Connecting and confronting transnationalism: bridging concepts and moving critique

de Jong, Sara and Dannecker, Petra (2018). Connecting and confronting transnationalism: bridging concepts and moving critique. Identities: global studies in culture and power, 25(5) pp. 493–506.



This article traces the trajectory of transnationalism as a perspective and field of study and suggests that new impetus can be given to its development by establishing a dialogue between transnationalism and other key concepts. While the research agenda of the early stages was characterised by a need to distinguish transnationalism from related terms, such as globalisation, we argue that the field could now regain momentum by exploring synergies with other concepts. In this special issue we stage confrontations between transnationalism and, respectively, the (perspectives opened up by the) concepts of ‘borders’, ‘translocality’, ‘precarity’, ‘queer’, ‘moralities’, ‘the state’, and ‘brokerage’. Conceptually, this allows us to go beyond an internal critique that exposes the shortcomings of a transnational perspective, by suggesting novel frameworks and toolkits. Substantively, this issue’s articles demonstrate the need to refocus transnational studies’ attention to the unevenness, instability and inequality of transnational space.

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