Marisa von Bülow: Civil Society, Transnational Networks and Global Change

September 27, 2018 - 4:30pm to 6:00pm

“Civil Society, Transnational Networks and Global Change” by Marisa Von Bülow, University of Brasilia

Keynote address for Workshop on Transnational Social Movements and Global Change (Reception to follow)


Co-Sponsors: Department of Sociology, Global Studies Center, World History Center, Center for Latin American Studies, Office of Research-Research in Diversity Initiative, Year of Pitt Global


Transnational networks of civil society have expanded and diversified in the past five decades, impacted by globalization as well as by activists’ efforts to foster collaborative ties across national borders. This talk presents an overview of the evolution of the field of transnational activist networks over recent decades and considers how digital technologies—and more specifically of social media—affect both activists and researchers of transnational networks. In the global South as well as in the global North, digital activist practices are reshaping the boundaries of transnational collective action and presenting new challenges for activists and researchers alike. Paradoxically, we have witnessed both the emergence of transnational campaigns that further the human rights agenda, and of initiatives that promote intolerance and antidemocratic practices. We have also seen the rise of transnational networks that promote fake news and other digital strategies that seek to manipulate and distort political debates. In this context, leaders and civil society organizations remain key actors in promoting sustained transnational collective action for democracy and human rights. Activist reliance on digital platforms, moreover, present important methodological challenges that are best addressed through collaborative initiatives among scholars from different regions.

Location and Address

O’Hara SC Dining Room