Anthropology of Transnationalism

The anthropology of transnationalism studies how mobility of people, symbols, services and capital leads to the establishment of transnational networks, and how these networks function and are used. Studies of transnationalism postulate that these networks transcend national boundaries and even nation states and that they have an unexpected reactive effect on what happens locally. Hence, the anthropology of transnationalism studies how local and global behaviours shape one another.  

Transnationalism as a term refers to a number of phenomena which have emerged in recent decades as a consequence of the globalization of economic relationships and the universalisation of values. These phenomena have led to a profound change of approach in the social sciences and the humanities. The main signifiers are no longer national, but rather transnational.

Areas of research within the anthropology of transnationalism include transnational migration regimes, questions concerning the emergence of transnational fields in politics and law as well as the functioning of transnational commodities, services and symbol markets.

This focus on the interrelatedness of global and local behaviours constitutes one of the major components in the master program “Anthropology of Transnationalism and the State” (ATS).

Darstellung eines Globus in blau und silber