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Sörbom, A. & Garsten, C. (2023). Discreet Diplomacy: Practices of Secrecy in Transnational Think Tanks. The Cambridge Journal of Anthropology, 42(1), 98-117
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Discreet Diplomacy: Practices of Secrecy in Transnational Think Tanks
2023 (Engelska)Ingår i: The Cambridge Journal of Anthropology, ISSN 2047-7716, Vol. 42, nr 1, s. 98-117Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) Published
Abstract [en]

This article aims to expand both the analytical gaze of diplomacy studies and anthropological interests in the field of transnational think tanks, advocacy and policy advice. Drawing on ethnographic data from three such organisations, itinvestigates secrecy practices within transnational think tanks, focusing on how everyday practices undertaken in secrecy amount to discreet diplomatic efforts. In a variety of ways, secrecy is utilised as a resource in foreign relations and diplomacy, thereby aiming to leverage status and influence. Although outwardly striving for transparency, secrecy practices are thus vital in the striving of transnational think tanks to establish themselves as actors of consequence in foreign relations and diplomatic circles. It is argued that practices of secrecy are part and parcel of the power games played, in which all participants learn and master what to discuss and what not to display. These practices, however, also imply a challenge in terms of accountability and transparency.  

Nyckelord
diplomacy, ethnography, power, secrecy, transnational think tanks
Nationell ämneskategori
Sociologi
Forskningsämne
sociologi; socialantropologi
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-205524 (URN)10.3167/cja.2023.410108 (DOI)
Projekt
Global Policy Brokers
Forskningsfinansiär
Vetenskapsrådet
Tillgänglig från: 2022-06-07 Skapad: 2022-06-07 Senast uppdaterad: 2023-05-08Bibliografiskt granskad
Sörbom, A. & Garsten, C. (2021). Discreet Diplomacy: Practices of Secrecy in Transnational Think Tanks. In: : . Paper presented at 14th Pan-European Conference on International Relations: The Power Politics on Nature, 13-17 September, 2021. Virtual Conference.
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Discreet Diplomacy: Practices of Secrecy in Transnational Think Tanks
2021 (Engelska)Konferensbidrag, Publicerat paper (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
Abstract [en]

This paper studies secrecy practices within transnational think tanks. Drawing on ethnographic data from three such organisations, we explore how everyday practices undertaken in secrecy amount to discreet diplomatic efforts. We suggest that transnational think tanks should be understood as “shutter boxes” that engage in three types of secrecy practices: shadowed, hidden, and conspicuously shown. Although outwardly striving for transparency, secrecy practices are vital for transnational think tanks as they strive to establish themselves as actors of consequence in foreign relations and diplomatic circles. Practices of secrecy are part and parcel of the power game played by think tanks, in which all participants learn and master what to discuss and what not to display.

Nyckelord
Secrecy, transnational think tanks, diplomacy, ethnography, practices
Nationell ämneskategori
Sociologi (exklusive socialt arbete, socialpsykologi och socialantropologi)
Forskningsämne
sociologi
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-199373 (URN)
Konferens
14th Pan-European Conference on International Relations: The Power Politics on Nature, 13-17 September, 2021. Virtual Conference
Forskningsfinansiär
Vetenskapsrådet
Anmärkning

EISA-2021 panel: Non-state actors as diplomatic actors

Tillgänglig från: 2021-12-06 Skapad: 2021-12-06 Senast uppdaterad: 2021-12-21
Garsten, C. & Sörbom, A. (2021). Discretionary Governance: Selection, Secrecy, and Status within the World Economic Forum. Global Governance: A Review of Multilateralism and International Organizations, 27(4), 540-560
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Discretionary Governance: Selection, Secrecy, and Status within the World Economic Forum
2021 (Engelska)Ingår i: Global Governance: A Review of Multilateralism and International Organizations, ISSN 1075-2846, E-ISSN 1942-6720, Vol. 27, nr 4, s. 540-560Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) Published
Abstract [en]

Built on the exclusive funding of 1,000 large transnational corporations, the World Economic Forum is a not-for-profit Swiss foundation, aiming to shape the direction of globalization. Its events are characterized by low degrees of formality and transparency. Research on what this organization does is scarce. This article suggests the term discretionary governance to capture the precarious, yet existing, social order that the organization shapes. By discretionary governance, we mean a set of discreet practices based on the organization’s judgement in ways that escape established democratic controls. Drawing on ethnographic data the paper demonstrates how selection, secrecy, and status form key components of this tenuous ordering. Selection processes and secrecy contribute to status elevation of the individuals and organizations chosen to participate. Upon them and the organization itself is bestowed a symbolic capital that is practical and possibly profitable in the world of global governance.

Nyckelord
discretionary governance, symbolic capital, status, secrecy, selection
Nationell ämneskategori
Statsvetenskap Sociologi
Forskningsämne
sociologi
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-201255 (URN)10.1163/19426720-02704006 (DOI)000733604400004 ()2-s2.0-85122404739 (Scopus ID)
Forskningsfinansiär
Vetenskapsrådet
Tillgänglig från: 2022-01-25 Skapad: 2022-01-25 Senast uppdaterad: 2022-04-13Bibliografiskt granskad
Sörbom, A. & Garsten, C. (2021). Future Fears: Anticipation and the Politics of Emotion in the Future Industry. Culture Unbound. Journal of Current Cultural Research, 13(3), 1-25
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Future Fears: Anticipation and the Politics of Emotion in the Future Industry
2021 (Engelska)Ingår i: Culture Unbound. Journal of Current Cultural Research, ISSN 2000-1525, E-ISSN 2000-1525, Vol. 13, nr 3, s. 1-25Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper is based on ethnographic work in organizations that form part of what we term the Future Industry – e.g. think tanks, consultancies and governmental bodies – involved in the charting, description and analysis of future scenarios. That is to say, an industry explicitly aiming for organizing the future. In the paper we analyze this industry, which we see as serving and feeding into, the emotional streams of contemporary politics and economics. In the interest of selling beliefs of the future, we suggest that it attempts to make its customers sense the pros and cons of the particular future it puts forth. The paper argues that the mapping and selling of futures to a large extent involves the voicing of “problems” and the presentation of “desirable futures”, the cultivation, articulation and management of fear, anxiety, and hope, as well as a reliance on metrics, reason, and evidence, are central components.

Nyckelord
Antication, foresight, industry, politics, emotion, consultancy
Nationell ämneskategori
Sociologi (exklusive socialt arbete, socialpsykologi och socialantropologi)
Forskningsämne
sociologi
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-199370 (URN)10.3384/cu.3367 (DOI)2-s2.0-85124961669 (Scopus ID)
Projekt
Global Foresight: Anticipatory Governance and the Making of Geo-Cultural Scenarios
Forskningsfinansiär
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond
Tillgänglig från: 2021-12-06 Skapad: 2021-12-06 Senast uppdaterad: 2022-04-13Bibliografiskt granskad
Garsten, C. & Sörbom, A. (2019). An organized network: World Economic Forum and the partial organizing of global agendas. In: Göran Ahrne, Nils Brunsson (Ed.), Organization outside organizations: The abundance of partial organization in social life (pp. 212-234). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>An organized network: World Economic Forum and the partial organizing of global agendas
2019 (Engelska)Ingår i: Organization outside organizations: The abundance of partial organization in social life / [ed] Göran Ahrne, Nils Brunsson, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2019, s. 212-234Kapitel i bok, del av antologi (Refereegranskat)
Abstract [en]

This chapter answers the question of how the World Economic Fourm (WEF) constructs authority for itself in the global arena by studying the form of political action that the WEF draws upon. We argue that it constructs authority beyond itself through turning some participants from its many events into a form of members, thus partially organizing its environment. Participants at WEF activities, as well as WEF staff, would call this order a ‘network’. We acknowledge the network aspects of this order, but argue that it is foremost based on organization; it is a decided order, based on decisions taken within the WEF. Empirically, the chapter builds on interview data within Geneva staff and participants at WEF activities.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2019
Nyckelord
World Economic Forum, network, membership, monitoring, authority, organization, decision
Nationell ämneskategori
Tvärvetenskapliga studier inom samhällsvetenskap
Forskningsämne
socialantropologi; sociologi
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-178963 (URN)10.1017/9781108604994.010 (DOI)9781108474986 (ISBN)9781108604994 (ISBN)
Forskningsfinansiär
Vetenskapsrådet, 2010-12569-76610-69
Tillgänglig från: 2020-02-10 Skapad: 2020-02-10 Senast uppdaterad: 2022-02-26Bibliografiskt granskad
Garsten, C. (2019). Förförande framtider: antropologiska perspektiv på global styrning. In: Sven Engström, Sven Hort (Ed.), Om Bo Rothstein: forskaren, debattören, livsnjutaren. Lund: Arkiv förlag & tidskrift
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Förförande framtider: antropologiska perspektiv på global styrning
2019 (Svenska)Ingår i: Om Bo Rothstein: forskaren, debattören, livsnjutaren / [ed] Sven Engström, Sven Hort, Lund: Arkiv förlag & tidskrift, 2019Kapitel i bok, del av antologi (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Lund: Arkiv förlag & tidskrift, 2019
Nationell ämneskategori
Socialantropologi
Forskningsämne
socialantropologi
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-178964 (URN)9789179243302 (ISBN)
Tillgänglig från: 2020-02-10 Skapad: 2020-02-10 Senast uppdaterad: 2022-02-26Bibliografiskt granskad
Garsten, C. & Sörbom, A. (2019). His Master’s Voice? Conceptualizing the relationship between business and the World Economic Forum. Journal of Business Anthropology, 8(1), 41-62
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>His Master’s Voice? Conceptualizing the relationship between business and the World Economic Forum
2019 (Engelska)Ingår i: Journal of Business Anthropology, E-ISSN 2245-4217, Vol. 8, nr 1, s. 41-62Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) Published
Abstract [en]

Commonly, the relationship between corporations and non-for profit organizations, such as foundations, think tanks and private research institutes, is analyzed in terms suggesting that when acting as funders corporations set the frames for the non-for profit organization who, in turn, not only mimics but also serves as to broadcast the views of its funder. Drawing on the case of the Swizz based foundation/think tank World Economic Forum and its corporate funders we scrutinize this relationship. We show that as an organization interested in global policy making it is of vital importance for the Forum to construct its own agency, not merely giving voice to its funder’s views, and that it will do so drawing on the resources that the funders provide. Moreover, we submit that as organizations all partaking actors will endeavor to construct their own agency, oftentimes by drawing on the resources of others. In so doing, actors may have both overlapping and divergent interests. Evoking the Lévi-Strauss concept of the bricoleur, we analyze how the various and multifaceted priorities of corporations will not only be filtered by the Form, but it will also make use of the resources at hand for organizing forth own policy messages. The result is a complex and dynamic web of actors and voices.

Nyckelord
corporations, funding, think tanks, agency, World Economic Forum
Nationell ämneskategori
Socialantropologi
Forskningsämne
socialantropologi
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-178959 (URN)10.22439/jba.v8i1.5715 (DOI)
Forskningsfinansiär
Vetenskapsrådet, 2010-12569-76610-69
Tillgänglig från: 2020-02-10 Skapad: 2020-02-10 Senast uppdaterad: 2023-11-21Bibliografiskt granskad
Garsten, C., Rothstein, B. & Svallfors, S. (2018). De policyprofessionella: En okänd politisk elit?. In: Bengt Eriksson, Mikael Holmqvist, Lena Sohl (Ed.), Eliter i Sverige: tvärvetenskapliga perspektiv på makt, status och klass (pp. 275-308). Lund: Studentlitteratur AB
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>De policyprofessionella: En okänd politisk elit?
2018 (Svenska)Ingår i: Eliter i Sverige: tvärvetenskapliga perspektiv på makt, status och klass / [ed] Bengt Eriksson, Mikael Holmqvist, Lena Sohl, Lund: Studentlitteratur AB, 2018, s. 275-308Kapitel i bok, del av antologi (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Lund: Studentlitteratur AB, 2018
Nationell ämneskategori
Socialantropologi
Forskningsämne
sociologi; statsvetenskap
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-178965 (URN)9789144116365 (ISBN)
Forskningsfinansiär
VetenskapsrådetWallenbergstiftelserna
Tillgänglig från: 2020-02-10 Skapad: 2020-02-10 Senast uppdaterad: 2022-02-26Bibliografiskt granskad
Garsten, C. & Sörbom, A. (2018). Discreet power: how the World Economic Forum shapes market agendas. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Discreet power: how the World Economic Forum shapes market agendas
2018 (Engelska)Bok (Refereegranskat)
Abstract [en]

In Discreet Power, Christina Garsten and Adrienne Sörbom undertake an ethnographic study of the World Economic Forum (WEF). Accessing one of the primary agenda-setting organizations of our day, they draw on interviews and participant observation to examine how the WEF wields its influence. They situate the WEF within an emerging system of "discretionary governance," in which actors craft ideas and entice formal authorities and top leaders in order to garner significant sway. Yet in spite of its image as a powerful, exclusive brain trust, the WEF has no formal mandate to implement its positions. It must convince others to advance chosen causes and enact suggestions, rendering its position quite fragile.

Garsten and Sörbom argue that the WEF must be viewed relationally as a brokering organization that lives between the market and political spheres and that extends its reach through associated individuals and groups. They place the WEF in the context of a broader shift, arguing that while this type of governance opens up novel ways of dealing with urgent global problems, it challenges core democratic values.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 2018. s. 224
Serie
Emerging frontiers in the global economy
Nationell ämneskategori
Sociologi
Forskningsämne
socialantropologi; sociologi
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-178961 (URN)9780804794145 (ISBN)9781503606043 (ISBN)9781503606050 (ISBN)
Forskningsfinansiär
Vetenskapsrådet, 2010-12569-76610-69
Tillgänglig från: 2020-02-10 Skapad: 2020-02-10 Senast uppdaterad: 2022-02-26Bibliografiskt granskad
Garsten, C. (2018). Förförande framtider: Antropologiska perspektiv på global styrning. In: Årsbok 2018: Kungl. Vetenskaps-societeten i Uppsala (pp. 51-59). Uppsala: Kungl. Vetenskaps-societeten i Uppsala
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Förförande framtider: Antropologiska perspektiv på global styrning
2018 (Svenska)Ingår i: Årsbok 2018: Kungl. Vetenskaps-societeten i Uppsala, Uppsala: Kungl. Vetenskaps-societeten i Uppsala , 2018, s. 51-59Kapitel i bok, del av antologi (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Uppsala: Kungl. Vetenskaps-societeten i Uppsala, 2018
Serie
Årsbok / Kungl. Vetenskaps-societeten i Uppsala, ISSN 0348-7849
Nationell ämneskategori
Socialantropologi
Forskningsämne
socialantropologi
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-180249 (URN)
Tillgänglig från: 2020-03-24 Skapad: 2020-03-24 Senast uppdaterad: 2022-02-26Bibliografiskt granskad
Projekt
Klimatpolitik och icke-statlig diplomati: nordiska företagsfinansierade tankesmedjor [2022-00863_Formas]; Södertörns högskola
Organisationer
Identifikatorer
ORCID-id: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-1652-631x

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