Hierarchy among NGOs: Authority and influence in global civil society
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How powerful is global civil society? What groups are most influential within it? These questions have long occupied scholars of transnational advocacy. Research on transnational advocacy in the 1990s mainly sought to establish that civil society has the authority to shape the moral norms that govern global politics. Thus, scholars often portrayed NGOs as a relatively homogenous crowd seeking to change the moral compass of states and transnational corporations. Recent work has instead focused on how NGOs differ in power and status. A premise of such scholarship is that competition for resources and visibility lead NGOs to seek to differentiate themselves from their peers in order to survive and grow. Competition in turn produces hierarchy among NGOs.
The Authority Trapenters this debate with a creative and original argument and data. Like many others, Stroup and Wong note that transnational advocacy networks are rarely flat and horizontal. In the NGO community, as elsewhere, some...
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