The impressive growth and increasing influence of “transnational civil society,” the host of cross-border nongovernmental organizations and informal networks that are concerned with common global issues, is one of the dramatic developments in post-cold war international affairs. Transnational civil society has been remarkably effective in addressing human rights and environmental issues, but whether it will achieve similar results in other areas of international governance is not yet clear. This project is designed to analyze and clarify transnational civl society’s possible contributions and limitations.

Under the direction of Ann Florini of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a multinational group of analysts and acivists examined issues of international governance, including human rights, landmines, extension of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, international anti-dam networks, and anti-corruption campaigns. Workshops were held in December 1998 in Hawaii and in March 1999 in Paris to review the group’s findings.

The research was published in 2000 under the title, The Third Force: The Rise of Transnational Civil Society. A follow-up seminar series was held in Washington DC and New York in March 2001, featuring panelists who contributed to the book. The seminars examined the growing influence of transnational networks of civil society groups that have made their voices heard in international policy debates through activities ranging from the landmines campaign to the Seattle protests against the WTO.

This project was carried out in collaboration with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.


Project Director

ANN M. FLORINI, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (United States)


FREDRIK GALTUNG, Wolfson College, Cambridge University (Norway)
REBECCA JOHNSON, Acronym Institute (United Kingdom)
SANJEEV KHAGRAM, World Commission on Dams (United States)
CHETAN KUMAR, International Peace Academy (India)
MOTOKO MEKATA, Japan Campaign to Ban Landmines (Japan)
THOMAS RISSE, European University (Germany)
P.J. SIMMONS, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (United States)