7 Sociology of the Global System

Leslie Sklair

The Conceptual Space for Transnational Practices (TNP)

The concept of transnational practices refers to the effects of what people do when they are acting within specific institutional contexts that cross state borders. Transnational practices create globalizing processes. TNPs focus attention on observable phenomena, some of which are measurable, instead of highly abstract and often very vague relations between conceptual entities. […]

The global system is most fruitfully conceptualized as a system that operates at three levels, and knowledge about which can be organized in three spheres, namely the economic, the political, and the culture-ideology. Each sphere is typically characterized by a representative institution, cohesive structures of practices, organized and patterned, which can only be properly understood in terms of their transnational effects. The dominant form of globalization in the present era is undoubtedly capitalist globalization. This being the case, the primary agents and institutional focus of economic transnational practices are the transnational corporations.

However, there are others. The World Bank, the IMF, WTO, commodity exchanges, the G7 (political leaders of the seven most important economies), the US Treasury and so on are mostly controlled by those who share the interests of the major TNCs and the major TNCs share their interests. In a revealing report on ‘IMF: Efforts to Advance US Policies ...

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