themselves) of the merits of their policy decisions by mobilizing orders of worth (Boltanski & Thévenot, ([1991], 2006) in their discourse. The primary contribution of this dissertation is to shed light, at multiple levels of analysis, on how transnational convergence activities, in particular those aimed at producing a common set of accounting standards, evolve in consideration of actors, institutions, and context.
... This is as well a critical view of Hartmann (2009), who believes that interlocking directorates are superficial, functional links that do not replace longer learning and socialization processes in companies or institutions of the national education system. Morgan (2001); Djelic and Quack (2010); and Harvey and Maclean (2010) propose to study the impact of globalization processes on "transnational communities," rather than on transnational networks. A community is a defined as a set of individuals with shared values, assumptions, and beliefs, as well as common interests (Harvey and Maclean, 2010, p. 107). ...
Chapter
Full-text available
This paper investigates the impacts of globalization processes on the Swiss business elite community during the 1980–2010 period. Switzerland has been characterized in the 20th century by its extraordinary stability and by the strong cohesion of its elite community. To study recent changes, we focus on Switzerland’s 110 largest firms’ by adopting a diachronic perspective based on three elite cohorts (1980, 2000, and 2010). An analysis of interlocking directorates allows us to describe the decline of the Swiss corporate network. The second analysis focuses on top managers’ profiles in terms of education, nationality as well as participation in national community networks that used to reinforce the cultural cohesion of the Swiss elite community, especially the militia army. Our results highlight a slow but profound transformation of top management profiles, characterized by a decline of traditional national elements of legitimacy and the emergence of new “global” elements. The diachronic and combined analysis brings into light the strong cultural changes experienced by the national business elite community.
... Intergovernmental actors such as the World Bank and the UN set global norms informed and transmitted by national laws in recursive cycles (Halliday & Carruthers, 2007). From the bottom up, transnational communities not only define a transnational problem space and mobilize collective action, but also participate directly in setting rules and monitoring their implementation (Djelic & Quack, 2010). Because an overarching authority is missing in transnational fields, rules, norms, and understandings are continuously (re)negotiated and often highly ambiguous to include diverse actors and logics (Djelic & Quack, 2011). ...
Article
Full-text available
Although field-configuring events have been highlighted as catalysts of institutional change, we still know little about the specific conditions that allow such change to occur. Based on a longitudinal study of United Nations climate conferences in the context of the transnational climate policy field we analyze how regular and high-stakes events in an event series interacted in producing and preventing institutional change. We uncover variations in event structures, processes and outcomes that explain why climate conferences have not led to effective solutions to combat human-induced global warming. Results in particular highlight that growing field complexity and issue multiplication compromise the change potential of a field-configuring event series in favor of field maintenance. Over time, diverse actors find event participation useful for their own purposes, but their activity disconnects from the institutions at the center of an issue-based field. In discussing how field-configuring events are purposefully staged and enacted, but also influenced by developments in a field our study contributes to a more complete understanding of field-configuring events, particularly in contested transnational policy arenas.
Article
Transnational advocacy networks (TANs) are the most common example of networks in international relations. Despite their familiarity, we know little about how advocacy networks of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are structured. Drawing on the cross-disciplinary concepts of emergent communities and distinct brokerage roles, we argue that the network may reinforce power disparities and inequalities at the very same time that it provides social power. TANs are similar to emergent communities of practice, with some organizations acting as various types of brokers within and between communities. Preexisting resources are more likely to lead global North organizations to occupy brokerage roles that provide additional agenda-setting and resource-allocating power. We build a dataset of the 3,903 NGOs connected through 1.3 million ties occurring through meetings and conferences for NGOs put on or coordinated by the United Nations. Using community detection methods, we identify four distinct communities in the overall NGO network, with differences in distributions of brokerage roles across communities. Examining the communities, brokerage role distributions, and preexisting power disparities can help us better understand the divergent findings in previous literature and conceptualize TANs.
Article
Full-text available
Scholars emphasise the constitutive ambiguity of transnational private standards and the importance of global-local interactions in their implementation. Yet how this ambiguity and these interactions shape the legitimation of transnational private governance, especially in the norm formation phase, remain open questions. The conceptual metaphor of ‘grounding’ offers a promising perspective on these questions. This article conceptualises the grounding of transnational private governance in terms of practices of translation by which transnational standard-setting is grounded in receptive local contexts; practices of contestation by which it runs aground on local resistance; and communities of practice that shape the normative grounds for legitimate standard-setting authority. An illustrative example of local Colombian reactions to the development of the global social responsibility guide ISO 26000 suggests that a basic principle of private standardisation, that standards are developed through a consensus process in which all concerned interests are effectively represented, is not as important to the legitimation of standards as many suppose, and that membership in two overlapping communities of practice—standardisation and corporate social responsibility—explains why actors legitimise standard-setters that do not fulfill a legitimacy criterion they purport to consider crucial.
Article
Full-text available
Studies of takings of property highlight the increasing penetration of state power into private life. Controversies regularly surround compensation provisions. Many academic analyses and decisions of the European Court of Human Rights have supported the proposition that market value offers the best approximation of just compensation. However, full market value compensation may not be guaranteed if the taking of property fulfils certain legitimate objectives of the ‘public interest’. To unpack the complexity surrounding compensation provisions under the European Convention on Human Rights, this paper adopts and develops a ‘law-and-community’ approach – an important dimension, not previously investigated in the study of takings of property – which sees ‘community’ as networks of social relations, and views law as not only grounded in community but also existing to regulate communal networks. This paper then identifies the limits of both Art 1, Protocol 1 of the ECHR and the current approaches to compensation in the light of this law-and-community approach. In so doing, the paper makes a distinctive contribution by offering a new socio-legal interpretation of controversies surrounding compensation for takings of property beyond the private/public divide and by proposing an alternative framework of engaging law and regulation in wider social life.
Chapter
Purpose - This chapter intends to explore the emerging concept of fiscal responsibility (FR), a particularly relevant issue in Europe. There is an ongoing debate about what are companies responsible for, the reasons and the limits for this responsibility. And while the social awareness for this issue increases it is not clear whether corporate tax dealings can be articulated into the wider realm of corporate social responsibility (CSR). Design/methodology/approach - The chapter begins with a brief review of today’s situation in terms of corporate taxation. The changing environment of corporate taxes (from local to global) is described. Production processes are fragmented all over the world, and in the European Union, across national borders of their member States. This complexity is compounded by the increasing dematerialisation of business processes, the higher importance of intangibles and the use of subsidiaries in low-taxed jurisdictions. Findings - The elusive concept of FR is analysed, along with a discussion on the nature of the firm and the limits of tax regulation, particularly the boundaries between legitimate and illegitimate tax avoidance. Originality/value - Having seen how FR is now emerging, the last part of the chapter analyses the common understandings of CSR today, along with two specific challenges for FR in the realm of CSR. Finally, there is a tentative proposal on how FR may articulate with different theories of CSR.
Article
en This article explores commitment to knowledge templates, in this case competing measurement models, in global standard‐setting processes. In particular, I examine the positions of board members of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) on a proposal to use fair value accounting in the measurement of revenue. The proposal to measure revenue at fair value was deliberated between 2002 and 2008 as part of the joint revenue project of the FASB and the IASB. I analyze narratives of the board proceedings on the revenue project, which reveal the positions of board members over the life of the proposal. To make sense of these positions, I use Durocher and Gendron's (2014) framework on epistemic commitment, which speaks to one's allegiance to knowledge templates. The analysis shows that individual board member commitment to different knowledge templates is fairly static despite dynamic and contentious debate on this particular proposal. While stable, board member reactions to the proposed shift toward fair value fall into recognizable patterns showing how commitment to different templates entails prioritizing of different core principles and appeals to higher authorities. Finally, the analysis shows how commitment to knowledge templates varies depending on the professional affiliations of board members. For instance, the analysis shows relatively greater consistency of commitment between board members affiliated with academia and corporate preparers than between auditors. Overall, the study indicates the importance of micro‐level features in explaining the development of macro‐level accounting policy. These features are crucial to enhancing our broader understanding of the way in which accounting standards and rules ultimately develop. Sur l'allégeance à différents modèles de connaissances dans la normalisation internationale : le cas du projet du FASB et de l'IASB sur la comptabilisation des produits fr L'auteure explore l'allégeance à différents modèles de connaissances, plus précisément à des modèles d'évaluation concurrents, dans le processus de normalisation internationale. Elle se penche en particulier sur les positions des membres du FASB et de l'IASB (les membres des conseils) en ce qui a trait à une proposition visant l'utilisation de la comptabilité à la juste valeur dans l'évaluation des produits. Cette proposition a fait l'objet de débats entre 2002 et 2008, dans le contexte du projet conjoint du FASB et de l'IASB sur la comptabilisation des produits. L'auteure analyse le compte rendu des délibérations des membres des conseils, analyse qui révèle quelles étaient leurs positions au cours de cette période de débats. Elle utilise, pour interpréter ces positions, le cadre de référence de Durocher et Gendron (2014) sur l'engagement épistémique, soit l'allégeance à un modèle de connaissances. L'analyse montre que l'allégeance des membres des conseils à différents modèles de connaissances est relativement statique, malgré le débat animé et la controverse que suscite cette proposition particulière. Bien qu'elles soient soutenues, les réactions des membres des conseils à l'adoption proposée de la juste valeur s'inscrivent dans des profils reconnaissables indiquant comment l'allégeance à des modèles différents entraîne aussi la priorisation de principes fondamentaux différents et des appels aux instances supérieures différents. Enfin, l'analyse montre comment l'allégeance à un modèle de connaissances varie selon les affiliations professionnelles des membres des conseils. Elle révèle, par exemple, une uniformité relativement plus grande de l'allégeance chez les membres des conseils affiliés au milieu universitaire et à celui des préparateurs d'états financiers dans les entreprises que chez ceux qui sont affiliés au milieu des auditeurs. Dans l'ensemble, les résultats de l'étude témoignent de l'importance des micro‐caractéristiques dans l'explication du développement des méthodes comptables à l'échelle globale. Il est indispensable de bien saisir ces caractéristiques pour mieux comprendre la façon dont on arrive à élaborer des normes et des règles comptables.
Article
Full-text available
Research on European business elites has been dominated by a ‘national career model’ approach, arguing that each country has a specific top management career pattern. In recent years, this line of argument has been challenged due to the increasing international circulation of top managers. To examine the impact of internationalisation on career models, we will draw on a database of 916 top managers in Germany, Switzerland, France and Britain. Our field-analytical analysis reveals that the most important career distinction – between internal and external careers – is valid beyond national models. In addition, international managers do not constitute a separate homogenous group: in some countries, they imitate national career patterns; in others, they pursue complementary strategies.
Article
The role of business in global governance is now widely recognized, but exploration of its role in global financial governance has been more haphazard than systematic. This book provides the first comprehensive analysis of the role of transnational financial associations (TFAs) in the organization of global finance.
Book
Full-text available
This book suggests that the scope and breadth of regulatory reforms since the mid-1980s and particularly during the 1990s, are so striking that they necessitate a reappraisal of current approaches to the study of the politics of regulation. The authors call for the adoption of different and fresh perspectives to examine this area.
Book
This volume investigates the relationship between economic globalization and institutions, or global governance, challenging the common assumption that globalization and institutionalization are essentially processes which exclude each other. Instead, the contributors to this book show that globalization is better perceived as a dual process of institutional change at the national level, and institution building at the transnational level. Rich, supporting empirical evidence is provided along with a theoretical conceptualization of the main actors, mechanisms and conditions involved in trickle-up and trickle-down trajectories through which national institutional systems are being transformed and transnational rules emerge.
Article
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is an international non-governmental organization and the peak organization for 158 national standards bodies (NSBs). The earliest organized international standardization came in 1865 with the formation of the International Telegraph Union. ISO's members are NSBs, that is, the body most representative of standardization in its country. A country can have only one member of ISO. Each full member is entitled to membership of any ISO TC or policy committee. All authority in ISO is vested in its annual general assembly, which consists of the principal officers (President, two Vice-Presidents, Treasurer, and the Secretary-General - the Chief Executive), together with the delegates of all full members. The real cost of the secretariats is estimated at CHF 120 million a year, while ISO itself has to raise the CHF 30 million that it outlays on its central secretariat. Keywords: annual general assembly; International Organization for Standardization (ISO); national standards bodies (NSB)
Article
This article examines how actions on an emerging market are coordinated, when it is unclear who will participate, which resources are available and which products are being traded. The study combines a network approach from the sociology of markets with insights from the sociology of culture on the central role of stories for identity formation. I argue that coordination across market actors is a result of narrative competition, as actors seek to occupy an identity-defining niche. Stories of economic actors play an integral role in any market formation: they allow for insights into how they evaluate their situation, their context, and how they act accordingly. Moreover, narrated stories establish interpretations, which serve as stabilizing for actors' identities. Due to collaboratively established interpretations, actors can suspend competition, reduce uncertainties, and mobilize financial resources - in the long run a market emerges. The empirical case is the market for innovative breast cancer therapy research, which has developed since the early 1990s. I find that this emerging market develops as a collaborative structure of competition, in which expectations about the future are traded and in which the involved actors develop their identities. Stories mobilize resources and induce a change in the market structure.
Article
In Emanuel Adler's distinctive constructivist approach to international relations theory, international practices evolve in tandem with collective knowledge of the material and social worlds. This book - comprising a fresh selection of his journal publications, a substantial new introduction, three previously unpublished articles - points IR constructivism in a novel direction, characterized as 'communitarian'. Adler's synthesis does not herald the end of the nation-state; nor does it suggest that agency is unimportant in international life. Rather, it argues that what mediates between individual and state agency and social structures are communities of practice, which are the wellspring and repositories of collective meanings and social practices. The concept of communities of practice casts new light on epistemic communities and security communities, helping to explain why certain ideas congeal into human practices and others do not, and which social mechanisms can facilitate the emergence of normatively better communities.
Article
From labor organizers to immigrant activists, from environmentalists to human rights campaigners, from global justice protesters to Islamic militants, this book shows how ordinary people gain new perspectives, experiment with new forms of action, and sometimes emerge with new identities through their contacts across borders. It asks to what extent transnational activism changes domestic actors, their forms of claim making, and their prevailing strategies. Does it simply project the conflicts and alignments familiar from domestic politics onto a broader stage, or does it create a new political arena in which domestic and international contentions fuse? And if the latter, how will this development affect internationalization and the traditional division between domestic and international politics?