Civil Society: The Transnational Activist Group


The term global civil society can be defined as a voluntary society that shares information or does a certain activity together. Civil society is usually referred to as the society that is doing things against the current social norms. It was more recently termed as the ‘activist groups’. This society can be divided into “within states” and “beyond states”. The state basically has the right to access power and govern while the civil society cannot use any violence etc.

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This essentially gives more power to the state than the city which means that the state runs on politically influenced society while the civil runs of a more public domain. The concept of having a global civil society is going more towards politics beyond states, whereby more and more international civil societies are forming to fight against something they believe in, most of the time not thru political influence. Thus, in other words, a civil society goes against the usual political hierarchy. An order which can also be defined as “an arrangement of product” goes against hierarchy, it creates a negative relationship with hierarchy.

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According to Wapner’s empirical observation, there has been a recent increase in scholarly interests in the transnational activist group. These activists groups are becoming increasingly popular globally. These activists groups startup by starting something small among their neighborhoods etc. This could be for example like the recycling societies they have which starts expanding into a global society with more people funding in it after getting awareness on it. This is when, as Wapner suggests, the politically influenced people start influencing these activists groups. Wapner defines political power as an interface of power and the public domain.

He also argues that politics also forge voluntary practices into mechanisms that govern public affairs. One of the ways that the political system checks on whether the activists group is still active and successful is thru 2 main ways. Firstly, they will check if society is continuously being funded.

This could be thru either a politically influenced society, where the money comes from either the government or a politically influenced person. Another way is when the society is a non-politically influenced society, whereby money comes from the collection of donations from the public. The second way to check if the society is successful is thru its relevancy. This could be like for example, if the society is still what it was first set up to do.

More and more popular and famous people are joining these activists groups to enhance themselves in social well-being. For example, Angelina Jolie adopting an African kid, became a worldwide phenomenon. She also has set up her own society. Her fans would naturally want to do whatever she does. The media actually contributes a lot in terms of publicity for these activists groups. The media also plays a role in helping to create awareness regarding these activists groups around the world.

Apart from the above, the internet also plays a major role in spreading messages around the world. The internet has become one of the main sources for information and for people to share information and opinions among themselves. People from any corner of the globe can access the internet and find out information on whichever activists group they want to join and so on. Thus, with the current technology in today’s world, the activist groups are getting more attention and more and more people are getting involved in it.

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Iraq is still in a state of political turmoil against the rest of the world. There are still innocent citizens, politicians, children, soldiers and many others dying every day especially since it was declared a war zone a few years back. The current war has killed thousands of people but without a clear reason of why except for the reason given by the Americans. Many activists groups have protested against the war, but in vain, There are various viewpoints to look at this situation. One of these views is thru the Realist view. A realist is a person who sees a situation in the most pragmatic way. A realist often is a person who sees the truth and believes in idealism. This means they believe that the world can be an ideal place where no wrongdoing has to take place and they want to make everything perfect and in order.

A realist views politics as being separate between domestic and international politics. This means that a realist viewed politics as its controllable domestically and internationally in a separate way. However, in the recent Iraq situation, realists are beginning to change their opinion about the political system when they realized that there is a connection between the domestic and international politicians. This is especially when there was a tension conflict between the US and the Iraqi government as the Iraqi’s were having more of an ethnic conflict, but the US government is interfering to try and make a democratic government for them. Thus, there exists a political conflict between these 2 countries especially with their current political parties that their own citizens don’t support, but are being supported by the US government.

Realism can be viewed using the fundamental or theoretical approach. The fundamental approach highlights that the state acts as the international relaters and there is an unambiguous separation between domestic and international separation of powers in the political system. States can be defined in terms of power especially when they want to protect their national interests and act as unitary-rational actors. The theoretical approach is more towards characterizing the processes thru an international reality way.

There are also several criticisms of political realism. One of it is that it has limited content, whereby it tends to ignore most of the international interaction that is supposed to be cooperative in nature. Besides that, the assumptions made are also partly valid ones. For example, states are most concerned over many complex issues which do not have much power. These states are not united neither are their behaving universally rationally. Apart from that, it is also said that realism oversimplifies reality whereby the political situation in the real world is much more complicated and there are much more hidden issues to it than what the realists say.

Furthermore, there are also issues of interdependence. This is whereby the states, regardless of is power can shape the entire international system. There are also states that are very much interdependent on each other. In addition, there is also another criticism on being empirical. This focuses more on that the political system is not based on just being pragmatic, there are more underlying issues to it. The political system has been criticized for not being able to predict the world’s major events and processes though research has been done in years in advance.

The realist theory doesn’t give much importance to domestic politics while the liberalism theory gives more importance to it. The realist theory is based more on an individualistic approach while the liberalist theory is based more on a group-based approach. To determine foreign policies, a realist believes in a more foreign approach while a liberalist depends on a more domestic approach. Among these 2 approaches, politicians are motivated to use an approach depending on the situation.

For example, during a security issue, a leader would have to choose between the security or economic issue whereby in terms of security, the leader has to be more of a realist thinking of only his country and his people whereby if he chooses to think of it based on a more economic approach, he would be a liberalist as he would consider the economical value of his country towards the other countries around the world. In addition, this would also depend on a leader’s timing of an issue, for example, if its an urgent issue, a leader would think in a more realistic way rather than a liberalist way.

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One of the newest approaches is Woodrow Wilson’s 14points and study of IR whereby the author suggests the principle of national self-determination and the principle of public diplomacy and agreements which suggests a more transparent IR. Apart from that, there is also theoretical and normative criticism. The theoretical criticism is whereby it approaches assumptions that cant be theoretically sustainable while the normative criticism focuses on the application of the Utopian approach which is based on the facts and consequences. Besides that, there is something also called the liberal paradigm of IR whereby it is suggested that there are changes in the structure and characteristics of the political system since the 1990s.

There are a few ways of increasing cooperation. The first way is by lengthening the shadows of the future. This is when the political system says the same goal over a period of time, and starts highlighting some new strategies to achieve it. Next, increase the costs of cooperation. For example, they would highlight the benefits of being cooperative, the effect and consequences on everyone etc. this would also mean that they can “buy” cooperation by increasing the benefits for those who cooperate and punish those who do not cooperate.

They would also encourage sharing information on those who do not cooperate, meaning that another person or a cooperator could actually point out the ones that are not cooperating, this would create fear in people, so everyone is forced to cooperate whether they want to or not. Apart from that, they could also create some kind of tension or domestic violence to install the cooperation among the public.


Regimes and social facts can create international relations or also known as a social construction. They take various forms such as historical, cultural and political forms. The above happens as a consequence of human interaction with the rest of the world, mainly thru the media and the internet at least in recent times. Some of the central themes include change whereby change happens through a different context or a different objective; social dimensions of emphasizing the normal rules, the process of interaction whereby as humans interact they will be able to exchange information on the various forms of structural agent whereby whether the behavior comes from the realism(individualistic approach) or a liberalism approach ( a more cooperative, group approach).

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StudyCorgi. "Civil Society: The Transnational Activist Group." September 14, 2021.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "Civil Society: The Transnational Activist Group." September 14, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Civil Society: The Transnational Activist Group'. 14 September.

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