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Prof. Dr. Christian Volk: "Enacting a parallel world: Political protest against the transnational constellation" (article)

News from Nov 01, 2018

Christian Volk (2019), Enacting a parallel world: Political protest against the transnational constellation, in: Journal of International Political Theory online first, pp. 1-19. DOI: 10.1177/1755088218806920.



Global capitalism is a transnational “operational space” (Sassen) which is (re)produced by the practices of states, policy- and issue-specific government networks, and private organizations such as transnational corporations, global law firms, and standard-setting agencies. This “operational space,” which I call the transnational constellation, works through and beyond distinct spatial settings (i.e. local, glocal, national, global), endowing them with a global financial capitalistic logic and limiting the scope of democratic self-determination. In the second section, I analyze political protest against this transnational constellation in terms of democratic theory. I argue that transnational protest and activism have to be appreciated for their reshaping of spaces of the political, for developing and delivering a genuinely global perspective on political problems, and for their politicization of the transnational constellation by revealing and contesting structures and strategies of domination. However, it would be misleading to conceive of protest against the transnational constellation as constituent power. Instead, as I argue in the third part of the article, this kind of protest enacts a parallel world which very often lasts only for a fleeting moment, but where alternative political and social life forms are exercised and experienced. Perhaps their time is yet to come.

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