This study draws on a body of conceptual work and empirical case studies commissioned by the Global Migration and Transnational Politics project, funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The authors wish to acknowledge the Foundation for its generous support, and also to thank the project’s core participants for helping to shape our thinking on this topic: Fiona Adamson, Feargal Cochrane, David Fitzgerald, Laura Hammond, Kristian Harpviken, José Itzigsohn, Randa Kayyali, Steve Lubkemann, Ken Menkhaus, Camilla Orjuela, Eva Østergaard-Nielsen, Francesco Ragazzi, Peter Spiro, and Heather Williams. Three anonymous reviewers also provided invaluable feedback.
Think Locally, Act Globally: Toward a Transnational Comparative Politics1
Version of Record online: 7 JUN 2010
© 2010 International Studies Association
International Political Sociology
Volume 4, Issue 2, pages 124–141, June 2010
How to Cite
Lyons, T. and Mandaville, P. (2010), Think Locally, Act Globally: Toward a Transnational Comparative Politics. International Political Sociology, 4: 124–141. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-5687.2010.00096.x
- Issue online: 7 JUN 2010
- Version of Record online: 7 JUN 2010
Political dynamics and outcomes around the globe have been transformed by globalization, new patterns of human mobility, and the development of innovative transnational social networks. These new political processes are rooted in communities and networks that are not restricted by geographic location. Although politics has been delinked from territory in this way with regard to processes and actors, this does not mean that transnational politics focuses exclusively on universal issues or global approaches to social justice. Rather much of the new transnational politics is intensely focused on specific locations, identities, and issues (for example, “globalized” neighborhood associations, ethnicities, patrimonialism). Transnational politics also includes new conceptions and practices of citizenship and accountability (for example, legislative seats reserved for expatriate labor migrants) as the body politic becomes increasing mobile, political affinities delinked from geographic proximity, and critical constituencies reside outside of the territory of the state. This article outlines a new approach to investigating the actors and processes at the heart of contemporary transnational politics, with a particular focus on the ways in which diasporas are strategically constructed and mobilized to advance political goals through the use of salient symbols, identity frames, and social networks.