Tue. Jul 27th, 2021

Common Alternatives

Creating Futures Beyond Capital and Carbon

Transversalism: A new notion for the post-globalist era

4 min read

Transversalism (transversal cosmopolitanism) is identified by its being founded on an evolutionary move into a post-capitalist network of democratically governed relatively autonomous alternative systems, and by the strong aspiration to build meaningful common ideological and political action orientations that transcend counterproductive divisions among transformative movements. It seeks an accommodative mode of social consciousness centred on a common ground for dialogue, collective learning, and concrete action among multiple progressive identities and ideological visions within the field of transformative movement praxes.

Transversalism aims at consolidating political coalitions and ideational accommodation between social groups on both a class and a non-class basis. Therefore, it does not imply uniformity, a general theory of social emancipation and the collapse of differences, autonomies and local identities. This requires an attitude of openness and the intention of exchanging mutual experiences (via engagement of Self with Others) and ideas across a variety of local fields of transformative movements of resistance.

Transversalism grounds cosmopolitanist values on local, grassroots and communal particularities. This requires openness and the intention of exchanging experiences and ideas across a variety of local fields of resistance. Transversalism consists of the following elements: (1) recognition of diversity and difference, (2) dialogue (deliberation across differences), (3) systemic self-reflection, (4) intentional openness (intention to explore the reality of the Other), (5) critical awareness of the intersectional nature of power relations that affects interconnections, and finally (6) commitment to creating alterity through hybridization and creolization of ideas and deeds.

Sources: (Hosseini, Gills and Goodman, 2017; Hosseini, 2015b; Hosseini, 2015a, 2013; Gills, Hosseini and Goodman, 2017; Salleh, Goodman and Hosseini, 2015)

More related readings: (James, 2013; Buckley, 2013; Cockburn and Hunter, 1999; Jung, 2009; Schrag, 2007; Hosseini, 2011; Yuval-Davis and Stoetzler, 2002; Goodman, 2007; Santos, 2014; Hosseini, 2006; Petrus, 2016)

Buckley, K. M. (2013) Global Civil Society and Transversal Hegemony: The Globalization-Contestation Nexus, New York: Routledge.

Cockburn, C. & Hunter, L. (1999) Transversal Politics and Translating Practices, Soundings: A Journal of Politics and Culture Summer(12), 88-93,

Gills, B. K., Hosseini, S. A. H. & Goodman, J. (2017) Theorizing Alternatives to Capital: Towards a Critical Cosmopolitanist Framework, European Journal of Social Theory, 20(4), 437-54.

Goodman, J. (2007) Reordering Globalism? Feminist and Women’s Movements in the Semi-Periphery, in M. Griffin-Cohen & J. M. Brodie (eds.) Remapping Gender in the New Global Order (pp. 187-204), London; New York: Routledge.

Hosseini, S. A. (2006) Beyond Practical Dilemmas and Conceptual Reductionism: The Emergence of an Accommodative Consciousness in the Alternative Globalization Movement, Portal: Journal of Multidisciplinary International Studies, 3(1), 1-27. https://epress.lib.uts.edu.au/index.php/portal/article/view/102.

Hosseini, S. A. (2011) Alternative Globalizations: An Integrative Approach to Studying Dissident Knowledge in the Global Justice Movement Milton Park; New York: Routledge.

Hosseini, S. A. H. (2013) Occupy Cosmopolitanism: Ideological Transversalization in the Age of Global Economic Uncertainties, Globalizations, 10(3), 425-38.

Hosseini, S. A. H. (2015a) A Transversalist Justice: Responses to the Corporate Globalization, in S. Litz (ed.) Globalization and Responsibility (pp. 71-101), Champaign, IL: Common Ground Publishing.

Hosseini, S. A. H. (2015b) Transversality in Diversity: Experiencing Networks of Confusion and Convergence in the World Social Forum, International and Multidisciplinary Journal of Social Sciences-Rimcis, 4(1), 54-87.

Hosseini, S. A. H., Gills, B. K. & Goodman, J. (2017) Toward Transversal Cosmopolitanism: Understanding Alternative Praxes in the Global Field of Transformative Movements, Globalizations, 14(5), 667-84. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14747731.2016.1217619.

James, P. (2013) Engaged cosmopolitanism: Reconciling local grounding and distance, Arena Journal, 41/42, 146–73. https://search-informit-org.ezproxy.newcastle.edu.au/doi/10.3316/informit.860554960728913.

Jung, H. Y. (2009) Transversality and the Philosophical Politics of Multiculturalism in the Age of Globalization, Research in Phenomenology, 39(3), 416-37.

Petrus, T. (2016) Globalism vs culture(s): a critique of transculturalism and the one world, one culture globalist narrative in Africa, International social science journal, 66(219-220), 39-48.

Salleh, A., Goodman, J. & Hosseini, S. A. H. (2015) From Sociological to ‘Ecological Imagination’: Another Future is Possible, in J. P. Marshal & L. H. Connor (eds.) Environmental Change and the World’s Futures: Ecologies, Ontologies, and Mythologies (pp. 96-109), New York; London: Routledge.

Santos, B. d. S. (2014) Epistemologies of the South: Justice against Epistemicide, London: Paradigm Publishers.

Schrag, C. O. (2007) Transcendence and Transversality, in J. D. Caputo & M. J. Scanlon (eds.) Transcendence and Beyond: A Postmodern Inquiry (pp. 204-18), Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Yuval-Davis, N. & Stoetzler, M. (2002) Imagined Boundaries and Borders: A Gendered Gaze, European Journal of Women’s Studies, 9(3), 329-44.


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