The Transnational Studies Reader : Intersections and Innovations book cover
1st Edition

The Transnational Studies Reader
Intersections and Innovations

ISBN 9780415953733
Published November 27, 2007 by Routledge
592 Pages

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Book Description

In recent years, 'transnationalism' has become a key analytical concept across the social sciences. While theoretical approaches to the study of global social phenomena have traditionally focused on the nation-state as the central defining framework, transnational studies views social experience as a complex and dynamic product of multiple regional, ethnic, and institutional identities. Far from being static or bounded by national borders, social, political, and economic forces operate on supra-national, trans-regional, and trans-local scales and scopes. Transnational studies compares and contrasts these dynamics to rethink assumptions about identity, sovereignty, and citizenship.

Assembling writings from some of the most important theorists in history, politics, economics, sociology, anthropology, and cultural studies, The Transnationalism Reader explores the ways that transnational practices and processes in different domains, and at different levels of social interaction, relate to, and inform each other. It also compares the spatial organization of social life during different historical periods.

Coherent in its vision and expansive in its disciplinary, geographic, and historical coverage, The Transnationalism Reader is a field-defining collection.

Table of Contents

Table Of Contents

The Transnational Studies Reader:

Intersections and Innovations

edited by Sanjeev Khagram, University of Washington and Harvard University

and Peggy Levitt, Wellesley College and Harvard University



1. Peggy Levitt and Sanjeev Khagram "Constructing Transnational Studies: An Overview"



2. Robert Keohane and Joseph Nye. "Transnational Relations and World Politics: An Introduction."

Rethinks the basics of world affairs

3. Fernando Henrique Cardoso and Enzo Faletto. "Conclusion" and "Post Scriptum" in Dependency and Development in Latin America.

Transnationalizes the political economy of development

4. Gloria Anzaldúa. "The Homeland, Aztlán."

Interrogates territories at the interstices of nations and states

5. Arjan Appadurai. "Global Ethnoscapes: Notes and Queries for a Transnational Anthropology."

Reconceptualizes space and time transnationally

6. Anne Marie Slaughter. "The Real New World Order."

Identifies transgovernmental networks as critical pillars

7. Saskia Sassen. "Introduction" and "State and Global City" from Globalization and Its Discontents.

Conceptualizes places where the global, national and local converge


8. Akil Gupta and James Ferguson. "Discipline and Practice: 'The Field' as Site, Method and Location in Anthropology."

Disembeds ethnography from the "local"

9. Andreas Wimmer and Nina Glick Schiller. "Methodological Nationalism, The Social Scienes, and the Study of Migration: An Essay in Historical Epistemology."

Critiques powerful conceptual blinders

10. Luis Eduardo Guarnizo, Alejandro Portes, and William Haller. "Assimilation and Transnationalism: Determinants of Transnational Political Action among Contemporary Migrants."

Innovates transnational statistical research

11. Beverly J. Silver. "Introduction" from Forces of Labor: Workers’ Movements and Globalization Since 1870.

Pushes the boundaries of transnational historical scholarship

12. Sanjeev Khagram. "Transnational Struggles for Water and Power" and "Dams, Democracy, and Development in Transnational Perspective."

Triangulates multiple types of data, methods and epistemologies


13. William H. McNeill. "Breakthrough to History."

How the spread of disease, animals, and agriculture shaped the rise and fall of civilizations

14. Janet Abu-Lughod. The World System in the Thirteenth Century: Dead-End or Precursor?

The East and West were equal in the 13th Century, but Europe achieved hegemony three centuries later

15. Howard Winant. "The Historical Sociology of Race."

How the concept of race was produced cross-nationally

16. Paul Gilroy. "The Black Atlantic as a Counterculture of Modernity."

Transnational idea-flows create monolithic nations that don’t include everyone


17. W.E.B. DuBois. "Of Our Spiritual Strivings."

Racial minorities, with their multiple identities, see themselves through the eyes of the "other"

18. Ulrich Beck. "The Cosmopolitan Perspective: Sociology in the Second Age of Modernity."

Challenging "the container theory" of society

19. Khachig Tölölyan. "The Nation-State and Its Others: In Lieu of a Preface."

Defining the concept of diaspora

20. Ulf Hannerz. "Nigerian Kung Fu, Manhattan fatwa" and "The Local and the Global: Continuity and Change."

Globalization is not homogenization but the reorganization of culture across time and space

21. Inderpal Grewal and Caren Kaplan. "Introduction: Transnational Feminist Practices and Questions of Postmodernity."

Transnational factors strengthen global feminism


22. Linda Basch, Nina Glick Schiller, and Cristina Szanton Blanc. "Transnational Projects: A New Perspective" and "Theoretical Premises."

Contemporary migrants develop networks, activities, lifestyles, and ideologies that span their home and host society

23. Michael Kearny. "The Local and the Global: Anthropology of Globalization and Transnationalism."

What’s the difference between globalization and transnationalism?

24. Alejandro Portes, Luis Eduardo Guarnizo and Patricia Landolt. "The Study of Transnationalism: Pitfalls and Promise of an Energized Research Field."

A second stage of transnational migration scholarship

25. Peggy Levitt and Nina Glick Schiller. "Transnational Perspectives on Migration: Conceptualizing Simulaneity."

Assimilation and enduring transnational ties are not incompatible


26. Peter Beyer. "Systemic Religion in Global Society."

How religion survives despite predictions that secularization will prevail

27. Susanne Hoeber Rudolph. "Religion, States, and Transnational Civil Society."

Transnational religious groups and movements transform international relations

28. Manual A. Vásquez and Marie Friedmann Marquardt. "Theorizing Globalization and Religion."

The multiple social sites and levels at which people live their religious lives


29. Homi Bhabha. "Locations of Culture."

The politics of representation and empowerment

30. Elaine H. Kim. "Interstitial Subjects: Asian American Visual Art as a Site for New cultural Conversations."

Asian and Asian-American art do not create art using the same reference points

31. Néstor García Canclini [translated by Holly Staver]. "Cultural Reconversion."

How global economic and political restructuring affects national culture

32. Juan Flores [with George Yúdice]. "Living Borders / Buscando América: Languages of Latino Self-Formation"

Cultural crossovers from Latin America to the United States create new cultural forms which travel in both directions


33. John Meyer, John Boli, George M. Thomas, and Francisco O. Ramirez. "World Society and the Nation State."

Why distinct nation-states are organized in similar ways

34. Martha Finnemore. "Norms, Culture and World Politics: Insights from Sociology's Institutionalism."

Legitimization from outside explains organizational similarities

35. Peter Haas. "Do Regimes Matter: Epistemic Communities and Mediterranean Pollution Control."

Experts are key to cross-national idea adoption

36. Jason Kaufman and Orlando Patterson. "Cross-National Cultural Diffusion: The Global Spread of Cricket."

Why cricket became the favorite sport in parts of the British Empire and not others

37. James Watson. "Transnationalism, Localization, and Fast Foods in East Asia."

The changing (or not so) face of McDonalds


38. George Modelski. "Introduction," from Transnational Corporations and World Order

Highlights the interlinkages with international systems

39. Peter Evans. "Imperialism, Dependency, and Dependent Development."

Explicates the influence of powerful transnational coalitions

40. Gary Gereffi. "The Organization of Buyer-Driven Global Commodity Chains: How U.S. Retailers Shape Overseas Production Networks."

Probes structured forms of transnational economic life

41. Aihwa Ong. "Flexible Citizenship: The Cultural Logics of Transnationality" and "Afterword: An Anthropology of Transnationality."

Links transnational political-economic and cultural dynamics


42. Thomas Risse-Kappen. "Bringing Transnational Relations Back In: Introduction."

Reintroduces and revises Keohane and Nye

43. John Boli and George Thomas. "World Culture in the World Polity: A Century of International Non-Governmental Organization."

Attributes world society to international professional associations

44. Louis Kriesberg. "Social Movements and Global Transformation."

Examines resources and strategies for transnational mobilization

45. Margaret E. Keck and Kathryn Sikkink. "Conclusions: Advocacy Networks and International Society."

Illuminates the genesis and effects of transnational activism

46. Nancy A. Naples. "The Challenges and Possibilities of Transnational Feminist Practice."

Grounds possibilities and limits through gendered analysis


47. Ethan Nadelmann. "Global Prohibition Regimes."

Overviews transnational moral entrepreneurs promoting security

48. Louise Shelley. "Transnational Organized Crime: An Imminent Threat to the Nation State?"

Introduces the pervasiveness and perniciousness of this phenomenon

49. Mary Kaldor. "Introduction," from New and Old Wars: Organized Violence in a Global Era.

Maps and explains transnational militarized conflicts

50. David Kyle and John Dale. "Smuggling the State Back In: Agents of Human Smuggling Considered."

Finds that the boundaries between licit and illicit are blurred


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Dr. Sanjeev Khagram Lindenberg Center Director and Associate Professor of Public Affairs and International Studies at the University of Washington. He is also Co-Director of the Transnational Studies Initiative and Global Action Networks-Net. He was previously Acting Dean of the Desmond Tutu Peace Centre and a faculty member at Harvard's JFK School of Government. He published Dams and Development in 2004 with Cornell University.

Peggy Levitt is Associate Professor and Chair of Sociology at Wellesley College and a Research Fellow at The Weatherhead Center and The Hauser Center at Harvard University where she co-directs The Transnational Studies Initiative. Her new book, God Needs No Passport: Immigrants and the Changing American Religious Landscape was published in Spring 2007.


'All of the social and human sciences have been transformed by transnational scholarship. This has yielded new perspectives on issues from migration to religion to the role of corporations. And it has made it imperative for students and scholars to become familiar with work from several disciplines. Professors Khagram and Levitt have made a valuable contribution by bringing together so many informative and influential texts and helping readers gain an overview of these exciting lines of work.' - Craig Calhoun, President, Social Science Research Council

'Drawing on sociology, anthropology, economics, and political science, this book shows conclusively that good theory demands attention to transnational perspectives. Through articles on social phenomena as diverse as capitalism, religion, class, and art, the book proves that this approach is essential to understanding our increasingly transnational world.' - Sally Engle Merry, New York University, USA

'Few subjects are as critical in world affairs as how the forces of integration are smacking into reassertions of the particular. This book sheds considerable light on this intersection, and helps to illuminate core dilemmas of policy and cultural cohabitation on our small planet today.'- John G. Ruggie, Harvard University, USA