The end of the Cold War brought about changes within international political relations that resulted in expanded interest in global civil society. Such developments, like globalization and democratization, have encouraged the growth of social and political organizations. Political scientists have found that these inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations have a significant impact on both transnational and domestic institutions. In particular, non-governmental organizations have become increasingly influential as non-state actors in global relations while supporting various social causes. However, academics have not addressed the important role of individual activists associated with such organizations, especially when the individuals are celebrities.
Famous advocates of social causes, such as the Irish musicians in U2, are in the position to make notable impressions in the realm of international relations. While fulfilling roles as non-state actors in the political arena, U2 have been involved with many social movements, especially in African countries. They have used their fame to draw the world’s attention to famine relief, AIDS advocacy, the anti-apartheid movement, and foreign debt cancellation. While their political effectiveness has reached varying levels of success, their transnational involvement shows the importance of non-state actors within the post-Cold War civil society.