The globalization of the “anti globalizers”: A transnational network analysis of the social movement organization Attac.
Introduction How is “globalization from below” supposed to work? What organizational structures do the political actors of civil society develop, and what mechanisms allow them to transcend national borders in order to participate in the global politica l arena? The objective of the present article is to answer these questions by investigating the inner functioning and the outer political efficacy of an exemplary transnational social movement organization. I will start with a discussion of the association between globalization a nd the rise of networks as dominant structures. Transnational actors in business, as well as those involved in bo th institutional and contentious politics, tend to be structured as networks, so I will focus on the dynamics that originate from this particular organizational architecture. After a brief introduc tion to the transnational social movement organization under study, I will proceed to a networ k analysis, both on a European and global scale. Due to the nature of its structure, a series of positive and negative network effects arise. On the other hand, several features of the agents of political action and their environments present impediments to its full functioning as a transnat ional network. The combination of such network effects and obstacles leads to a core dilemma of transnational political actors of civil society, which will be discussed afterwards. The article will conclude with some reflections on the future development of the role of civil society actors in the field of global politics.