|Smart Library on Globalization|
Smart Library on Globalization > Smart Library on Law and Globalization > The Global Spread of Law > Overview: Aspects of Diffusing Law Globally
Epistemic Communities Provide the Basis for Globalization
Loose webs of actors (states, state organizations, individuals and others) develop common frameworks and language within different arenas of globalization. While actors may be at odds about how and the degree to which globalization should occur, these arena-based webs (called epistemic communities) provide the basis for globalization.
How do the range of different actors (states, state organizations, businesses, individuals, NGOs and mass publics) fit together within an arena of globalization?
Even though individuals within a particular arena of globalization may have quite different perspectives on the issues at hand, variation in the range of values and principles is not infinite. Loose collections of individuals work within globalizing arenas, sharing a common language, knowledge and "know how" for applying that knowledge. These webs of actors in globalizing arenas are known as epistemic communities.
What Do Epistemic Communities Do for Globalization?
Members of epistemic communities develop a common “scaffold” or language for dialogue. Communication among a range of actors depends on a common framework and language. In order to push globalization forward, actors have to understand one another and have a shared grasp of what facts and information are relevant.
Even in the most pedestrian arenas, like international marketing and sales, common standards of practice, methods of communication, record keeping practices and shared understandings of problems and possible solutions are necessary.
Roles in Epistemic Communities
There is no single model for the role that different actors play in epistemic communities. Different actors are more or less influential depending on the arena of globalization. John Braithwaite an Peter Drahos draw some general conclusions about the role of epistemic communities in globalizing business regulation.
Globalization requires dialogue among actors. Epistemic communities provide common frameworks or “scaffolds” on which different views and approaches to globalization can take place. The combination of a common framework, common information, shared relationships and “know how,” provides the basis for globalization.
Data and Methods:
Braithwaite, John, and Peter Drahos. 2000. Global Business Regulation. New York: Cambridge University Press. Ch. 20, pp. 475-506.
Other Keytexts from this source