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Subject Imperial, Colonial, and Postcolonial History » Postcolonial History

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781444334982.2016.x


The term transnational signals the extension of political and economic interests as well as cultural relations beyond singular national borders. Literally describing a reaching across or transcendence of discrete national boundaries, the transnational is concerned with the social and cultural effects of deterritorialization, especially of the kind enabled by globalization. If globalization inaugurates new relations of inter-connectedness between disparate parts of the globe, facilitates the movement of people and goods in novel ways, and accelerates the speed and mode of such exchanges, it does so because of the increasing porousness of national definition. In other words, transnationalism and globalization develop symbiotically with a common tension against the nation form. In its earliest usage, “transnational” conveyed that accelerated stage of late- or globalized-capitalism when corporations and people became more mobile and less moored to the boundaries of any single nation-state. Transnationalism as a concept is closely linked to the following: processes of globalization, diverse social arrangements within border zones, and migrant or diaspora cultures. It is important to note that transnationalism stands for a historical phenomenon unique to contemporary political and economic formations, as much as it denotes an ontological experience of these same conditions that informs ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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