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Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS)


Transnational Authority in World Politics - Dr Mette Eilstrup-Sangiovanni

Global governance is no longer the preserve of states and international organizations (IOs). Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and civil society actors (CSO) have expanded their influence and inputs into the making and implementation of global policy, frequently delivering public goods that governments and IOs are unable or unwilling to provide. They do so through advocacy, protest and policy advice, as contractors for service delivery, standard-setters, and monitors or enforcers of domestic and international laws. Their voice and action increases pluralism, but also raises questions of effectiveness, accountability and legitimacy. The first part of the course examines theories and practices of transnational activism and considers the pros and cons on different types of influence-seeking; from agenda-setting and ‘inside’ lobbying to mass protest, strategic litigation, and direct action. The second looks at the impact of transnational activism in two domains of global politics; human rights and the environment. The final part considers opportunities and challenges posed by new social media and information technologies and the rise of right-wing populism.

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