International Politics Reviews

, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 104–107 | Cite as

NGOs and their discontents

  • Clifford BobEmail author
Book Review

There are many things to like about Wendy H. Wong and Sarah S. Stroup’s The Authority Trap: Strategic Choices of International NGOs (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2017). The book focuses on the strategies that NGOs use in their interactions with states, corporations, and their fellow civil society organizations, an understudied issue. It takes a materialist approach, downplaying NGO mission statements and highlighting organizational considerations such as the desire to build and maintain a group’s status and influence. The Authority Traprecognizes the diversity of NGOs, particularly in power and influence. The book combines statistical analysis and extensive ethnographic work involving interviews with numerous NGO officials. It compares an impressive array of controversial international issues including small arms control and financial transaction taxes (e.g., the Tobin tax) as well as institutions such as the Sustainability Consortium, UN Global Compact, World Social Forum, and...


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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Duquesne UniversityPittsburghUSA

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