Transnational Community: A buzzword or a keyword for STS?


Duygu Kasdogan,Izmir Katip Celebi University

Transnational as an analytic concept has been circulating in social sciences with multiple disciplinary reflections on its various definitions since the late 1950s. This concept has also become visible in the field of STS in recent years, especially in the conferences of Society for Social Studies of Science (4S). We witness increasing participation in 4S conferences from different parts of the world, discussions about new regional STS formations “outside” Europe and North America, and exhibitions that reflect on the differences and similarities of STS works in various localities. What makes STS transnational and/or what it means to do Transnational STS is still open to discussion. In this presentation, I will propose “transnational” as a keyword for STS to produce meaningful and response-able knowledge in the present world. Transnational, as an adjective, reveals a particular way of doing STS. It is about doing STS as a community beyond the intent of praising collaboration across borders; it is about unlearning and learning how to learn together to produce knowledge in a world centered on power asymmetries. Transnational STS is, therefore, a condition of possibility for STS to craft new ways of knowledge production while responding to urgent socio-ecological problems that cross, and also do not cross, multiple borders. In my presentation, I will provide a story of Transnational STS Working Group while reflecting on why transnational is a keyword but not a buzzword for the present and future of “our” field. STS as a transnational community has more to contribute building a just and sustainable world beyond reproducing an arithmetic of “East” + “West” / “South” + “North.”


Creative Commons Licence



Contributed date

March 20, 2020 - 7:48am

Critical Commentary

Abstract submitted to 4S 2020 open panel on Transnational STS



Cite as

Duygu Kaşdoğan, "Transnational Community: A buzzword or a keyword for STS?", contributed by Aalok Khandekar, STS Infrastructures, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 29 July 2020, accessed 27 May 2022.