At the time of writing (March 2009), it is clear that what first began some two years ago as a crisis in the obscure sub-prime mortgage market within the US finance industry has developed into a full-blown global economic crisis, with declining output and rising unemployment in many countries. As always in such circumstances, different social forces are now proposing responses that serve their own interests; but for all such groups, in order to frame an appropriate response, it is first necessary to decide what kind of crisis this is.
- Three Generations of Transnational Scholarship
We can delineate three generations of transnational scholarship. The first generation, flourishing in the late 1960s and 1970s, asked about the emergence, role and impact of large-scale, cross-border organizations. This literature, steeped in the field of International Relations, focused its attention on the interdependence between states, resulting from the existence and operations of powerful non-state actors, such as multinational companies1. Curiously, the interest in this transnational approach quickly disappeared with the onset of debates on globalization from the late 1970s onwards. Perhaps this demise was related to the fact that globalization studies re-centered the interest to how national political economies were reshaped by ever-growing capital flows across borders. Much more than later generations of the trans-national literature, globalization studies emphasized the top-down model of societal transformation.
What is cosmopolitan democracy?
Cosmopolitan democracy is a project of normative political theory that attempts to apply some of the principles, values and procedures of democracy to the global political system. As a consequence of the fall of the Berlin Wall, democratic regimes have spread in the East and in the South. For the first time in history, elected governments administer the majority of the world population and, although not all these regimes are equally respectful of basic human rights, there is a significant pressure to achieve representative, accountable and lawful administration. Democracy has become, both in theory and in practice, the sole source of legitimate authority and power.
It is always a great intellectual, social, and personal pleasure for me to attend conferences in Turkey. I want to thank the organizers of this now famous conference very sincerely indeed for the invitation, and the opportunity to address you all today.
I want also to thank the conference organisers for choosing such an interesting and important topic. ‘Change’ is one of those things that we deal with all the time, but rarely stop to think about in a systematic way; it is one of those concepts that seem obvious till we really try and think about them.
I am grateful for comments on an
earlier draft by Erin Graham, Alex Thomp-son, Alex Wendt, Sara Brooks, Jennifer
Mitzen and Randy Schweller. I would particularly like to thank the organizers
of the conference at METU for their comments and invitation to come to Ankara,
specifically: Dean Eyüp Özve-ren, Chair Meliha Altunisik and Professor Faruk
Yalvaç. I am also grateful to Daniele Archibugi, Nils Gleditsch, Mahmood
Monshipouri, Julian Saurin and other participants who offered critique and