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Transnational networks of global civil society: the networking practice for a bottom up diplomacy
The essay is organised in three parts. The first is devoted to review empirical evidence regarding the existence of a structured dialogue between organisations of global civil society and two relevant international institutions, the United Nations Organisation and the European Union. In the second part the author addresses key subjects on which non governmental organisations are increasingly challenged to interact with governments and intergovernmental organisations: networking and accountability. The third part is devoted to the analysis of two networking structures of civil society, respectively the International Campaign to ban landmines and the International Coalition for the International Criminal Court, with the aim to highlight the main features of both transnational structures and the synergisms that have been put in action in particular in relationship with the European Union. The author argues that the networks of global civil society are actually proving to be innovative and creative by participating in the international decision-making processes, especially in those fields in which traditional inter-state politics is urged, even forced to confront with the paradigm of human rights internationally recognised. A new multi-dimensional multi-lateralism, some kind of networked governance, is being created, the actors of wich are governments, intergovernmental and supranational institutions, and non-governmental organisations. A further element of structural change in world politics is provided by the capacity of civil society organisations to build up networks aimed at enhancing communication and convergence towards common objectives and actions, in particular to help the effectiveness of international law regarding the strategic sectors of disarmament and of international criminal justice.