Transnational social capital: the socio-spatialities of civil society

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Civil society remains a contested concept, but one that is widely embedded
in global development processes. Transnationalism within civil society scholarship is often described dichotomously, either through hierarchical dependency relations or as a more amorphous networked global civil society. These two contrasting spatial imaginaries produce very particular ideas about how transnational relations contribute to civil society. Drawing on empirical material from research with civil society organizations in Barbados and Grenada, in this article I contend that civil society groups use forms of transnational social capital in their work. This does not, however, resonate with the horizontal relations associated with grassroots globalization or vertical chains of dependence. These social relations are imbued with power and agency and are entangled in situated historical, geographical and personal contexts. I
conclude that the diverse transnational social relations that are part of civil society activity offer hope and possibilities for continued civil society action in these unexpected spatial arrangements.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-149
Number of pages23
JournalGlobal Networks
Issue number1
Early online date8 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes


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