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Title: The dynamics of third dimensional power in detemining a pre-orientation to policymaking : an exploratory study of transitional elite interactions in the post-Cold War period
Author: Richardson, Ian
ISNI:       0000 0001 1368 2571
Awarding Body: Cranfield University
Current Institution: Cranfield University
Date of Award: 2009
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In the contemporary political setting, the emergence of transnationalism represents a significant challenge to traditional state-centred depictions of international relations and raises many questions concerning its purpose, legitimacy and effects. This study is concerned with one aspect of the transnational debate: the dynamics of power that drive consensus formation within informal, and collaborative, elite transnational networks. Situated in debates related to international relations, political economy, policy science, political sociology and social network theory, this study identifies the role played by transnational elites in articulating, as well as interpreting, structural determinants of policy. In short, transnational elite interactions are responsible, often unconsciously, for the legitimisation of pervasive social constructs within the wider elite community. The process of legitimisation within such settings is highly contested and, as a consequence, power relations are critical to our understanding of eventual consensus. Utilising Steven Lukes’s (1974) third dimensional form of power, this study considers the discrete mechanisms of preference formation at play within transnational elite networks. Exploring processes of socialisation, acculturation, familiarisation and fraternisation within such communities, the complex, and highly personal, demands of elite membership are revealed. The study suggests that these demands have a considerable bearing upon the nature and substance of consensus formation activity within elite networks. It also makes clear, however, that any resulting consensus is far from absolute and highly idiosyncratic. This qualitative study is the first of its kind concerned with the interactions of transnational elites. It reports the findings of interviews conducted with sixteen members of the Atlantic transnational network – arguably the most powerful and interconnected of all transnational networks. In presenting an analysis of the first-hand accounts of these individuals, and exploring the dynamics of power within such a context, this study represents an original contribution to knowledge in the field.
Supervisor: Kakabadse, Andrew P. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available