NGOs and Civil Society


NGOs and Civil Society

Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are playing an increasingly prominent role throughout the world. Conflict management, environmental concerns, women's issues, democratization, human rights and the development of civil society are just a few of the areas in which NGOs are currently working. Reaffirming the enormous role being played by NGOs, the Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to Medecins Sans Frontieres, the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, and Amnesty International, among other notable organizations. Often acting where states can or will not, NGOs are regularly the first on the scene. And as NGOs proliferate and mature, academics and policy makers are now examining their successes and failures, lending a more nuanced view to the study of NGOs.


The Interrelationship Between the Evolution of Civil Society and Progress in Regional Security: The Case of the Balkans
Claude Nicolet
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)
This study examines the roles and relationships of NGOs and civil society in general in the post-conflict Balkans.

Interview with Sarah Mendelson
Stephanie Walker and Sean Costigan
Columbia International Affairs Online
Sarah Mendelson discusses the nature of NGOs, and what makes them successful.

Democracy Assistance and NGO Strategies in Post-Communist Societies
Sarah E. Mendelson and John K. Glenn
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
This extensive study examines the democratization efforts of the larg number of NGO's that began working in the former Soviet sphere of influence after the collapse of the USSR.

NGO Advocacy Networks in Latin America: Lessons from Experience in Promoting Women's and Reproductive Rights
Bonnie L. Shepard
North South Center, University of Miami, Agenda Paper #61, February 2003
This study analyzes the experiences during the 1990s of 13 Latin American regional and national networks of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that advocate for the often-contentious issues of sexual and reproductive rights and women's rights. Analysis of the problems faed by these NGO networks leads to some suggestions for other emerging advocacy networks.

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Voice Accountability and NGOs in Human Rights Standard Setting
Janet E. Lord
Seton Hall Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations, Summer/Fall 2004
Janet E. Lord uses the example of the NGO role in drafting a UN disability rights treaty to demonstrate how human rights norms promoted by NGOs have been applied to the NGOs themselves.

Nongovernmental Organizations as the Fifth Estate
Stuart E. Eizenstat
Seton Hall Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations, Summer/Fall 2004
This article argues that NGOs have grown to become a vital pillar of society, on par with the three branches of governent and the press.

Globalization, Civil Society, and Democracy?: An Organizational Assessment
John Barkdull and Lisa A. Dicke
Seton Hall Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations, Summer/Fall 2004
This article considers whether NGOs can offer a realistic means by which global democratic voices can be channeled.

The Role of Transnational Advocacy Networks in Reconstituting International Organization Identities
Susan Park
Seton Hall Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations, Summer/Fall 2004
The influence of NGOs on the formation of international governmental organizations is examined in this article.

Think Globally, Punish Locally
Kenneth A. Rodman
Ethics and International Affairs, Volume 12, 1998
This article examines the degree to which NGOs can provide an alternative center of authority to that of the state in imposing human rights accountability on corporate conduct abroad.