This article analyzes the three-decade evolution of the right to communicate debates. There are two stages of this global debate: intergovernmental and civil society. Intergovernmental efforts reached an impasse when crippled by cold war pressures and the politicization of the right to communicate. Once the domain of governmental actors, when the right to communicate was no longer on the agenda in intergovernmental platforms, civil society stepped in to promote communication rights. Many non-governmental organizations came together under the umbrella of communication rights. The Communication Rights in the Information Study (CRIS) campaign is investigated as a specific case study of transnational collective action for communication rights since it is a visible example of a global expression of the right to communicate movement.