Role of Transnational Actors in International Politics
Role of Transnational Actors in International Politics
Transnational is a recent and frequent key word in international politics and relations. It denotes organizations that work beyond state boundaries and working independently from the traditional country authorities. Recognition of such organizations has been a recent phenomena coinciding with globalization of economics, politics, social and cultural processes that have accelerated over the last two decades. Over the two decades, these organizations have grown rapidly to wield a lot of influence on the aforementioned processes. Examples of such actors include Non-Governmental Organizations, Multinational Corporations, terrorist and criminal organizations and Intergovernmental Organizations. The purpose of this essay is to offer an understanding of how these organizations are able to influence international politics as they pursue their goals across boundaries.
Role Played by Transnational Actors in International Politics
One of the reasons that transnational actors yield a lot of influence on international politics or relations is because they operate in many countries, which means they have more knowledge of international matters. Today, the world is highly interconnected where no country can act alone. Problems facing one state mean others will encounter problems in their country as well. For instance, lack of peace in Middle Eastern countries would pose a serious threat to transportation because it is the largest oil-producing region. This has the effect of increasing prices, which affects other economies in a large way. Therefore, having worked in many countries, transnational actors are better suited to helping solve such problems.
One example of an organization that has wielded a lot of influence in international politics is Unites Nations. When such issues face a country, it sends in its troops and aid. In addition, it is involved in making policies that go a far way in alleviating the problems at hand. The state alone cannot be in a position to act on its own. For instance, if a state wanted to help, it would be disadvantaged due to lack of knowledge concerning such an area. Conversely, an NGO that has been working in the troubled country would be in a better position to act, hence influencing other states to pass policies. For instance, United Nations proposed a policy to reduce the amount of carbon emission in the industrialized nations to slowdown the climatic changes. This was after it realized the adverse effects faced by majority of the poor nations who had little to do with the climatic changes.
Although the transnational actors do not fully influence the international politics especially when it comes to making policies, their role is very crucial. The main way they influence international politics is by acting global think banks and entrepreneurs of policies. Transnational organizations invest heavily on research and design, which in many cases highlights and solves problems that affect more than one country. This can be seen in scientific organizations that seek to find better ways of enhancing life. Their findings lay the basis for policy formulation. This is because a state may not have the authority to conduct research concerning another country, as a multinational organization will. Therefore, the transnational actors act as the bridge between states, which makes them quite crucial for international relations.
The transnational actors also play the role of providing technical and financial support to many countries around the world. This can be evidenced by the multinational corporations that are taking the front line in alleviating some of the social issues facing societies around the world through providing donations and facilities. Such actors who play a role in social issues are able to influence policy development within a country. However, not all transnational actors play a positive rule. One of the actors that influence negative policies is terrorist groups that force the governments in most of the countries to implements policies for ensuring security. Unites states has been one of the most affected countries by terrorist. After the September 11 attack, many policies were put in place to ensure the security of the country. Had the terrorist group been a national level one, such policies would not have occurred. The ability of such groups to operate across borders poses a great threat to the global security and business environment, which results in many defensive policies.
How Globalization and Information Revolution Influence Transnational Actors
Today, globalization and information revolutions have greatly changed the influence of transnational actors in international politics. Today, information flows from any part of the world as long as there is internet connection. It has surpassed geographical borders and enabled communication in real time. This has made it easy to conduct business and other processes. With information flowing fast, people from one state are able to know what is happening in other countries. This has allowed groups of activists from different states to join hands in advocating for certain changes within governments such as labour unions, environmental and human rights. Without such communications, it would be hard for activists from different countries to join hands and probe the states to act on issues affecting the society. One example of how information revolution has played a role is increase of emphasis on democracy. For instance, others followed the Egyptian revolution after people witnessed the power of masses through the internet.
The same way, globalization and information revolution has influenced transnational actors. The main thing globalization and information has done is to bring people from all parts of the world closer. It has enabled sharing of information and experiences. Today, many third world countries are adopting western ways of doing business and governing. This has been the result of multinational and NGO organizations in working together towards improving lives by advocating for just laws and better policies. Through information technology, the transnational organizations are able to reach masses in order to persuade governments to take action on certain issues.
However, despite the market becoming global, some processes have not moved at the same pace. Politics and social processes have remained almost the same at the national level. This makes it hard to govern the global economy because of such barriers. Multinational organizations are the most affected by this lag. They have to operate in different countries and regions under different regulations and rules. This makes it hard for them to conduct their operations smoothly.
Therefore, such organizations are lobbying state governments to make changes to some of the political rules that hinder easy operations. The ability of these firms to work in different states allows them to know more about political systems that best suit business in order to support the global economy. Most of them have specific goals such as to ensure good health of the citizens. As such, they conduct research as aforementioned in order to find out the best way to tackle epidemics and other kinds of communicable diseases. This way, they influence international relations by ensuring that governments take up the right measures.
Role of Transnational Actors in International Politics in Future
Currently, their roles are increasing across the countries as globalizations and information revolutions continue to change how people live. In future, their roles will even increase to a point where they are directly involved in developing international policies. Today, they can influence national policies in various countries by lobbying people and gathering required information to change policies. For NGOs, their goals align towards solving issues in the society, meaning they interact with diverse people and cultures. This exposes them to a lot of knowledge through which to influence policies. In addition, some take an active role of defending people from inhuman acts and environmental issues amongst others. This will allow them to advocate for more policies especially on environmental practices.
Other transnational actors such as multinational corporations have increased their corporate social responsibility, which means they will be involved in issues affecting masses. As such, they will require the governments to change some of the policies. They will gain more power to lobby activist groups and individuals. In my opinion, transnational actors will gain more influence in international politics through their increased roles with the people. In addition, globalization is still going on, meaning more and more countries will become interdependent. This will required international policies to control the economy in order to prevent collapses. This way, the transnational actors will be more relevant especially because they provide information necessary for policy formulation.
Transnational actors play a crucial
role in international politics through influencing policies. Some of them such
as the multinational corporations and non-governmental organizations are
involved in many researches concerning different environments and societies.
This puts them at an advantage over influencing policies because information is
necessary. In addition, globalization and information revolution will continue
to influence international politics by enabling activist groups to lobby for
support across borders. Therefore, transnational actors will continue to play a
crucial role in international politics in the future.
Willetts, P. (2011). Non-Governmental Organizations in World Politics: The Construction of Global Governance. New York, N.Y: Routledge.