Transnational activism and global transformations: The anti-apartheid and abolitionist experiences

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100 Scopus citations


Communications technology, many analysts proclaim, heralds a profoundly transformed new world where time and space take on new meanings. As a result, networks of non-state actors proliferate, altering the functions of international organizations and creating new pressures on states. Yet previous eras also witnessed social activists pursuing their agendas through and around national governments. Then as now, social forces and global norms impinged on states with vitality and independence. The experiences of abolitionists and anti-apartheid activists demonstrate how transnational social movements in two different centuries mobilized across national boundaries around issues of race - despite barriers of time, distance and culture. This comparison provides the basis for disaggregating types of non-state actors in world politics and for understanding better the links between social activism and global normative change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-76+139
JournalEuropean Journal of International Relations
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Abolitionists
  • Apartheid
  • Globalization
  • Human rights
  • Norms
  • Race
  • Social movements
  • Transnationalism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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