“Epistemic Communities and Social Movements: Transnational Dynamics in the Case of Creative Commons” is the title of a new MPIFG Discussion Paper that Leonhard and I released last summer (PDF). The abstract reads as follows:

“While the existence of transnational communities is increasingly recognized in globalization studies, very little is yet known about their impact on global governance. Studies investigating the role of transnational communities in international rule setting tend to specialize in specific types, such as epistemic communities, social movements, or policy networks, and narrow down their effects to agenda setting or issue framing. In this paper, we choose a broader view. We examine the regulatory effects which arise when different types of transnational communities with a common goal operate in concurrence through all phases of the rule-setting process. The empirical research of this papers focuses on the transnational governance field of copyright. More specifically, we study transnational communities aiming to overcome limitations to the prevalent transnational copyright regime in the face of new information technology. On the basis of a longitudinal case study, we show how an epistemic community and a social movement came to interact around the non-profit organization “Creative Commons” in ways which provided unforeseen momentum for their rule-setting project. This impetus generated both functional and latent effects. While the rapid growth of the social movement enabled Creative Commons to successfully disseminate its private licenses among producers of digital intellectual goods, bypassing classical regulators and policy makers, it also threatened the goals and internal decision making of Creative Commons itself. Following the division of Creative Commons into two separate, but still connected, organizations, it remains to be seen how the interaction of the epistemic community and social movement will evolve in the future.”