Research Structure

Transnationality refers to phenomena that are both cross-border and private, and occupies the regulatory space where national regulation no longer applies, and/or where there are gaps or deficiencies in the supranational framework of institutions. The work carried out by ZenTra is organized in a matrix structure: Research is conducted in different working groups analyzing phenomena and processes on a micro, meso and macro level within four fields. The fourth field deals with cross-cutting themes.

We believe it to be a particular strength of the ZenTra initiative that we are able to employ multiple disciplinary perspectives to carry out research in all four fields. In this way, we are in a better position to examine the dynamics that generate the complex governance structures of contemporary societies, which are neither bottom-up nor top-down in their essence, and where public and private actors engage in constant interaction.

Field A Transnational actors

Field A focuses on the micro level: Transnational actors (individuals, groups, organisations, corporations) are analysed. We are primarily interested in analysing the ways in which these actors behave in and perceive transnational processes and phenomena.

Field B Transnational Governance

Field B moves from the micro to the meso level of analysis where we focus on transnational governance. Transnational actors are embedded in multiple institutional contexts in their home and host countries which we want to analyse. We examine the process whereby transnational actors adjust to local institutions and eventually also engage in efforts to shape the local normative and regulatory institutions.

Field C Transnational societies

Field C deals with the macro level: in contrast to field two, the projects in field three are concerned with the broader societal impact of the various co-evolutionary processes initiated by transnational actors that seek to shape the rules of contemporary societies.

Field D Concepts and Methods in Transnational Studies

Field D is the crosscutting structure where the researchers engaged in projects under Field A-C come together to develop and refine concepts and methods in the area of transnational studies.