tjir_v1n3saa01

tjir_v1n3saa01 - No More Inside/Outside: Transnationalism...

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Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations, Vol.1, No.3, Fall 2002 25 No More Inside/Outside: Transnationalism and the New Political Economy Amandeep Sandhu* To understand things, we divide them into smaller pieces. We draw boundaries and then try to understand what we can make of the smaller units. Then we try to infer what these smaller units say about the larger unit. In the same way the books under consideration here draw boundaries so that we can make sense of what is happening to the world. In his now famous 1992 book Inside/Outside: International Relations as Political Theory , Robert Walker argues the same with regard to the notion of sovereignty in international relations. For Walker, the boundaries of sovereignty of modern nation states are markers of the division of what is inside and what is outside. Under the most widely accepted theoretical paradigm in international relations— Realism—what is inside the boundaries is supposed to be rational and what is outside is supposed to be irrational. It is, without doubt, a Hobbesian notion of what the world is like. In a somewhat similar fashion to Walker’s division of inside/outside, the books under consideration try to establish some sort of order out of the contradictory and complex knowledge of the happenings out there; they are trying to make a proposition about the nature of social reality. If there is a theme that unifies these disparate readings, it is this: the old boundaries that were drawn to make sense of the world are not holding up well; therefore, we need to draw new boundaries. I will argue in this review that the books in consideration are arguing for a redrawing of boundaries so as to focus our attention on the interconnections among social processes that
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Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations, Vol.1, No.3, Fall 2002 26 flow across nation state boundaries. All these books, then, draw attention to the transnational plane of inquiry—but in different ways. As different as their ways of organizing these boundaries might be, all the authors under consideration are concerned with space as an organizing mode of global political economy. Manuel Castells organizes his narrative around the concept of network society. For him, the present phase of capitalism is marked by the annihilation of space through time. Where in the previous phase of capitalism, time was in control of space; now the space dominates time. There exists now, according to Castells (pg.101), a global economy. This global economy is distinct from world economy. A world economy—defined as “an economy in which capital accumulation proceeds through the world” (Castells, 101)—has existed in the West for a long time. Now, with the coming of the network society, the world economy has become a global economy. “A global economy is something different: it is an economy with the capacity to work as a unit in real time, or chosen time, on a planetary scale” (Castells, 101). This is because the
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tjir_v1n3saa01 - No More Inside/Outside: Transnationalism...

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