Home » Departments and Centres » History and Civilization » Research & Teaching » Seminars » 2018-2019 2nd term » The Emergence of Transnational Governance

The Emergence of Transnational Governance

Research Seminar

Organised by Prof Federico Romero and Prof Corinna Unger
Registration code: HEC-RS-TRAGOV-18
Block seminar: 14 January, 25 January, 18 February and 25 February 2019, from 9:30 am to 4 pm, sala dei Levrieri

Admin. Assistant: Laura Borgese


Seminar description

The existence of transnational governance structures as we know them today are often the outcome of historically contingent circumstances. They also evolved over time under very particular circumstances, ranging from regional trade cooperation to national political debates about welfare and security to international conflicts like the two world wars to global phenomena like the Cold War. Knowing how particular transnational mechanisms have come into existence, how they have evolved over time, why they have taken the particular forms they exhibit today, and why some have been judged more successful than others is crucial to understanding the nature and the principles of transnational governance, its challenges, and its potential. By studying the actors, structures, and practices of transnational governance in diachronic perspective, the seminar provides participants with an in-depth understanding of the roots of its mechanisms and their effects on contemporary transnational practices. European postwar integration as a particular strand of transnational governance is given special attention.

The seminar is thematic in approach, and it emphasizes the non-linear evolution of transnational governance. Participants learn to analyze the interaction between the different levels and agents of governance involved, sharpening their skills in identifying varieties of transnationalism and allowing them to gain a differentiated understanding of transnational governance that will be of use throughout the program.

The seminar begins with a look at the emergence of transnational governance as an academic concept in the social sciences and in historical research, highlighting the differences in methods and approaches but also pointing toward the potential of interdisciplinary work in this field. In addition, we look at the political connotations of transnational concepts and at the normative elements that often accompany discussions about transnational phenomena. This includes a discussion of the tension between transnational governance practices incorporated into hegemonic structures and those that are multilateral in design. Following these conceptual and methodological discussions, the seminar turns to case studies that allow participants to study the emergence of transnational governance in practice. Topics include migration; war and peace; economy, trade, and finance; infrastructure and environment; humanitarianism and human rights; and various aspects of European integration as a prominent case of transnational governance.



14 January

Defining the transnational

  • Patricia Clavin, “Defining Transnationalism,” Contemporary European History 14.4 (2005): 421-439.
  • Jessica Reinisch, “Introduction: Agents of Internationalism”, Contemporary European History 25.2 (2016): 195-205.
  • Joseph Anthony Maiolo, “Systems and Boundaries in International History,” International History Review 40.3 (2018): 576-591.

Studying the transnational

  • William Sewell, “Theory, History, and Social Science”, in idem., Logics of History: Social Theory and Social Transformation (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005), 1-21.
  • Ann-Christina L. Knudsen and Karen Gram-Skjoldager, “Historiography and Narration in Transnational History,” Journal of Global History 9.1 (2014): 143-161.

Migration as a transnational phenomenon

  • Andreas Wimmer and Nina Glick Schiller, “Methodological Nationalism, the Social Sciences, and the Study of Migration: An Essay in Historical Methodology,” International Migration Review 37.3 (2003): 576-610.
  • Adam McKeown, Melancholy Order: Asian Migration and the Globalization of Borders (New York: Columbia University Press, 2011), Introduction, chapter 2, chapter 12.


25 January

International orders and transnational structures

  • Glenda Sluga, “‘Who Hold the Balance of the World?’ Bankers at the Congress of Vienna, and in International History,” American Historical Review 122.5 (2017): 1403-1430.
  • Martha Finnemore and Michelle Jurkovich, “Getting a Seat at the Table: The Origins of Universal Participation and Modern Multilateral Conferences,” Global Governance 20 (2014): 361-373.
  • Eric Helleiner, “Southern Pioneers of International Development,” Global Governance 20 (2014): 375-388.

Regulating infrastructures and resources transnationally

Presentation by Anna-Katharina Wöbse

  • Anna-Katharina Wöbse, “‘The World After All Was One’: The International Environmental Network of UNESCO and IUPN, 1945-1950,” Contemporary European History 20.3 (2011): 331-348.
  • Vincent Lagendijk and Erik Van der Vleuten, “Inventing Electrical Europe: Interdependencies, Borders, Vulnerabilities,” in Anique Hommels et al., eds., Europe Goes Critical: The Emergence and Governance of European Critical Infrastructures (Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan, 2013), 57-96.

Transnational trade regimes

  • Francine McKenzie, “The GATT-EEC Collision: The Challenge of Regional Trade Blocs to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, 1950-1967,” The International History Review 32.2 (2010): 229-252.
  • Sara Lorenzini, “Comecon and the South in the years of détente: a study of East-South economic relations,” European Review of History 21.2 (2014): 183-199.


18 February 

Transnational claims and interventions: laws, rights, and sovereignty

  • Lauren Benton and Lisa Ford, Rage for Order: The British Empire and the Origins of International Law, 1800-1850 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2016), chapter 4 and chapter 7.
  • Rob Skinner and Alan Lester, “Humanitarianism and Empire: New Research Agendas,” Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 40.5 (2012): 729-747.
  • Meredith Terretta, “Anti-Colonial Lawyering, Postwar Human Rights, and Decolonization across Imperial Boundaries in Africa,” Canadian Journal of History 52.3 (2017): 448-478.

Supranational vs. intergovernmental: the origins of the European Community

Presentation by Grace Ballor

  • Alan S. Milward and Vibeke Sorensen, “Interdependence or Integration?,” in Alan S. Milward et al., eds., The Frontier of National Sovereignty: History and Theory, 1945-1992 (London: Routledge, 1993), 1-32.
  • E.B. Haas, “International Integration: the European and the Universal Process,” International Organization 15.3 (1961): 366-392.
  • Giuliano Garavini, “The Eurafrica Factor: European Community Development Policy (1957-1992),” in Ulrich Krotz, Kiran Klaus Patel, and Federico Romero, eds., The History of EC Foreign Relations, 1957-1992. Forthcoming.


25 February

A community of law: European integration

Presentation by Renaud Dehousse 

  • Renaud Dehousse and J.H.H. Weiler, “The Legal Dimension,” in William Wallace, ed., The Dynamics of European Integration (London: Pinter Publishers, 1990), 242-259.
  • Antoine Vauchez, Brokering Europe: Euro-Lawyers and the Making of a Transnational Polity, LSE Working Paper 19, May 2013. https://ssrn.com/abstract=2264795

Towards a neo-liberal Europe? Debates inside the Delors Commission

Presentation by Eric Bussière

  • Laurent Warlouzet, Governing Europe in a Globalizing World: Neoliberalism and Its Alternatives Following the 1973 Oil Crisis (New York: Routledge, 2017), chapter 4, chapter 8 and chapter 9.

Crisis of legitimacy

  • Desmond Dinan, Neill Nugent, and William E. Paterson, eds., The European Union in Crisis (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), chapter 1, chapter 3, and chapter 18.




Page last updated on 07 January 2019