Internal social movements are considered to be those that act domestically within a nation-state and work hard to have their voice heard locally and gain political opportunities. But social movements began dramatically changing in the last fifty years due to globalization and shifts in power that have forced their way. This change caused something known as transnational collective action, or TCA. As Porta and Tarrow point out in their introduction of Transnational Processes and Social Activism, this transnational process requires what they call “cognitive change” and “relational change” before these social movements can make sustainable progress. These social movements on the international level also involve much different strategies and resources than the national ones which requires more work at such a large scale. One reason for social movements becoming globalized happened after the Soviet bloc collapsed and many former communist countries began to give their support to NGOs. Along with that collapse, many other areas around the world were beginning to unite for humanitarian aid because of extreme violence happening. Another reason for the increased globalized social movements was the expansion of technology that happened so rapidly. This technology opened up an entirely new way to communicate with others and share ideas across borders and across the world. This technology also includes transportation which meant cheaper travel for people to go to other countries, which in itself has been good and bad in terms of immigration flow. The third reason, which seems to be the biggest, is the incredible amount of power that so many international corporations and institutions have been gaining. This power has allowed them to establish and control things such as the World Bank and the World Trade Organization.
An emerging problem with transnational collective action falls along the lines of more loosely structured networks. This points out that with the emergence of many different kinds of protests such as women’s rights, labor conditions, and native peoples, they all fall under one category which Porta and Tarrow call “opposition against neoliberal globalization.” All of these specific groups then are obliged to be labeled under this one category and this is supposed to show the connection between groups within the new days of international movements. Another problem I found was something in David Barash’s piece, Peace Movements, Transformation, and the Future, it is pointed out that there are over four thousand NGO’s in this world that bring people together from all of the world and these NGOs have amazingly skilled resources but are hardly acknowledged by nation-states. Things such as climate change and malnutrition are studied intensively by these organizations, as well as policies and recommendations that take care of much of the world are given to government systems by NGOs, but most people in the world are unaware of this.
A good example I found of transnational collective action would be the NGO group that has organized WWF, the Word Wildlife Fund. This international NGO is a group that supports environmental and conservation projects around the world. I see this as something that needs to be a transnational social movement and not just a local one because our planet needs protection at all parts of the Earth. With so many people from around the world on board with taking action to preserve the environment, it makes it easier to communicate opinions, laws, and things we want to accomplish through this organization.
Barash, D. P. (2010). Approaches to peace: A reader in peace studies. New York: Oxford University Press.
Porta, D. D., & Tarrow, S. G. (2005). Transnational protest and global activism. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
WWF – Endangered Species Conservation. Retrieved August 06, 2016, from http://www.worldwildlife.org/