Transnational Governance

This project rests on two basic considerations Firstly, it interprets transnational affairs as regulatory spaces that are inhabited by a variety of actors and organizations including states, transgovernmental networks of sub-state units, international organizations as well as private actors with or without a profit orientation. The terminology to capture the pluralization of actors in world politics is Czempiel and Rosenau's differentiation of governance by, with and without governments. Secondly, the growing complexity in world politics is not only related to a pluralization of actors, but also to the diffusion of the capacity to set, sanction and the enforce rules. The idea of disaggregating governance into different functions is well establishes in the political science and legal literature. The legal concept of jurisdiction refers to the reach of an assertion to set, sanction and enforce rules, while the political science concept of authority refers to the actual capacity to make a specific behaviour subject to one's rules. Put differently, authority focuses more explicitly on the conditions under which an assertion for jurisdiction is likely become consequential. This project rests on two basic considerations Firstly, it interprets transnational affairs as regulatory spaces that are inhabited by a variety of actors and organizations including states, transgovernmental networks of sub-state units, international organizations as well as private actors with or without a profit orientation. The terminology to capture the pluralization of actors in world politics is Czempiel and Rosenau's differentiation of governance by, with and without governments. Secondly, the growing complexity in world politics is not only related to a pluralization of actors, but also to the diffusion of the capacity to set, sanction and the enforce rules. The idea of disaggregating governance into different functions is well establishes in the political science and legal literature. The legal concept of jurisdiction refers to the reach of an assertion to set, sanction and enforce rules, while the political science concept of authority refers to the actual capacity to make a specific behaviour subject to one's rules. Put differently, authority focuses more explicitly on the conditions under which an assertion for jurisdiction is likely become consequential.

In combination, these two considerations imply an understanding of contemporary transnational affairs as being characterized by linkages and interactions between different governance contributions. The governance contributions of different actors in transnational regulatory spaces coexist, with their relationship may be supportive or competing. The expectation is that the interactions between different governance claims occur in nested, overlapping or parallel constellations. As transnational arenas with coexisting and competing governance claims are inherently dynamic, and the fundamental objective of the project is to analytically capture patterns and politics of interaction of between different governance contributions.

The project rejects any over-generalisation of one sided accounts claiming either a withering away of the state or the emergence of transnational governance systems. Neither will islands of private transnational governance transform into continents will patterns of transnational rule-making in functionally specific areas prepare the grounds for a consolidation of a global integrative statehood under the logic of a world-state. Rather, the expectation is that interactions between different assertions for authority and jurisdiction will lead processes of transformations and hybridization. For instance, with respect to development of statehood these transformations may be captured in terms of "bricolage" or "patching up" rather than "destruction"; as "addition" rather than "displacement" or as "Anlagerung" rather than "Verlagerung". On a more general level, it is expected that complex patterns of interactions in transnational regulatory spaces will find expression in processes of hybridisation of governance contributions: hybrids between public and private governance, hybrids between different levels of governance, and hybrids between different modes of governance. The analytical challenge is to identify variables for patterns of hybridization and to assess the implication of these processes.

Leader Profile: 
Dirk Lehmkuhl , Universit├Ąt St Gallen, Switzerland; Research Associate, CLPE