In This Review

Activists Beyond Borders: Advocacy Networks in International Politics
Activists Beyond Borders: Advocacy Networks in International Politics
By Margaret E. Keck and Kathryn Sikkink
Cornell University Press, 1998, 228 pp.

The erosion of the state-centered international order is nowhere more evident than in the rise of a host of transnational activist groups dealing with issues such as human rights, the environment, women's rights, and the like. These groups take the form of networks -- neither hierarchical organizations nor market-based forces -- bound together by common norms or values. This book usefully traces their rise, beginning with the abolitionist movement of the nineteenth century through more recent movements against foot-binding in China and female circumcision in Africa. Like Stalin, one might ask "how many divisions do transnational networks have?" The answer is that they have information, greatly abetted by modern communications technology, and thus the ability to set agendas for nation-states and transnational organizations like the World Bank, Shell Oil Corporation, or Nestle.