Article

Hands Off My Regime! Governments’ Restrictions on Foreign Aid to Non-Governmental Organizations in Poor and Middle-Income Countries

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Abstract

Many resource-strapped developing country governments seek international aid, but when that assistance is channeled through domestic civil society, it can threaten their political control. As a result, in the last two decades, 39 of the world’s 153 low- and middle-income countries have adopted laws restricting the inflow of foreign aid to domestically operating nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). Governments recognize that such laws harm their international reputations for supporting democracy and may invite donor punishment in terms of aid reductions. Yet, they perceive foreign aid to NGOs as supporting political opponents and threatening their grip on power. In the aftermath of competitive electoral victories, governments often take new legal steps to limit these groups’ funding. We test this argument on an original dataset of laws detailing the regulation of foreign aid inflows to domestically operating NGOs in 153 low- and middle-income countries for the period 1993–2012. Using an event history approach, we find that foreign aid flows are associated with an increased risk of restrictive law adoption; a log unit increase in foreign aid raises the probability of adoption by 6.7%. This risk is exacerbated after the holding of competitive elections: the interaction of foreign aid and competitive elections increases the probability of adoption by 11%.

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... In fact, literature calls for stopping to assume the global international-aid system never interferes with the sovereignty of aid-recipient countries (Tvedt, 1998(Tvedt, , 2002. To avoid intrusion in domestic matters, governments started placing significant regulations on CSOs (e.g., NGOs) (Bloodgood, Tremblay-Boire, & Prakash, 2014;Dupuy, Ron, & Prakash, 2016). ...
... This view falls in line with empirical findings associating government overregulation with low-level trust contexts (see Charron, Harring, & Lapuente, 2021 for a reference). In this sense, regulatory burden against NGOs involves: 1) requirements to obtain legal status for operating in a country, 2) government discretion to approve their legal status, and 3) complexity of the overall regulation (Bloodgood, Tremblay-Boire, & Prakash, 2014;Dupuy, Ron, & Prakash, 2016). ...
... The women indigenous movements considered this measure discriminatory and infeasible for the organizations with scare resources with which they typically associate. Additionally, Dupuy et al. (2016) included Ecuador in the list of countries in which the president has the power to cease CSOs for political reasons. This arbitrary factor generated uncertainty in the context in which CSOs operate in Ecuador. ...
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Este dossier propone el análisis de la relación entre el poder local y la gestión pública. Los estudios sobre el poder local tienen una larga tradición en el pensamiento político, remontándose a autores como Maquiavel, Tocqueville y Stuart Mill, destacandoen ocasiones su papel como escuela de democracia, o bien como medio más eficiente de prestación de servicios públicos. La proximidad entre gobernantes y ciudadanos fue vista como fundamental para la constitución de lazos políticos, sentido de colectividady eficiencia distributiva.El caso brasileño es emblemático para comprender estas relaciones, ya que los municipios fueron elevados al nivel de una entidad federativa, por lo tanto, con sus autonomías preservadas. El discurso municipalista estaba en sintonía con la descentralización y la democratización, que se convirtieron en palabras clave de la nueva Constitución.El poder local siempre se refiere al ámbito municipal. Sin embargo, esto no se presenta como un límite. La ubicación no está restringida a los municipios. Ya sea porque el poder local puede estar asociado a dimensiones intraterritoriales que pueden ser subdivisiones políticas del espacio municipal. O porque, el poder local puede abarcar más de un municipio, por lo tanto, el local asociado al regional.
... Beyond emphasizing the effect of the national on international politics, our research contributes to understanding two major global trends surrounding NPOs. First, governments' concern over the international funding of national organizations has led to more stringent regulations on foreign NPO financing and operations (Dupuy et al., 2016;Toepler et al., 2020). This has been tied to concerns about international terrorist organizations' financing (Bloodgood & Tremblay-Boire, 2011;Howell & Lind, 2009) and civil society protests against repressive regimes (Chaudhry & Heiss, 2022;Heiss & Kelley, 2017). ...
... Existing research highlights government incentives for controlling information in the context of nonprofit regulations. Authoritarian governments may use information reporting against organizations (Dupuy et al., 2016;Scott, 1998), as organizations in some issue areas (human rights and education) are then forced to close (Bush, 2018;Heiss & Kelley, 2017). Recent research has shown that authoritarian regimes use foreign financing restrictions to crack down on their civil societies (Dupuy & Prakash, 2020) while increasing their support for local organizations (Pallas & Ngyuen, 2018). ...
... In these countries, a more contentious or conflictual relations exists between the government and the nonprofit sector (Coston, 1997;Toepler et al., 2020). Government regulation is seen as a tool to limit the autonomy and power of nonprofit organizations, depriving them of resources or political space, and thus reducing any threat they may pose (Dupuy et al., 2016;Heiss & Kelley, 2017;Hollyer et al., 2018). ...
Article
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We develop the concept of the nonprofit data environment as all data collected and reported in a country resulting from law implemented into practice. We map data environments across 20 countries and propose explanations for differences between the information nongovernmental organizations report (collected) and what is made publicly available (reported). Domestic factors including regime type, civil society autonomy, and regulatory quality increase the amount of information collected and released publicly. Exposure to international political forces, including aid flows and globalization, increases the gap, which runs counter to expectations of greater openness with global engagement. Our findings point to the need for a better understanding of patterns in non-profit organizations (NPOs) data environments; while all governments collect information, countries with similar legal codes have widely varying data environments. This matters for NPOs as their ability to learn and improve depends on access to quality data and coincides with a feared global political backlash.
... On the other hand, regulationissuing governments also assume INGOs seek to favor donors' interests, instead of satisfying the needs of aidrecipient countries (Tvedt, 1998). In fact, INGOs perceive these regulations as a burden, especially when INGOs' actions threaten the political stability of the host country's political regime (Dupuy et al., 2016). In response, INGOs and other civil society organizations have to comply with new requirements to retain their presence and have legal status in aid-recipient countries. ...
... In response, INGOs and other civil society organizations have to comply with new requirements to retain their presence and have legal status in aid-recipient countries. In some cases, regulators even have extended their discretion to approving or disapproving INGOs' and civil society's continuation of operations in their jurisdictions (Bloodgood et al., 2014;Dupuy et al., 2016). ...
... A market failure becomes a regulatory failure (i.e., government failure) if administrative costs imposed on those regulated are higher than the cost of the market failure (Keyworth, 2006) due to uncertainty about fairness of regulations. Given that regulatory burden against INGOs increases governmental discretion for approving or disapproving INGOs' activities in some countries (Bloodgood et al., 2014;Dupuy et al., 2016), the first hypothesis for this study posits the following: ...
Article
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Existing studies see foreign donors as (a) brokers between sustainable development goals (SDGs) and aid-recipient countries’ needs, or (b) intruders into aid-recipient countries’ internal affairs. The intruder view has triggered regulations of NGOs (nongovernmental organizations) in aid-recipient countries. However, little is known, empirically, about how foreign donors respond to regulatory burden. We suggest regulatory burden adds uncertainty and turbulence to the operating context, negatively affecting government effectiveness in securing aid. This negative effect is moderated by the number of foreign donors operating in a jurisdiction. Propositions are tested in a data set derived from the 221 Ecuadorian municipalities during 2007-2018. Findings suggest regulations of NGOs have decreased municipalities’ ability to secure international cooperation. This negative effect is larger in municipalities with a higher presence of donor supply. These results encourage policy makers to consider counterproductive costs of overregulating foreign NGOs and other civil society organizations when designing regulatory tools.
... It is in part for this reason that governments compete with civil society organizations over foreign aid funds in general and often try to limit how much aid reaches civil society groups (e.g., Dupuy et al. 2016). Dupuy et al. (2016) demonstrate that civil society organizations and governments are often forced to compete over aid awards, with governments going so far as to attempt to limit the amount of aid reaching these organizations. ...
... It is in part for this reason that governments compete with civil society organizations over foreign aid funds in general and often try to limit how much aid reaches civil society groups (e.g., Dupuy et al. 2016). Dupuy et al. (2016) demonstrate that civil society organizations and governments are often forced to compete over aid awards, with governments going so far as to attempt to limit the amount of aid reaching these organizations. Moreover, the reach that civil society organizations possess has led many governments to increase restrictions on them (Dupuy et al. 2016). ...
... Dupuy et al. (2016) demonstrate that civil society organizations and governments are often forced to compete over aid awards, with governments going so far as to attempt to limit the amount of aid reaching these organizations. Moreover, the reach that civil society organizations possess has led many governments to increase restrictions on them (Dupuy et al. 2016). This makes aid targeted towards civil society organizations all the more important given the demonstrated efforts of many regimes to limit the check that well-funded civil society organizations place on them. ...
Article
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Developed states increasingly turned to democracy assistance strategies as the Cold War came to an end. A number of recent studies conclude that such aid positively affected democratization in recipients. But, like foreign aid, democracy assistance allocations are subject to change, sometimes dramatically. In foreign aid, sudden, sizable reductions – or aid shocks (e.g., Nielsen et al. 2011) – can have severe consequences, precipitating conflict in the recipient state. How do democracy aid shocks affect recipient states? This analysis examines the effects of sudden withdrawals of democracy aid – or democracy aid shocks – by the U.S. on recipient regime behavior, specifically, their treatment of citizens and civil society groups. We argue that democracy aid shocks trigger repressive action by recipients resulting in harmful human rights practices by the regime. Examining U.S. democracy aid to the developing world from 1982-2013, we find that, after controlling for other relevant factors likely to affect the human rights practices of a regime, democracy aid shocks are associated with subsequent repression of human rights in the recipient state. Our analysis thus sheds light on an external factor affecting human rights practices within states, as well as an important element of the consequences of democracy aid decisions. We conclude by assessing the implications for democracy promotion strategies and human rights behavior.
... Research on civic space restrictions and the repression of civil society actors identifies similar patterns of targeted physical violence, including killing activists, often seen as specific manifestation-the "tip of the iceberg" (Le Billon and Lujala 2020, 5, see also Middeldorp and Le Billon 2019)-of a broader repertoire of repression that civil society actors face in many countries around the world (Glasius, Schalk, and De Lange 2020;Navas, Mingorria, and Aguilar-Gonz alez 2018). Analyzing various causes and consequences of restrictions on civil society actors, this scholarship so far mainly focuses on the national level (Bakke, Mitchell, and Smidt 2020;Dupuy, Ron, and Prakash 2016;Glasius, Schalk, and De Lange 2020). Our analysis of a systematic, but more decentralized form of violence against civil society actors enriches this literature by analyzing the local conditions under which democratizing processes provoke attempts (by local elites and NSAGs) to effectively close civic space through targeted violence against social leaders. ...
... Unlike other cases of state restrictions on civil society actors (e.g. Glasius, Schalk, and De Lange 2020;Dupuy, Ron, and Prakash 2016), the assassination of social leaders in Colombia does not respond to a centralized strategy of repression by the national state. As we will discuss later, it is facilitated by certain characteristics of state presence and the glaring indifference of the national government that enables localized actors (NSAGs and local elites) to perpetrate this type of violence. ...
Article
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The threat of continued violence is a primary concern in post-conflict societies. This article contributes to the literature on post-conflict violence by analyzing a specific phenomenon that has characterized Colombia since the signing of the 2016 peace agreement: the assassination of social leaders. Building on explanations that emphasize state weakness, illicit economies, and the role of illegal armed actors, we argue that the assassination of social leaders also responds to efforts by local elites to sustain local competitive authoritarian orders in the face of bottom-up threats to their power by sociopolitical actors mobilized around the local implementation of the peace agreement. Using a cross-sectional dataset of Colombian municipalities, we find that assassinations of social leaders are more likely and more frequent in municipalities with intermediate levels of party fragmentation and low levels of voter turnout—that is, in municipalities with restricted electoral competition. Furthermore, a higher share of votes for leftist parties, which signals the presence of challengers to local elites, correlates with a higher probability and a higher number of assassinations. Overall, this article suggests that the nature of local political orders constitutes a key dimension shaping the micro-dynamics of violence and repression in post-conflict contexts. La amenaza de la continuación de la violencia es una de las principales preocupaciones en las sociedades en posconflicto. Este artículo contribuye a la literatura sobre la violencia en el posconflicto analizando un fenómeno específico que ha caracterizado a Colombia desde la firma del acuerdo de paz de 2016: el asesinato de líderes sociales. Partiendo de las explicaciones que enfatizan la debilidad del Estado, las economías ilícitas y el papel de los actores armados ilegales, argumentamos que el asesinato de líderes sociales también responde a los esfuerzos de las élites locales para sostener los órdenes autoritarios competitivos locales frente a las amenazas a su poder por parte de los actores sociopolíticos movilizados en torno a la implementación local del acuerdo de paz. Utilizando un conjunto de datos de municipios colombianos, observamos que los asesinatos de líderes sociales son más probables y más frecuentes en municipios con niveles intermedios de fragmentación partidista y bajos niveles de participación electoral, es decir, en municipios con competencia electoral restringida. Además, se correlaciona una mayor proporción de votos a los partidos de izquierda, un indicador de la presencia de contendientes a las élites locales, con una mayor probabilidad de que ocurran asesinatos, así como un mayor número de casos. Como conclusión, este artículo sugiere que la naturaleza de los órdenes políticos locales constituye una dimensión clave que determina las microdinámicas de la violencia y la represión en contextos de posconflicto. Le risque de la poursuite des violences est une préoccupation majeure dans les sociétés post-conflit. Cet article contribue à la littérature sur la violence post-conflit en analysant un phénoméne spécifique qui caractérise la Colombie depuis la signature de l'accord de paix de 2016 : l'assassinat de leaders sociaux. En s'appuyant sur des explications qui mettent l'accent sur la faiblesse de l'État, les économies illicites et le rôle des acteurs armés illégaux, nous soutenons que l'assassinat des leaders sociaux répond également aux efforts des élites locales pour maintenir des ordres autoritaires compétitifs locaux face aux menaces à leur pouvoir de la part des acteurs sociopolitiques mobilisés autour de la mise en œuvre locale de l'accord de paix. En utilisant des données provenant de municipalités colombiennes, nous constatons que les assassinats de leaders sociaux sont plus probables et plus fréquents dans les municipalités où la concurrence électorale est limitée. En outre, une part plus importante de votes pour les partis de gauche, un indicateur de la présence de concurrents (challengers) aux élites locales, est corrélée à une plus grande probabilité d'assassinats, ainsi qu'à un nombre plus élevé de cas. En conclusion, cet article suggére que la nature des ordres politiques locaux constitue une dimension clé déterminant la micro-dynamique de la violence et de la répression dans les contextes post-conflit.
... 2016;Bromley et al., 2020;Glasius et al., 2020). Explanations of what is often called the "closing of civic space" (Brechenmacher, 2017) emphasise the desire of political leaders to hamper the ability of critical NGOs to discover and communicate government failures and abuses to domestic and international audiences (Dupuy et al., 2016;Bromley et al., 2020;Glasius et al., 2020;Bakke et al., 2020). There is evidence that restrictive laws have desired effect (Smidt et al., 2021;Fransen et al., 2021). ...
... Restrictions are more likely when there is a gap between what states committed themselves to under international human rights law and their actual human rights practices (Bakke et al., 2020). They are also more likely when authoritarian leaders face competitive elections (Dupuy et al., 2016). What other governments do matters as well: states learn from other states and are more likely to adopt restrictive laws when peers adopt the same type of laws, especially if they are in the same world region or are members of illiberal international organisations (Bromley et al., 2020;Glasius et al., 2020;Gilbert and Mohseni, 2018;Adolph and Prakash, 2022). ...
Article
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Governments have increasingly adopted laws restricting the activities of international non-governmental organisations (INGOs) within their borders. Such laws are often intended to curb the ability of critical INGOs to discover and communicate government failures and abuses to domestic and international audiences. They can also have the unintended effect of reducing the presence and activities of INGOs working on health issues and deprive local health workers and organisations of access to resources, knowledge, and other forms of support. This study assesses whether legislative INGO restrictions are associated with fewer health INGOs in a wide range of countries and with the ability of those countries to mitigate disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) lost because of 21 disease categories between 1993 and 2017. The findings indicate that restrictive legislation hampered efforts by civil society to lighten the global burden of disease and had adverse side effects on the health of citizens worldwide.
... Social entrepreneurship (SE) is widely acknowledged as an effective tool to address the increasing discrepancy between the very top and the very bottom of societies (Wilkinson and Pickett, 2009;European Commission, 2013). It works by blending financial and social value creation (Austin et al., 2006), fosters innovation and financial independence of stakeholders (Dupuy et al., 2016) and further positively influences individuals, groups, and societies (Kickul et al., 2018;Cinar, 2019). Due to its benefits, various programmes have been launched to foster social entrepreneurship. ...
... As a result, social enterprises are likely to be perceived as apolitical and more sustainable than for instance NGOs. This is a major advantage as political neutrality helps to avoid governmental interference (Dupuy et al., 2016) and higher sustainability supports the enterprise's independence even in times of crises like the COVID-19 pandemic when donations are commonly cut down (Branas-Garza et al., 2020). ...
Article
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Social entrepreneurship (SE) increasingly contributes to diversity in entrepreneurship. The different approaches to SE suggest a variety of antecedents which drive individuals' intention to become social entrepreneurs. While this variety of antecedents is insightful, it also creates a need for systemisation and prioritization. We address this need by introducing an integrative, multi-level framework for person-based antecedents of SE-intention. Based on this multi-level framework the antecedents are grouped on three theoretical levels which refer to an individual's (1) personality, (2) cognition, and (3) entrepreneurial exposition. When testing our framework with 499 South African University students we find support for the multi-level framework and its notion that antecedents from the diverse levels complement each other. Therefore, this study provides a structure for person-based antecedents of SE-intention and additionally points to future research which may extend the proposed framework.
... The women indigenous movements considered this measure discriminatory and infeasible for the organizations with scare resources with which they typically associate. Additionally, Dupuy et al. (2016) included Ecuador in the list of countries in which the president has the power to cease CSOs for political reasons. This arbitrary factor generated uncertainty in the context in which CSOs operate in Ecuador. ...
... NGOs)(Bloodgood, Tremblay-Boire, & Prakash, 2014;Dupuy, Ron, & Prakash, 2016).Across countries, different sets of regulations target NGOs. The degree and nature of regulations may be determined by political leaders' perceptions of whether NGOs players represent a threat to their political survival by changing the political order. ...
Article
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With the goal of improving effectiveness and efficiency, worldwide cross-sector collaboration has become a central governance arrangement. Given this trend, research has focused on illustrating examples of collaborations over time and/or identifying collaboration's drivers and effects. Yet, as cross-sector collaborations are more prevalent, governments have changed the rules for civil society organizations to become part of cross-sector collaboration across policy domains. While some regulations can be seen as a precondition to start a collaboration, over-regulated contexts can become a burden for participating organizations, thus hindering collaboration sustainability. However, little knowledge exists as to how regulatory changes influence performance effects of cross-sector collaboration. To fill this gap, this research focuses on all the 2007-2018 Ecuadorian subnational partnerships that manage international cooperation to test whether adoption of further regulations or regulatory burden targeting civil society organizations compromises the amount of international aid subnational governments secure. We also expect that the economic diversity in a jurisdiction amplifies the performance effects of regulatory burden. Findings suggest that regulatory burden negatively influenced governance capacity to obtain international aid, particularly in jurisdictions with high economic diversity.
... One and a half years into the COVID-19 pandemic, discussions about its impact on civic space are ongoing in academic and policy circles. The most common assumption is that lockdowns and other restrictive measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus erode what CIVICUS (2021) terms as the three key ''civil society rights'' of association, peaceful assembly, and free expression, thereby reinforcing a preexisting global trend of shrinking civic spaces (e.g., CIVICUS, 2020, V-Dem, 2020; on long term trends, see Carothers & Brechenmacher, 2014;Dupuy et al., 2016;Poppe & Wolff, 2017). This is particularly so as incumbents in many regimes with democratic deficits use the pandemic to strengthen their rule, for instance by invoking draconian laws aimed at stifling civil society (Bethke & Wolff, 2020;ICNL, 2021;Smith & Cheeseman, 2020). ...
... The first is legal regulations that guarantee or restrict the civil society rights to associate, assemble, and freely express views (CIVICUS, 2021), or, in other words, rightsbased space. Rights-based space shrinks when governments rely on draconian laws, from so-called NGO laws to anti-terror and anti-fake news laws, to brand critical CSOs as foreign agents and security threats, or justify crackdowns (Carothers & Brechenmacher, 2014, 9-10;Dupuy et al., 2016). COVID-related legal measures can reduce rights-based space by enhancing governments' exercise of executive powers and facilitating infringements on civil society rights (Kuehn et al., 2021). ...
Article
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In this article we challenge the conventional wisdom that COVID-19 and related legal restrictions invariably reinforce a global trend of shrinking civic space. We argue that the legal guarantee (or restriction) of civil society rights is not the sole factor configuring civic space. Instead, we reconceptualize civic space by broadening its determinants to also include needs-induced space and civil society activism. Investigating five countries with flawed democracic or competitive autocracic regimes in Southeast Asia, we propose a three-pronged mechanism of how these determinants interact in the context of COVID-19. First, legal restrictions on civil society rights intertwine with the space created by health and economic needs to create new opportunities for civil society activism. Second, these new opportunity structures lead to the cross-fertilization between service delivery and advocacy activism by civil society. Third, this new trajectory of civil society activism works to sustain civic space.
... Though it's still too early to tell whether these trend lines will continue in the coming years, and if the remaining twenty-five strong democracies that haven't yet imposed a new restrictive CSO law will so do in the near term, what is clear is that the rate as which such laws are being adopted or proposed in democratic states (64% to date) is keeping pace with, or according to some estimates, even rising above the percentages seen in less democratic states (K. Dupuy, Ron, and Prakash 2016;Christensen and Weinstein 2013;Rutzen 2015) The implications of my findings are potentially profound if the effects of restrictive CSO laws in non-democratic states are any guide. In Ethiopia, for example, domestic human rights CSOs all but vanished in the years following passage of an extremely restrictive CSO law, the Charities and Societies Proclamation of 2009 (Dupuy, Ron, and Prakash 2015). ...
... region and economic status(Wolff and Poppe 2015; Mendelson 2015; Carothers and Brechenmacher 2014). Moreover, those studies that do attempt to go beyond mere description, often narrow their scope significantly to examine only one type of law (K.Dupuy, Ron, and Prakash 2016;Christensen and Weinstein 2013), one type of state (typically developing, low and middle income states or states that engage in egregious human rights violations involving physical integrity), and only certain kinds of CSOs (usually human rights and other advocacy NGOs)(Bakke, Mitchell, and Smidt 2018; K. Dupuy and Prakash 2017; K. Dupuy ...
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Why and to what extent are democratic states, including long-standing, consolidated democratic states, adopting legislation that restricts the ability of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to operate autonomous from government control? This phenomenon is common and expected in authoritarian countries, but surprising in the context of democracies, which have historically championed and funded an independent civil society. This paper maps the full scope and spread of the so-called'closing space phenomenon'within the world's strongest democratic states. This phenomenon has been extensively mapped in the context of non-democracies but, until now, not in democracies, which alters the conventional wisdom about why this global trend has gained traction and momentum since the turn of the twenty-first century.
... Some refer to these processes as "shrinking," or "closing" space, in which the legal and political environment for civil society organisations (CSOs) is increasingly hostile (Carothers, 2016;Pospieszna & Pietrzyk-Reeves, 2022). The "shrinking space" phenomenon was originally observed in autocracies (Dupuy et al., 2016), but similar tendencies have recently been identified in established democracies (Bolleyer, 2021). Our article focuses on Hungary, which is a clear case of de-democratisation and has been considered the first undemocratic country within the European Union (Bogaards, 2018;Bozóki & Hegedűs, 2018;Delbois-Corfield, 2022). ...
Article
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While it is well-known that democratic backsliding imposes a variety of challenges on civil society organisations, it is often assumed that it represses civil society. However, a closer look at the impact of democratic backsliding on civil society organisations reveals that even in countries where democratic backsliding is fairly advanced, the relationship between civil society and the state is more complex. Close cooperation and partnership between civil society organisations and the state are scarce in backsliding countries; the relationship between civil society organisations and the state might, however, range from hostility to varying forms and degrees of co-optation. Based on interviews with representatives of civil society organisations and the examination of the sector-specific social and political environment, we aim to explore the forms and factors that shape the relationship between civil society organisations and the state in Hungary. More specifically, we analyse the impact of the changing political opportunity structures on three important sectors of civil society organisations: human rights organisations, environmental organisations, and women’s organisations. We argue that, to seize control over civil society the government applies sector-specific strategies, ranging from exclusion to co-optation. State strategies, in turn, spark different responses from civil society organisations.
... This can lead to higher transaction costs and divert resources from the end-beneficiaries. Sometimes, this can lead foreign or foreign-funded NGOs to renounce or switch their work from the most politically sensitive issues just to survive (Dupuy et al., 2015(Dupuy et al., , 2016. ...
Article
Building on previous literature on corporate behavior, we examine the impact of an nongovernmental organization’s (NGO) foreign status on the moral judgment of its actions in a host country. Individuals in Algeria ( N = 450) rated the ethicality of analogous ethical and unethical actions of domestic (Algerian) and foreign NGOs (European). For ethical actions, a foreign NGO was considered less positively than a local NGO for two scenarios out of three. For unethical actions, a foreign NGO was judged more severely in one scenario only. These results suggest that foreign status can influence moral judgment in a way that is consistent with liability-of-foreignness effect predictions. A foreign-sounding denomination can put an NGO at a relative disadvantage compared with its domestic counterpart. Consequently, the denomination choice should be carefully examined.
... Such top-down emphasis can also affect social norms by influencing those that emerge and spread throughout society (Schleicher et al., 2018). Additionally, Bhutan remained relatively isolated until the 1960s, and the country continues to be selective in accepting foreign aid, ensuring the alignment of such funds to national priorities and emphasizing following country systems in the execution of external projects (Dupuy et al., 2016;Kelegama, 2012). Selective external funding might mean fewer constraints on how conservation programs are enacted and limited impact of external norms and priorities that do not match Bhutan's conservation objectives or local worldviews. ...
Article
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Access to sufficient financial resources is vital for effective biodiversity conservation. Although the importance of biodiversity conservation is widely recognized, lack of funding has been a significant impediment to achieving conservation goals. Yet, information on the allocation of conservation funding remains limited. This study addresses this gap by mapping conservation funding flows in Bhutan over the past four decades. We identified 249 projects totaling US$ 239.4 million allocated for biodiversity conservation in Bhutan from 1980 to 2019. Most of this funding derived from bilateral and multilateral aid agencies, with domestic trust fund and private foundations also contributing. Funding for projects with coupled conservation and development objectives and gender components was relatively high, particularly for funds allocated by multilateral and bilateral organizations. By contrast, domestic funding typically did not include development or gender components. Private foundations and domestic sources emphasized capacity development interventions. Despite relatively limited funding flows, the socio‐political context in Bhutan, which favors environmentally friendly practices, may have been key to the country's widely recognized conservation success. Evidence on trends and patterns in conservation finance, as presented here for Bhutan, can advance conservation science and practice by shedding new light on historical and current conservation priorities and helping inform future allocation. Although billions of dollars are invested for biodiversity conservation, the allocation of such funding remains poorly understood. Our study addresses this gap by mapping conservation funding flows in Bhutan over the past four decades. We identified 249 projects totaling US$ 239.4 million allocated for conservation in Bhutan from 1980 to 2019, most of which was derived from bilateral and multilateral aid agencies.
... While some countries, like Egypt, had long sought to exercise some control over the flow of foreign funds to NGOs by routing them through government ministries, autocrats quickly diagnosed foreign funding as the Achilles heel of advocacy NGOs that generally have little opportunity to raise funds domestically. The foreign funding restrictions first introduced with Russia's NGO Law in 2006 and later extended with the Foreign Agent Act of 2012 (Benevolenski and Toepler 2017;Flikke 2018) launched a new era in which growing numbers of governments across the Global South jumped on the bandwagon to introduce similar restrictions (Carothers 2016;Christensen and Weinstein 2013;Dupuy, Ron, and Prakash 2016;Dupuy and Prakash 2020). These efforts to defund certain NGOs by cutting off international support drew the closing space for civil society metaphor (Carothers and Brechenmacher 2014). ...
Article
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In this introductory essay for the special issue on contested spaces in liberal democracies, we review how and to what extent the closing or shrinking space debate that has influenced the civil society discourse in authoritarian contexts presents an appropriate mode of analysis for similar, disconcerting developments that have been observed in liberal democracies. In particular, recent changes in Germany, Austria, Israel, and Greece are covered in this issue. We suggest that while shrinking space mechanisms are observable, civil society is nevertheless experiencing new activism and growth. In contrast to authoritarian regimes, spaces in liberal democracies are increasingly contested reflecting both a politization of issues that nonprofits, NGOs or CSOs are working on, such as migration and climate change, but also a new civic agency that expands the political dimensions of civil society, embracing its more political functions beyond traditional service delivery.
... NGOs and other civil society actors), but also to focus directly on the role of youth participation. This is especially the case if cooperation with independent organizations is difficult or impossible because of restrictions placed on them by the government of their country, such as in Belarus (Carothers and Brechenmacher 2014;Dupuy, Ron, and Prakash 2016;Gershman and Allen 2006). 2. Other terms are also used such as education for "democratic citizenship", "civic education programmes", or "education for active participation" activities. ...
Article
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This study examines democracy promotion efforts that target young people in post-Soviet countries. Specifically we assess the effectiveness of a civic education programme in Poland in improving attitudes toward democracy and self-perceptions of political efficacy. The analysis of quasi-experimental data reveals that young citizens from post-Soviet states (Belarus, Moldova, Russia, and Ukraine) were more likely to show greater support of democratic institutions, hold democratic attitudes, and perceive themselves as having political efficacy. However, we interpret the results with caution as changes in the attitudes were not substantial. This may be attributed to the fact that democracy education programmes attract already politically and socially active young people.
... For the same reason, however, these can be perceived as acts of interference by foreign countries which need to be regulated and limited (Henderson, 2002). For example, Russian authorities require that NGOs report political activities and receipts of foreign money (Dupuy et al., 2016). As far as private donors are concerned, we know they are very selective of who gets funded and select projects and organizations which are in line with the donor's agenda (Haines, 1984). ...
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In this study we test whether interest organizations that are confrontational towards EU institutions are less successful than their more cooperative counterparts in obtaining funding from the European Commission (EC). The transfer of public funds to interest organizations is a key dynamic in state-civil society relationships. Research shows that organizations, especially public groups, often heavily rely on public funds to the point that, without funds, many would cease to exist. ‘Don’t bite the hand that feeds you’ is thus a popular expression among leaders of organizations who apply for funds. Scholars document a widespread perception among group leaders that a confrontational attitude towards the state can lead to curtail of public funds. This perception is based on the assumption that state institutions use public funding to discipline confrontational interest organizations. We test this assumption using quantitative and qualitative data collected from a survey of 270 interest organizations who applied for EC funding between 2015 and 2018. Our findings suggest that, while almost half of our survey respondents feel that critical attitudes towards the EU would have negative consequences for their funding applications, empirically, confrontational and cooperative organizations have the same chances of obtaining EC grants. This finding is robust across different interest organization categories, including when non-applicants and mortality anxiety are considered in the analysis. The results add a new layer to resource dependency theory pointing at the incongruence between an organization’s perception of its relationship with public institutions and the observation of that relationship.
... Researchers have already provided insights into the shrinking civic space problem within authoritarian regimes (Brechenmacher 2017;Dupuy et al 2016) and analysed international responses (Carothers 2015;ICNL 2018). The phenomenon of shrinking civic space is also discussed alongside a backlash against external democracy promotion (Carothers 2015;Carothers and Brechenmacher 2014) and in the debate on how to make democracy promotion more effective regarding countries in question (Bush 2015;Basora et al 2017;Hobson and Kurki 2012). ...
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This article examines a new phase in democracy promotion in Central and Eastern European countries that recently have faced the process of shrinking civic space and democratic backsliding. In our case study, we analyse systematically the voices and strategies of Polish NGOs involved in democracy promotion at home and abroad as a response to these new challenges. Our empirical findings suggest that advocacy NGOs devoted to democratic quality and sustainability can continue their mission and promote or defend democracy, albeit with new incentives, strategies and goals that also depend on the existing political opportunity structures. The threat of shrinking civic space, paradoxically, has mobilized NGOs in Poland to strengthen their mission and resources, and seek wider support in society. This was possible due to new response strategies in three major areas of their operation: access, funding and networking. Understanding these actions has immediate policy implications, as it can help actors who are seeking to support democracy figure out how to play a more supportive role.
... In the last two decades, there has been a massive crackdown against NGOs worldwide. Governments have incentives to crack down on foreign aid when they perceive NGOs are working with their political opponents and when they perceive that NGOs do not have citizen support (therefore, the political costs of cracking down are low) [16]. Sometimes citizens believe, often abetted by autocratic governments that control the media, that NGOs work for western agendas instead of local concerns. ...
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Bangladesh faces a severe rural to urban migration challenge, which is accentuated by climate change and the Rohingya crisis. These migrants often reside in urban slums and struggle to access public services, which are already short in supply for existing slum dwellers. Given the inadequacy of governmental efforts, nonprofits have assumed responsibility for providing essential services such as housing, healthcare, and education. Would local slum-dwellers in Dhaka be willing to support such nonprofits financially? We deploy an in-person survey experiment with three frames (generic migrants, climate migrants, and religiously persecuted Rohingya migrants) to assess Dhaka slum-dwellers' willingness to support a humanitarian charity that provides healthcare services to migrants. Bangladesh is noted as a climate change hotspot and its government is vocal about the climate issue in international forums. While we expected this to translate into public support for climate migrants, we find respondents are 16% less likely to support climate migrants in relation to the generic migrants. However, consistent with the government's hostility towards Rohin-gya, we find that respondents are 9% less likely to support a charity focused on helping Rohingya migrants. Our results are robust even when we examine subpopulations such as recent arrivals in Dhaka and those who have experienced floods (both of which could be expected to be more sympathetic to climate migrants), as well as those who regularly follow the news (and hence are well informed about the climate and the Rohingya crisis).
... International actors can ally with pro-democratic domestic actors to foster processes already underway, but they cannot create such processes in the absence of local ownership. Accordingly, most analyses assume that effective democracy promotion requires that the values and attitudes of the given state's political elites converge with those of its overall society (Bridoux and Kurki 2015;Dupuy, Ron, and Prakash 2016). However, there is still a lack of empirical evidence on the relevance of such soft power factors in democracy promotion. ...
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This article analyses the conditions under which international democracy support contributes to protecting presidential term limits. As autocratisation has become an unwelcome global trend, researchers turned to the study of the toolboxes of would-be autocrats, including their attempts to circumvent term limits. Through a paired comparison of failed attempts in Malawi (2002) and Senegal (2012), we find that external democracy support can assist domestic actors and institutions in deflecting challenges to term limits. We offer a novel qualitative analysis that posits that international democracy support can only be effective if sustained by popular democratic attitudes and behaviours of actors in the recipient state. On the one hand, a mix of conditioning relations with the incumbent government while capacitating pro-democratic opposition is a successful strategy in aid-dependent political regimes with a minimum democratic quality. On the other, societal attitudes factor into decision-making at domestic and international levels. Our results suggest that popular pro-democratic attitudes encouraged international democracy support during critical junctures in the two countries, ie when incumbents attempted to circumvent term limitation. Donor investments had positive results when donors had directed resources towards building up civil society organisations long before any attempts at circumventing term limits were made. Supplemental data for this article is available online at https://doi.org/10.1080/01436597.2021.2000855 .
... Such government-NPO funding relationships are common in developed countries, where a substantial proportion of services is already delegated to the nonprofit sector on the basis of efficiency or ideological considerations (Hall, 2016;Powell et al., 2016). However, these relationships are now also being increasingly favored in developing countries, where limited state capacities have compelled governments to contract out services to domestic or international NPOs (Bromideh, 2011;Dupuy et al., 2016;Khieng, 2014). ...
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Although governments frequently contract nonprofit organizations (NPOs) to provide public services, little is known about why civil servants are more willing to direct funding to some NPOs than to others. Based on previous research on government funding for NPOs, this study proposes a theoretical framework that combines NPOs' internal and external management strategies to explain civil servants' preferences for funding specific NPOs. On the basis of an original conjoint experiment of 1206 civil servants from China between 2020 and 2021, the analysis found that civil servants generally value the characteristics of rationalization, professionalization, collaboration, cooptation, and a prior history of receiving funding from the government in NPOs. A series of robustness checks were used to validate the theorized relationships. These findings have important implications for both future research and efforts to promote government–NPO contracting.
... en un plano de posibles guerras ambientales venideras, que requerirán soluciones militares. Dentro de este concepto surgió el "enfoque de riesgo" que enfatiza las posibilidades de daño al ambiente, ante las que deberían adoptarse medidas excepcionales que no necesariamente implican la militarización, pero que tampoco la descartan 27 . El cambio climático antes que un desafío medioambiental, pasa así a un plano de amenaza contra la seguridad 28 . ...
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Many civil society organizations (CSOs) are fighting for survival as governments introduce legislation to curtail their activities. This article examines how domestic civil society campaigns can persuade parliamentarians to reject ‘anti-CSO’ legislation. We employ pairwise comparisons in two regions – East Africa and Central Asia – as well as process-tracing within four cases: two successful campaigns waged by CSO coalitions against repressive legislation in Kenya and Kyrgyzstan, and two unsuccessful campaigns in Uganda and Kazakhstan. We find that traditional structural explanations – most notably the degree of international linkage and leverage and the quality of democracy – play an important role in creating greater opportunities for domestic actors, but are not determinative. CSOs also need to take advantage of the more conducive environment to defend democracy. Doing so is more likely when campaigns: are pre-emptive and sustained, frame the issue in a manner that resonates with the electoral incentives facing parliamentarians, coordinate with influential international actors, and engage pragmatically with both the informal political rules that shape legislators’ behaviour and the formal procedural ‘mechanics’ of legislatures. The article therefore demonstrates the significance of both political structure and agency, and of international actors using their influence to create space for domestic groups, ‘leading from behind’.
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A crackdown on the activities of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) has recently swept the globe. When faced with increased restrictions, how do NGOs respond? We argue there is a curvilinear relationship between increases in NGO repression and the conflict-to-cooperative nature of NGO interactions with a government. On one end of the spectrum, when civil society repression is limited or nonexistent, NGOs have many reasons to be cooperative with the government. As NGO repression increases, we should see NGOs take more of a conflictual stance, publicly voicing their displeasure and bringing attention to the abuses and deficiencies they see within the regime. As NGO repression continues to increase, however, there will be a tipping point at which the NGOs that remain in the country will once again take a more cooperative tack with the government. We use a quantitative event data approach to examine the implications of our arguments.
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This article argues that current democracy promotion strategies relying on rights‐claiming advocacy NGOs are falling short of their democratization goals, as authoritarian regimes are closing the space through restrictions on the NGOs that attempt to carry them out. In response, we suggest a reexamination of earlier approaches to involving civil society in democratization efforts by shifting the focus back on service‐providing civil society organizations that have largely become side‐lined in democracy‐building agendas. Specifically, service providers tend to be more capable of functioning “under the radar” thus contributing to democracy in both direct and indirect ways, and thus escaping closing space restrictions. The key concerns about their independence from the state, as well as under what conditions the state may be less successful in coopting the independent service‐providers, however, remain unresolved and warrant future research. Read-only fulltext: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/share/author/KTUUKIN5HDVF7NVT7HQS?target=10.1002/pad.2005
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In an authoritarian state characterised by political repression, international nongovernmental organisations (INGOs) are forced to coexist with the subjects of the State by forging an expedient relationship with the State for fear of persecution. Thus, for INGOs, a marriage of expediency amidst fear becomes appropriate to ensure that they continue their operations, achieve their goals and coexist with a hostile authoritarian State. In an expedient relationship, INGOs respond to such State governmentalities by adopting specific coping strategies to avoid abandoning their missions. INGOs find themselves inventing spaces of operation characterised by fleeing, uneasy partnerships, compliance, collaboration, avoidance, cooperation and complementarity. For INGOs, a marriage of expediency amidst fear ensures that they continue with their operations, achieve their goals and coexist with a hostile authoritarian State. The use of governmentality by the State forces INGOs to abandon what is declared unacceptable in its territory. INGOs seize any opportunity to support opposition political parties and local NGOs and, at the same time, engage in operations approved by the State. In an expedient relationship, there is the aggressor (the State) applying repression and the victim (INGOs) experiencing the repression and being forced to find ways of coexisting with the Journal of African Foreign Affairs (JoAFA) ISSN 2056-5658 (Online) ISSN 2056-564X (Print) Indexed by: IBSS, JSTOR, EBSCO, ERIH PLUS, ProQuest, J-Gate and Sabinet Volume 9, Number 3, December 2022 pp 127-140 Towards a Theory for Explaining International … 128 State. This paper describes a theory arrived at in a study analysing State-INGO relations in an authoritarian state. The study used a qualitative research design exploiting in-depth interviewing of State and INGO officials. Data were analysed and the inferential approach /deductive approach was applied to arrive at the theory of expediency that explains State-INGO relations.
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Since post-World War II and especially throughout the 1990s, the globalization of a liberal international order propelled a wave of education reforms around the world. However, recent challenges to the legitimacy of the liberal order may undercut the prevalence of education reform across countries. To reveal how global changes are influencing education, we draw on a newly constructed data set of 6,696 education reforms in 147 countries from 1960 to 2017. Using dynamic negative binomial panel regression models, we find declining levels of reform in recent decades. We also find evidence of changing dynamics of influence among prominent organizational actors: World Bank lending is less associated with education reform over time, whereas the influence of international nongovernmental organizations has grown. This suggests a shifting system of governance, where formal coercive pressures become less palatable and the normative influences of civil society grow stronger. Overall, our findings indicate that education reform arises as a macro-global process as much as a response to local needs and conditions.
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With the global proliferation of the liberal peace agenda, there has been an increase in attention to the participation of non-governmental organizations ( NGO s) in the development and support of national peace agendas. However, with the rise of authoritarian states around the world, and the closing of civic spaces, NGO s have become constrained and limited in their actions. We often see autocratic and repressive regimes not welcoming the implementation of any initiatives that fall outside the scope of their official negotiation platforms, and therefore, limiting the participation of their citizens in unofficial peacebuilding initiatives. Through the application of the authoritarian conflict management framework, this article discusses the challenges of carrying out peacebuilding work in such non-permissive environments in the context of the South Caucasus and points out ways that local peacebuilding organizations and peace activists work around these restrictions to negotiate the reconciliation space that they are attempting to create.
Chapter
According to an African non-profit sector leader, “leaders help themselves and others to do the right things.… build an inspiring vision, … mapping out where you need to go to ‘win’ as a team”. This can apply to any leader. Yet, expectations from non-government organisation (NGO) leaders are higher than from others. They must combine ethical and technical competence to achieve sustainable development goals. NGOs support international development, direct aid effort, promote their own specific causes, and influence public policies. Thus, they can lead the integration of sustainability goals for the environment, promote social equity, and foster economic growth. This chapter explores the ingredients for responsible non-profit leadership and its contribution to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by researching NGO work, challenges, and governance structures, using archival data and interviewing four environmental NGO leaders. The results highlight the challenges NGOs face in integrating the SDG initiatives and proffer solutions.
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For nearly two decades, the United States devoted more than $2 billion towards democracy promotion in the Middle East with seemingly little impact. To understand the limited impact of this aid and the decision of authoritarian regimes to allow democracy programs whose ultimate aim is to challenge the power of such regimes, Marketing Democracy examines the construction and practice of democracy aid in Washington DC and in Egypt and Morocco, two of the highest recipients of US democracy aid in the region. Drawing on extensive fieldwork, novel new data on the professional histories of democracy promoters, archival research and recently declassified government documents, Erin A. Snider focuses on the voices and practices of those engaged in democracy work over the last three decades to offer a new framework for understanding the political economy of democracy aid. Her research shows how democracy aid can work to strengthen rather than challenge authoritarian regimes. Marketing Democracy fundamentally challenges scholars to rethink how we study democracy aid and how the ideas of democracy that underlie democracy programs come to reflect the views of donors and recipient regimes rather than indigenous demand.
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Nevyriausybinės organizacijos yra demokratinės visuomenės išraiška. Nepaisant to kartais viešasis sektorius įžvelgia jose konkurenciją savo atliekamoms funkcijoms bei grėsmę valstybės saugumui, todėl įveda veiklos ribojimus. Dažniausiai šis reiškinys išryškėja į autoritarizmą linkusiose valstybėse. Pastaraisiais metais Rusijos Federacijoje yra stebimas nevyriausybinių organizacijų (NVO) kontrolės stiprėjimas, ypač jis akivaizdus NVO, kurios dirba politikos sferoje ir/ar yra finansuojamos užsienio šaltinių lėšomis. Šiame straipsnyje analizuojami viešojo sektoriaus ribojimai NVO veiklai Rusijoje. Tyrimo rezultatai atskleidė, kad NVO veikla yra ribojama keletu aspektų: teisės burtis į asociacijas, žodžio ir susirinkimų laisvės bei finansinių ribojimų. 2012 m. ir 2015 m. priimtos įstatymų pataisos, kurios įvedė „užsienio agento“ ir „nepageidaujamų organizacijų“ sąvokas, yra labiausiai NVO veiklą Rusijoje ribojantys teisiniai veiksniai. Tyrimas atliktas remiantis dokumentų analizės bei pusiau struktūruoto interviu metodu su Rusijos NVO atstovais.
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Nongovernmental organizations are central to contemporary global governance, and their numbers and influence have grown dramatically since the middle of the twentieth century. However, in the last three decades more than 130 states have repressed these groups, suggesting that a broad range of states perceive them as costly. When they choose to repress NGOs, under what conditions do states use violent strategies versus administrative means? The choice depends on two main factors: the nature of the threat posed by these groups, and the consequences of cracking down on them. Violent crackdown is useful in the face of immediate domestic threats, such as protests. However, violence may increase the state's criminal liability, reduce its legitimacy, violate human rights treaties, and further intensify mobilization against the regime. Therefore, states are more likely to use administrative crackdown, especially in dealing with long-term threats, such as when NGOs influence electoral politics. I test this theory using an original data set of administrative crackdowns on NGOs, as well as violent crackdown on NGO activists, across all countries from 1990 to 2013. To shed light on the strategic decision between violent or administrative crackdown, and how states may perceive threats from domestic and international NGOs differently, I provide a case study from India. I conclude by discussing the implications of this crackdown for the use of civil society actors by the international community, as well as donors and citizens in the global South.
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Nowhere is the role of civil society organizations (CSOs) in development and democratization more critical than in countries at high risk of mass atrocities. In this article, we examine the actual and potential role of development CSOs in the prevention of mass atrocities based on an analysis of 302 CSOs in South Sudan. The article examines if and how service‐providing CSOs frame their work as contributing to the prevention of mass atrocities. The article seeks to understand how these CSOs deliver services and articulate their work regarding the prevention of large‐scale identity‐based violence. We aim to explore the degree to which organizations describe atrocity prevention as an intentional part of democratization efforts. The article is situated within the larger debates about the service delivery and civil society functions of CSOs. Specifically, we ask: To what extent do development CSOs articulate a contribution to the prevention of mass atrocities? We posit that the service delivery and civil society functions can be better achieved by giving deliberate attention to an atrocity prevention perspective.
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Traditional definitions of the shrinking space solely focus on the State’s restricting role therein. They however, overlook the impact of another invested party which, especially in development contexts, plays a crucial role when it comes to civil society: Northern-based development donors. The donors’ role is especially important in the case of Jordanian women’s non-governmental organizations. These organizations completely depend on foreign funding and are subject to donor practice and requirements in a neo-liberal development context, while navigating the restrictive measures imposed by the neo-patriarchal Jordanian State, meant to monitor and control them in order to maintain the status quo of power relations. Based on field research in Jordan between 2017 and 2021, the study sheds light on how donor practices and State-imposed restrictive measures do not just interact, but may even reinforce each other, thereby contributing to the further narrowing of remaining civic space in Jordan.
Article
Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are a core component of a robust civil society and operate in a wide variety of sectors, ranging from service delivery to political advocacy. However, research has yet to systematically investigate whether the impact of government repression varies across NGO activities. We hypothesize that advocacy NGOs are more affected by repression than those in service delivery. Surveying 176 employees from 106 NGOs in Cambodia, we employ a conjoint experiment to examine how the level of repression affects a task crucial to NGOs’ survival: obtaining funding via grant applications. We find that while increases in the severity of repression appear to have a stronger deterrent effect for advocacy NGOs, repression has a large deterrent effect on service NGOs as well. Interviews and text analysis of open-ended questions suggest that local officials target both advocacy and service delivery NGOs, but for different reasons. Our findings speak to the spread of authoritarianism and the challenges NGOs face in countries with closing civic spaces.
Chapter
Recent decades have witnessed a global cascade of restrictive and repressive measures against formally organized civil society organizations. This chapter sheds light on what explains the rapid diffusion of legislative restrictions against nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). As we will show, it is witnessed in so-called hybrid regimes or defective democracies as much as in fully authoritarian regimes and to a lesser extent also in full democracies. The rise in NGO restrictions is not just a belated response to NGO growth since the 1990s; it is associated with a broader trend of worldwide deterioration in the quality of democracy. Contrary to debates in international relations focusing on the influence of authoritarian “rising powers,” we present descriptive data and qualitative evidence suggesting that we need to look beyond the actions and intentions of China or Russia to understand the illiberal transformation that is underway. Instead, the diffusion of NGO restrictions is due to a more immanent and horizontal process we call “learning from examples.” Through close textual comparisons, we provide “smoking gun” evidence of learning from examples, tracing the intraregional migration of specific legal formulations from one state’s law to another.KeywordsNongovernment organizations (NGOs)RestrictionsIlliberalDiffusion
Article
An increasing number of countries have recently cracked down on non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Much of this crackdown is sanctioned by law and represents a bureaucratic form of repression that could indicate more severe human rights abuses in the future. This is especially the case for democracies, which, unlike autocracies, may not aggressively attack civic space. We explore whether crackdowns on NGOs predict broader human rights repression. Anti-NGO laws are among the most subtle means of repression and attract lesser domestic and international condemnation compared to the use of violence. Using original data on NGO repression, we test whether NGO crackdown is a predictor of political terror and violations of physical integrity rights and civil liberties. We find that although de jure anti-NGO laws provide little information in predicting future repression, their patterns of implementation—or de facto civil society repression—predict worsening respect for physical integrity rights and civil liberties.
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According to social and fiscal contract theories, governments provide core social services largely to maintain their legitimacy. But does the state itself have to provide the services? In most developing countries, both nonprofit and for-profit schools and health clinics exist alongside those of the state. However, limited research has measured the relationship among citizens’ use of these services and attitudes about state legitimacy. This paper examines whether nonstate service provision is associated with decreased government legitimacy. We find a negative relationship between the use of for-profit services and state legitimacy, but no clear relationship between nonprofit service provision and legitimacy, even when controlling for satisfaction with services provided. We propose several explanations for why for-profit service provision could affect legitimacy that are not present in nonprofit services.
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Recent assessments of relations between states and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) claim a global wave of state crackdowns, raising questions about the continued authority and influence of NGOs. The works reviewed here challenge the idea of a pattern of global conflict, demonstrating a range of ways in which states work with, through, and alongside NGOs. They also demonstrate that the diversity of NGO–state relations can make it difficult to generalize about these interactions across national contexts. One way to reconceptualize these relationships may be to focus on the normative commitments that states and NGOs do or do not share. Conflictual and cooperative NGO–state dynamics emerge from the many and sometimes contradictory liberal values that enabled the rise of NGOs. NGOs can embody three liberal values: visions of civil society can emphasize political freedoms, market-based visions of private action, or universalism. States may embrace some of these values while rejecting others. Thus, while the era of the unimpeded rise of NGOs may have come to an end, the shifting political spaces for NGOs do not spell an end to their influence.
Article
Limited space to engage in advocacy is one manifestation of a restrictive civic environment. In environments where civil society organizations (CSOs) are keen to maintain a low profile, non-confrontational advocacy mechanisms are often preferred. Based on a case study on the adoption of an Egyptian law that criminalizes denial of inheritance to women, this paper investigates how CSOs engage in advocacy in restrictive settings. The aforementioned law was put forth by a coalition of CSOs in Egypt and led by an international NGO. Using an original analytical framework, I argue that the coalition’s ability to navigate the restrictive environment in Egypt can be explained by a confluence of factors, including that the issue did not conflict with beliefs of powerful decision-makers, that the CSOs were perceived as legitimate and had good network reach, and that the CSOs used insider tactics and non-controversial framing to mobilize support of influential government actors.
Article
Limited attention has been paid to market actors’ interventions and their consequences in regard to shaping NGOs’ behaviors in China. Drawing on a case study of a national disability organization’s participation in China’s largest internet fundraising campaign—the Tencent Charity Day—this paper examines how market actors constitute the institutional contexts that shape and restructure NGOs’ framing and practice. I argue that market actors transform the institutional environments of NGOs by transplanting social media platforms’ institutional logic concerning the attention economy to incubate NGOs’ charitable marketing practices. The consequences of this transformation are the re-coalitions of actors, as well as the rise of charitable framing and the market methods of charitable programming. Meanwhile, market interventions unintendedly open spaces for grassroots NGOs to pursue their social missions and re-envision rights and advocacy under transformed state–civil society relationships, even though this process is highly uneven and hierarchical.
Chapter
In this chapter, the authors explore what more-than-human approaches can contribute to development research, teaching and practice. The authors believe that this work is timely as development studies and practice have yet to engage with more-than-human insights in any significant way. They first develop the concept of more-than-human development before analysing the challenges it poses to how we conceptualize and approach core development concerns such as community and empowerment. They then reflect on the ramifications of the concept for practice and policy, before finally exploring how to incorporate more-than-human approaches into pedagogy.
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Scholarship on Transnational Advocacy Networks (TANs) increasingly recognizes that even weak states targeted by TANs may respond, and subvert, transnational norm socialization campaigns. It examines both the conditions conducive to such responses and the range of policy instruments available to these states. Yet this emerging work lacks a robust, contextualized account for how states devise the strategy and the content of their responses. This article builds on the policy-learning literature to elucidate the process through which states construct their anti-TAN approaches. It suggests that states’ policy paradigms in the field of domestic security largely shape those responses, with different paradigms offering distinct priorities and instruments. The comparison of the divergent impact of the Guatemalan state’s contrasting responses to two similar legal-political challenges, undertaken in the context of the same anticorruption TAN campaign, illustrates the argument.
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Do initiatives to limit nongovernmental organization (NGO) activities work to limit terrorist attacks? Despite regime rhetoric, we argue that NGO restrictions and repression can heighten grievances and limit nonviolent options for citizens to express dissent, broadening support for terrorists and increasing terrorist incidents. Using novel data on NGO restrictions, we fail to find evidence that legal restrictions on NGOs reduce the number of terrorist attacks. Once we account for the unobservable factors that influence both the adoption of these initiatives and the terrorist violence via treatment effects regression models, we find much evidence that NGO restrictions instead exacerbate terrorism. Our findings call into question the counterterrorism and security benefits often used by regime leaders to justify restrictions and all-out repression to NGOs.
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At the end of apartheid, the South African government adopted laws regulating civil society that are widely seen as “good” laws: laws designed to encourage and facilitate a thriving civil society sector. In 2019 the Ethiopian government repealed the repressive, decade-old Charities and Societies Proclamation and replaced it with a much more open and permissive regulatory system, also aimed at facilitating a thriving civil society sector. This article compares South Africa's post-apartheid civil society organization (CSO) laws with Ethiopia's 2019 law, to examine the different and overlapping ways in which these regimes attempt to advance the interests of CSOs against an historical background of state oppression. In doing so, it examines what “good” regulation of CSOs constitutes in practice and finds that there are significant limits to the effectiveness of regulatory change in addressing the many, complex problems CSOs face, especially in the wake of political and legal oppression.
Article
Our understanding of the “closing space” argument is much nuanced if we widen the conceptualizations of both “closing” and “space”. “Closing” would thus include state attempts to restrict not only the promotion of democratic/human rights norms, but also other types of norms (conservative, right-wing, Islamist). A broader definition of “space” would likewise include not only the space occupied by CSOs, but also that of other politically important actors, such as political parties and religious communities. Lastly, we stand to gain from putting the spotlight on democratic states' efforts to control outside influences on its domestic political sphere. The article thus proposes an analytical framework focusing on state regulations of foreign funding to CSOs, political parties, and religious communities, which is applied in two exploratory case studies of Israel and Tunisia. The article finds that the two states attempt to control norm diffusion not only via domestic CSOs, but also through political parties and religious groups. Regulations do not always target human rights and democratic norms. Foreign funding regulations have at times favoured foreign funding for nationalistic, right-wing norms: at others, democratic norms over Islamic norms. Thus, the “closing space” phenomenon is more complex than usually understood.
Chapter
This chapter frames the phenomenon of hybrid diplomacy with the larger context of contemporary global politics. It first analyses the changes occurred in international affairs, especially for what concerns the system of global governance. Within such pluralistic framework, the chapter then examines the specific role played by non-state actors, especially civil society organizations and their transnational networks, in international relations. Special attention is paid to the format of the public-private partnerships, both in its national and international types, that are considered a major vector for global change and global policy.
Book
Why do some donor governments pursue international development through recipient governments, while others bypass such local authorities? Weaving together scholarship in political economy, public administration and historical institutionalism, Simone Dietrich argues that the bureaucratic institutions of donor countries shape donor–recipient interactions differently despite similar international and recipient country conditions. Donor nations employ institutional constraints that authorize, enable and justify particular aid delivery tactics while precluding others. Offering quantitative and qualitative analyses of donor decision-making, the book illuminates how donors with neoliberally organized public sectors bypass recipient governments, while donors with more traditional public-sector-oriented institutions cooperate and engage recipient authorities on aid delivery. The book demonstrates how internal beliefs and practices about states and markets inform how donors see and set their objectives for foreign aid and international development itself. It informs debates about aid effectiveness and donor coordination and carries implications for the study of foreign policy, more broadly.
Article
Why do some donor governments pursue international development through recipient governments, while others bypass such local authorities? Weaving together scholarship in political economy, public administration and historical institutionalism, Simone Dietrich argues that the bureaucratic institutions of donor countries shape donor–recipient interactions differently despite similar international and recipient country conditions. Donor nations employ institutional constraints that authorize, enable and justify particular aid delivery tactics while precluding others. Offering quantitative and qualitative analyses of donor decision-making, the book illuminates how donors with neoliberally organized public sectors bypass recipient governments, while donors with more traditional public-sector-oriented institutions cooperate and engage recipient authorities on aid delivery. The book demonstrates how internal beliefs and practices about states and markets inform how donors see and set their objectives for foreign aid and international development itself. It informs debates about aid effectiveness and donor coordination and carries implications for the study of foreign policy, more broadly.
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Objetivo. El presente artículo presenta una revisión crítica de la literatura académica que estudia la relación entre las ONG y los medios de comunicación en los conflictos por derechos humanos. Metodología. A partir de una revisión documental, a manera de balance de estado del arte, se clasifican y analizan los principales enfoques y tesis de la literatura. Resultados. Se argumenta que la literatura académica ha enfatizado en cómo la política de la información se constituye en un repertorio modular del activismo en defensa de los derechos humanos, pero mantiene un sesgo en el análisis de las dinámicas, organizaciones y medios internacionales. Conclusiones. Se plantea la necesidad de desarrollar una agenda de investigación que tenga en cuenta los procesos y relaciones entre las ONG y los medios de comunicación a nivel estatal, además de repensar dicha relación en contextos de grave violencia contra periodistas con el fin de explicar las posibilidades y límites de la política de la información.
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Local human rights organizations (LHROs) are key domestic and transnational actors, modifying, diffusing, and promoting liberal norms; mobilizing citizens; networking with the media and activists; and pressuring governments to implement international commitments. These groups, however, are reliant on international funds. This makes sense in politically repressive environments, where potential donors fear government retaliation, but is puzzling elsewhere. We interviewed 263 LHRO leaders and key informants from 60 countries, and conducted statistically representative surveys of 6180 respondents in India, Mexico, Morocco, and Nigeria. Based on these data, we believe LHRO funding in non-repressive environments is shaped by philanthropic logics of appropriateness. In the late 1990s, transnational activists successfully mainstreamed human rights throughout the international donor assistance community, freeing up development money for LHROs. Domestic activists in the global South have not promoted similar philanthropic transformations at home, where charitable giving still focuses on traditional institutions. Instead, domestic rights activists have followed the path of least resistance toward international aid, a logic of outcomes produced by variations in global logics of (philanthropic) appropriateness.
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Local human rights organizations (LHROs) are crucial allies in international efforts to promote human rights. Without support from organized civil society, efforts by transnational human rights reformers would have little effect. Despite their importance, we have little systematic information on the correlates of public trust in LHROs. To fill this gap, we conducted key informant interviews with 233 human rights workers from sixty countries, and then administered a new Human Rights Perceptions Poll to representative public samples in Mexico (n = 2,400), Morocco (n = 1,100), India (n = 1,680), and Colombia (n = 1,699). Our data reveal that popular trust in local rights groups is consistently associated with greater respondent familiarity with the rights discourse, actors, and organizations, along with greater skepticism toward state institutions and agents. The evidence fails to provide consistent, strong support for other commonly held expectations, however, including those about the effects of foreign funding, socioeconomic status, and transnational connections.
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Over the past two decades, donors increasingly link foreign aid to democracy objectives in Africa. This study investigates whether and how foreign aid influences specific outcomes associated with democratic transition and consolidation. Using an instrumental variables approach for the period from 1989 to 2008, we show that economic aid increases the likelihood of transition to multiparty politics, while democracy aid furthers democratic consolidation by reducing the incidence of multiparty failure and electoral misconduct. However, we find little evidence that either economic or democracy aid influences opposition support in multiparty elections. These findings have implications for understanding how donors allocate aid and the political consequences of foreign assistance in Africa.
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In 2013, the Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP) recorded 33 armed conflicts with a minimum of 25 battle-related deaths, up by one from 2012. Seven of these were recorded as wars, that is conflicts leading to 1,000 or more battle-related deaths in a calendar year. There have been 144 armed conflicts (47 wars) since 1989 and 254 armed conflicts (114 wars) since 1946. For the past ten years the amount of active armed conflict has fluctuated between 31 and 37. Six peace agreements were signed during the year 2013, two more than in the previous year. For the first time, this article also provides data on trends in battle-related deaths since 1989. These data do not show a clear time-trend. However, there is a particular difficulty in mapping the conflict in Syria, for which no credible battle-related deaths in 2013 can yet be reported.
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The volume outlines a new agenda for the study of advocacy organizations, which are often known as non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and social movement organizations. Instead of viewing advocacy NGOs as actors that are primarily motivated by principled beliefs, immune from collective action challenges, and prone to collaborating with other advocacy actors, we suggest modeling NGOs as collective actors that seek to fulfill both normative concerns and instrumental incentives, face collective action problems, and compete as well as collaborate with other advocacy actors that function in the same issue area. Because advocacy NGOs and firms share important characteristics (notwithstanding their differences), the firm analogy, we suggest, is an analytically useful way of studying advocacy actors. The collective action perspective provides a unifying analytical approach to the study of advocacy NGOs and firms (as well as governments) because it directs attention to the core challenges inherent in structuring and managing collective actors. This approach suggests the need to move beyond viewing NGOs as “saints” and firms as “sinners.” Indeed, the study of how and why hierarchies, networks, and alliances arise and are maintained in the context of firms can illuminate issues such as how advocacy NGOs and their networks emerge, how they internally organize, and how they strategize. We agree with Thomas Risse (this volume) that scholars interested in examining the structures, policies, and strategies of firms and their networks can derive useful insights from studying advocacy NGOs.
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What role does the international system play in amplifying the impact of domestic social movements on social change? The Argentine human rights movement reached the international system through the projection of cognitive and affective information—persuasion. International response was facilitated by the international human rights regime, and transnational nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) played a critical role. This challenge from above and below did have a clear impact on the target government and the development of broader mechanisms for the protection of human rights—even under the most severe conditions of repression and powerlessness.
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A substantial section of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in the global South depend on foreign funds to conduct their operations. This paper explores how the availability of foreign funding affects their downward accountability, abilities to effect social change, and their relative influence in relation to traditional grassroots, membership‐based organizations (GROs), which tend not to receive such funding. Drawing on a case study of Nicaragua, we challenge the notion that foreign funding of domestic NGOs leads to the evolution of civil society organizations, which have incentives and abilities to organize the marginalized sections of society in ways to effect social change in their interests. Instead, we find that foreign funding and corresponding professionalization of the NGO sector creates dualism among domestic civil society organizations. Foreign funding enhances the visibility and prestige of the “modern” NGO sector over traditional GROs. This has grave policy implications because foreign funded NGOs tend to be more accountable to donors than beneficiaries and are more focused on service delivery than social change oriented advocacy.
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Social and economic policy decisions are increasingly being taken in a global public domain in which national/transnational boundaries are blurred, and the `public' domain includes non-state actors. We argue that a new rights advocacy, advancing economic and social human rights as well as civil and political, is essential to understanding rule-making in the global public domain. New rights advocacy involves traditional human rights and development NGOs, social movement organizations and new `hybrid' organizations, in using human rights standards and methods to influence states, international organizations, and corporations. The new patterns of NGO engagement are studied through case studies of advocacy on HIV/AIDS and on the right to water. New rights advocacy constitutes a direct challenge to development orthodoxy, suggests a new interpretation of the social movements protesting globalization, and manifests a complex relationship between NGOs and poor country governments, in which NGOs often advocate on behalf of these governments' sovereign rights to set economic and social policy.
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In the period 1946-2001, there were 225 armed conflicts and 34 of them were active in all of or part of 2001. Armed conflict remains a serious problem in the post-Cold War period. For three decades, the Correlates of War project has served as the main supplier of reliable data used in longitudinal studies of external and internal armed conflict. The COW datasets on war use the relatively high threshold of 1,000 battle-deaths. The Uppsala dataset on armed conflict has a lower threshold, 25 annual battle-deaths, but has so far been available for only the post-Cold War period. This dataset has now been backdated to the end of World War II. This article presents a report on armed conflict based on this backdate as well as another annual update. It presents the procedures for the backdating, as well as trends over time and breakdowns for the type of conflict. It assesses the criteria for measuring armed conflict and discusses some directions for future data collection in this area.
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Empire of Humanity explores humanitarianism’s remarkable growth from its humble origins in the early nineteenth century to its current prominence in global life. In contrast to most contemporary accounts of humanitarianism that concentrate on the last two decades, Michael Barnett ties the past to the present, connecting the antislavery and missionary movements of the nineteenth century to today’s peacebuilding missions, the Cold War interventions in places like Biafra and Cambodia to post-Cold War humanitarian operations in regions such as the Great Lakes of Africa and the Balkans; and the creation of the International Committee of the Red Cross in 1863 to the emergence of the major international humanitarian organizations of the twentieth century. Based on extensive archival work, close encounters with many of today’s leading international agencies, and interviews with dozens of aid workers in the field and at headquarters, Empire of Humanity provides a history that is both global and intimate. Avoiding both romanticism and cynicism, Empire of Humanity explores humanitarianism’s enduring themes, trends, and, most strikingly, ethical ambiguities. Humanitarianism hopes to change the world, but the world has left its mark on humanitarianism. Humanitarianism has undergone three distinct global ages-imperial, postcolonial, and liberal-each of which has shaped what humanitarianism can do and what it is. The world has produced not one humanitarianism, but instead varieties of humanitarianism. Furthermore, Barnett observes that the world of humanitarianism is divided between an emergency camp that wants to save lives and nothing else and an alchemist camp that wants to remove the causes of suffering. These camps offer different visions of what are the purpose and principles of humanitarianism, and, accordingly respond differently to the same global challenges and humanitarianism emergencies. Humanitarianism has developed a metropolis of global institutions of care, amounting to a global governance of humanity. This humanitarian governance, Barnett observes, is an empire of humanity: it exercises power over the very individuals it hopes to emancipate. Although many use humanitarianism as a symbol of moral progress, Barnett provocatively argues that humanitarianism has undergone its most impressive gains after moments of radical inhumanity, when the “international community” believes that it must atone for its sins and reduce the breach between what we do and who we think we are. Humanitarianism is not only about the needs of its beneficiaries; it also is about the needs of the compassionate.
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In Borders among Activists, Sarah S. Stroup challenges the notion that political activism has gone beyond borders and created a global or transnational civil society. Instead, at the most globally active, purportedly cosmopolitan groups in the world-international nongovernmental organizations (INGOs)-organizational practices are deeply tied to national environments, creating great diversity in the way these groups organize themselves, engage in advocacy, and deliver services. Stroup offers detailed profiles of these "varieties of activism" in the United States, Britain, and France. These three countries are the most popular bases for INGOs, but each provides a very different environment for charitable organizations due to differences in legal regulations, political opportunities, resources, and patterns of social networks. Stroup's comparisons of leading American, British, and French INGOs-Care, Oxfam, Médicins sans Frontières, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and FIDH-reveal strong national patterns in INGO practices, including advocacy, fund-raising, and professionalization. These differences are quite pronounced among INGOs in the humanitarian relief sector, and are observable, though less marked, among human rights INGOs. Stroup finds that national origin helps account for variation in the "transnational advocacy networks" that have received so much attention in international relations. For practitioners, national origin offers an alternative explanation for the frequently lamented failures of INGOs in the field: INGOs are not inherently dysfunctional, but instead remain disconnected because of their strong roots in very different national environments.
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After seeing its reach increase for decades, international support for democracy and human rights faces a serious challenge: more and more governments are erecting legal and logistical barriers to democracy and rights programmes, publicly vilifying international aid groups and their local partners, and harassing such groups or expelling them altogether. Despite the significant implications of the pushback, this phenomenon remains poorly understood and responses to it are often weak. This article examines the scope of the pushback phenomenon, its impact on funders and their partners, its causes, and the responses to date. The article finds that international responses remain relatively weak due to a number of divisions within the democracy and rights community, and structural features of the international political system.
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Anthony D. Smith is Emeritus Professor of Nationalism and Ethnicity at the London School of Economics, and is considered one of the founders of the interdisciplinary field of nationalism studies. Anthony Smith has developed an approach to the study of nations and nationalism called ethno-symbolism, which is concerned with the nature of ethnic groups and nations, and the need to consider their symbolic dimensions. This text provides a concise statement of an ethno-symbolic approach to the study of nations and nationalism and at the same time, embodies a general statement of Anthony Smith's contribution to this approach and its application to the central issues of nations and nationalism. The text: Sets out the theoretical background of the emergence of ethno-symbolism in a sustained and systematic argument. Explains its analysis of the formation of nations, their persistence and change and the role of nationalism. Demonstrates that an ethno-symbolic approach provides an important supplement and corrective to past and present intellectual orthodoxies in the field and addresses the main theoretical criticisms levelled at an ethno-symbolic approach. Drawing together and developing earlier brief resumes of Anthony Smith's approach, this book represents a summary of the theoretical aspects of his work in the field since l986. It will be useful to students and to all those who are interested in the issues raised by a study of ethnicity, nations and nationalism.
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In response to corruption and inefficient state institutions in recipient countries, some foreign aid donors outsource the delivery of aid to nonstate development actors. Other donor governments continue to support state management of aid, seeking to strengthen recipient states. These cross-donor differences can be attributed in large measure to different national orientations about the appropriate role of the state in public service delivery. Countries that place a high premium on market efficiency (for example, the United States, United Kingdom, Sweden) will outsource aid delivery in poorly governed recipient countries to improve the likelihood that aid reaches the intended beneficiaries of services. In contrast, states whose political economies emphasize a strong state in service provision (for example, France, Germany, Japan) continue to support state provision. This argument is borne out by a variety of tests, including statistical analysis of dyadic time-series cross-section aid allocation data and individual-level survey data on a cross-national sample of senior foreign aid officials. To understand different aid policies, one needs to understand the political economies of donors.
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Here is an accessible, up-to-date guide to event history analysis for researchers and advanced students in the social sciences. The foundational principles of event history analysis are discussed and ample examples are estimated and interpreted using standard statistical packages, such as STATA and S-Plus. Recent and critical innovations in diagnostics are discussed, including testing the proportional hazards assumption, identifying outliers, and assessing model fit. The treatment of complicated events includes coverage of unobserved heterogeneity, repeated events, and competing risks models. The authors point out common problems in the analysis of time-to-event data in the social sciences and make recommendations regarding the implementation of duration modeling methods.
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The year 2014 marked the fortieth anniversary of Portugal’s Revolution of the Carnations, which inaugurated what Samuel P. Huntington dubbed the “third wave” of global democratization. Any assessment of the state of global democracy today must begin by recognizing—even marveling at—the durability of this historic transformation. When the third wave began in 1974, only about 30 percent of the world’s independent states met the criteria of electoral democracy—a system in which citizens, through universal suffrage, can choose and replace their leaders in regular, free, fair, and meaningful elections. At that time, there were only about 46 democracies in the world. Most of those were the liberal democracies of the rich West, along with a number of small island states that had been British colonies. Only a few other developing democracies existed—principally, India, Sri Lanka, Costa Rica, Colombia, Venezuela, Israel, and Turkey. In the subsequent three decades, democracy had a remarkable global run, as the number of democracies essentially held steady or expanded every year from 1975 until 2007. Nothing like this continous growth in democracy had ever been seen before in the history of the world. While a number of these new “democracies” were quite illiberal—in some cases, so much so that Steven Levitsky and Lucan Way regard them as “competitive authoritarian” regimes—the positive three-decade trend was paralleled by a similarly steady and significant expansion in levels of freedom (political rights and civil liberties, as measured annually by Freedom House). In 1974, the average level of freedom in the world stood at 4.38 (on the two seven-point scales, where 1 is most free and 7 is most repressive). It then gradually improved during the 1970s and 1980s, though it did not cross below the 4.0 midpoint until the fall of the Berlin Wall, after which it improved to 3.85 in 1990. In 25 of the 32 years between 1974 and 2005, average freedom levels improved in the world, peaking at 3.22 in 2005. And then, around 2006, the expansion of freedom and democracy in the world came to a prolonged halt. Since 2006, there has been no net expansion in the number of electoral democracies, which has oscillated between 114 and 119 (about 60 percent of the world’s states). As we see in Figure 1, the number of both electoral and liberal democracies began to decline after 2006 and then flattened out. Since 2006, the average level of freedom in the world has also deteriorated slightly, leveling off at about 3.30. There are two ways to view these empirical trends. One is to see them as constituting a period of equilibrium—freedom and democracy have not continued gaining, but neither have they experienced net declines. One could even celebrate this as an expression of the remarkable and unexpected durability of the democratic wave. Given that democracy expanded to a number of countries where the objective conditions for sustaining it are unfavorable, due either to poverty (for example, in Liberia, Malawi, and Sierra Leone) or to strategic pressures (for example, in Georgia and Mongolia), it is impressive that reasonably open and competitive political systems have survived (or revived) in so many places. As a variant of this more benign interpretation, Levitsky and Way argue in this issue of the Journal that democracy never actually expanded as widely as Freedom House perceived in the first place. Thus, they contend, many of the seeming failures of democracy in the last ten to fifteen years were really deteriorations or hardenings of what had been from the beginning authoritarian regimes, however competitive. Alternatively, one can view the last decade as a period of at least incipient decline in democracy. To make this case, we need to examine not only the instability and stagnation of democracies, but also the incremental decline of democracy in what Thomas Carothers has termed the “gray zone” countries (which defy easy classification as to whether or not they are democracies), the deepening authoritarianism in the non-democracies, and the decline in the functioning and self-confidence of the world’s established, rich democracies. This will be my approach in what follows. The debate about whether...
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This article explores many of the key theoretical and analytical issues attending empirical research on state sovereignty. It reviews recent research on sovereignty, the state, and state-building in an attempt to summarize what we now know or think we know about state sovereignty. Bringing the fruits of that research to bear on the concepts that define state sovereignty, I offer some criteria from which analysts might derive empirically testable propositions about sovereignty's historical status and future prospects. In conclusion, I argue that research on these issues should be (re-) directed to the bedrock of sovereignty: rule making and enforcement authority, or what I call policing.
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stunning developments of the post-Cold War era, Russia has been host since the early 1990s to a virtual army of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) from the United States, Britain, Germany, and elsewhere in Europe. These NGOs, many of which receive funding from Western governments, have worked for years with local political and social activists on various aspects of democratic institutional development, such as helping to establish competitive political parties and elections, independent media, civic advocacy groups, free trade unions, and independent judiciaries. 1 Little is known (although much good and bad is believed) about the impact of this "democracy assistance. " For example, how have Western efforts helped, hurt, or been irrelevant to Rus-sians? What have been their positive and negative unintended consequences?
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A core result of the aid allocation literature is that the quality of governance in recipient countries does not affect the amounts of foreign aid received. Donor countries may still give aid to poorly-governed countries because of a dilemma they face: those countries most in need typically also lack proper institutions. This paper argues that donors try to resolve this dilemma by delivering aid through non-state actors. Using aid shares as well as absolute amounts of aid allocated through state and non-state channels and considering different dimensions of governance, we provide evidence that bypassing governments via NGOs and multilateral organizations is indeed a response to weak recipient state institutions. The effect is stronger in aid sectors where donors can more easily switch between channels, and weaker for higher levels of economic self-interest among donors.
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Despite the tumult associated with the national elections of 2011 and 2012, Putin's regime retains broad and deep connections with the electorate, but ominous signs of erosion portend bigger problems despite the coercive force and other resources at the authorities' disposal.
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The state plays an important role in structuring and channeling civic activism in Russia. Rather than eliminating advocacy, it privileges the advocacy forms that it prefers. The larger challenge facing Russian NGOs is an apathetic public.
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Recent assaults on foreign-funded civil society groups in Egypt and Russia reflect a worrisome trend: Since 2002, twenty countries have updated their laws to restrict foreign funding to NGOs. Under what conditions do governments set these restrictions in place? Using original data from nearly 100 countries and case studies of regime behavior in East Africa and the former Soviet Union, we find that vulnerable governments restrict foreign support to civil society when they feel vulnerable to domestic challenges. Yet, worries about international retaliation can restrain such behavior if governments believe that clamping down will cost them more than it is worth.
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The article examines why many foreign-funded, resource- rich movements in developing countries have been unable to produce the massive mobilization found in other successful social movements with access to fewer resources. While foreign ties have brought substantial benefits to local movements, many such social movements have limited grass-roots support. The issue of external aid is at the core of an emerging research agenda in the fields of international relations, social movements, and development studies that focuses on the relationship between participatory development, democratization, and the process of transnationalization. Drawing on research work from these different fields, the article argues that by making constituency support irrelevant, internationalization through financial assistance has transformed conflict movements into consensus movements that follow an institutional, resource-dependent, non-conflictual strategy with no deep roots in the community. The article specifies the mechanisms by which foreign funding affects grass-roots mobilization. These arguments are examined with respect to evidence from around the world.
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The concept of electoral competition is relevant to a variety of research agendas in political science, yet the question of how to measure electoral competition has received little direct attention. We revisit the distinction proposed by Giovanni Sartori between competition as a structure or rule of the game and competitiveness as an outcome of that game and argue that to understand which elections can be lost (and therefore when parties and leaders are potentially threatened by electoral accountability), scholars may be better off considering the full range of elections where competition is allowed. We provide a data set of all national elections between 1945 and 2006 and a measure of whether each election event is structured such that the competition is possible. We outline the pitfalls of other measures used by scholars to define the potential for electoral competition and show that such methods can lead to biased or incomplete findings. The new global data on elections and the minimal conditions necessary for electoral competition are introduced, followed by an empirical illustration of the differences between the proposed measure of competition and existing methods used to infer the existence of competition.
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The conventional wisdom in the literature on aid allocation suggests that donors utilize bilateral aid as a tool to buy influence in the aid-receiving country. Those who conclude that aid is driven by donor self-interest focus on government-to-government aid transfers. However, this approach overlooks important variation in delivery tactics: Bilateral donors frequently provide aid to nonstate actors. This paper argues that donors resort to delivery tactics that increase the likelihood of aid achieving its intended outcome. In poorly governed recipient countries, donors bypass recipient governments and deliver more aid through nonstate actors, all else equal. In recipient countries with higher governance quality, donors engage the government and give more aid through the government-to-government channel. Using OLS and Probit regressions, I find empirical support for this argument. Understanding the determinants of donor delivery tactics has important implications for assessing aid effectiveness.
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Why do OECD countries vary in their regulatory approach towards non-governmental organizations (NGOs)? This paper introduces an index to assess NGO regulation regarding barriers to entry, NGOs’ political capacity, and economic activity. Our cross-section analysis of 28 OECD countries offers preliminary evidence of systematic differences in NGO regulation between corporatist and pluralist systems. We suggest corporatist systems have more restrictive regulations because NGOs risk upsetting the political order and managed social consensus. In pluralist countries, NGOs face fewer restrictions because governments view them as substitutes for formal communication channels. We present two cases, Japan (corporatist) and the United States (pluralist), to illustrate this argument. In sum, macro-institutional arrangements of political representation have a crucial bearing on national styles of NGO regulation. Future uses of this index include examining the effects of national context on international NGOs, explaining variations in organizational structures and strategies among NGOs, and tracking variations in NGO-state relations over time.
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Given the myriad of human rights abuses that occur globally and daily, why are some nations on the receiving end of a substantial amount of international opprobrium, while others receive far less attention and condemnation? The authors contend that the increasing presence of human rights organizations in such states is the critical link between the local and the international. Increases in the number of such groups contributes significantly to the generation of Amnesty International urgent actions, one of the most-often-utilized tools in naming and shaming campaigns against human rights abusing regimes. The authors find strong support for nearly all their hypotheses.
Article
How do public regulations shape the composition and behavior of non-governmental organizations (NGOs)? Because many NGOs advocate for liberal causes such as human rights, democracy, and gender equality, they upset the political status quo. At the same time, a large number of NGOs operating in the Global South rely on international funding. This sometimes disconnects from local publics and leads to the proliferation of sham or “briefcase” NGOs. Seeking to rein in the politically inconvenient NGO sector, governments exploit the role of international funding and make the case for restricting the influence of NGOs which serve as foreign agents. To pursue this objective, states worldwide are enacting laws to restrict NGOs’ access to foreign funding. We examine this regulatory offensive through an Ethiopian case study, where recent legislation prohibits foreign-funded NGOs from working on politically sensitive issues. We find that most briefcase NGOs and local human rights groups in Ethiopia have disappeared, while survivors have either “rebranded” or switched their work from proscribed areas. This research note highlights how government can and do shape the population ecology of the non-governmental sector. Because NGOs seek legitimacy via their claims of grassroots support, a reliance of external funding makes them politically vulnerable. Any study of the NGO sector must include governments as the key component of NGOs’ institutional environment.
Article
How do nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) affect local politics in developing democracies? Specifically, do NGOs have systematic effects on the fortunes of incumbent political parties in local elections? Existing work predicts starkly contradictory political effects: Some scholars claim that NGOs most likely help incumbents by providing services for which politicians can claim credit, whereas others believe that NGOs most likely hurt incumbents by facilitating political opposition. The authors argue that both of these effects are possible, depending on the size of a jurisdiction's population. In smaller populations, the authors hypothesize that NGOs facilitate collective action and decrease the ability of an incumbent to claim credit for projects; larger jurisdictions water down the effect of NGOs on collective action and permit incumbents' credit claiming. Strong support is found for hypotheses, using electoral, sociodemographic, and NGO data for all of 314 municipalities in Bolivia.
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The George W. Bush administration's national security strategy, which asserts that the United States has the right to attack and conquer sovereign countries that pose no observable threat, and to do so without international support, is one of the most aggressively unilateral U.S. postures ever taken. Recent international relations scholarship has wrongly promoted the view that the United States, as the leader of a unipolar system, can pursue such a policy without fear of serious opposition. The most consequential effect of the Bush strategy will be a fundamental transformation in how major states perceive the United States and how they react to future uses of U.S. power. Major powers are already engaging in the early stages of balancing behavior against the United States, by adopting soft-balancing measures that do not directly challenge U.S. military preponderance but use international institutions, economic statecraft, and diplomatic arrangements to delay, frustrate, and undermine U.S. policies. If the Bush administration continues to pursue aggressive unilateral military policies, increased soft balancing could establish the basis for hard balancing against the United States. To avoid this outcome, the United States should renounce the systematic use of preventive war, as well as other aggressive unilateral military policies, and return to its traditional policy governing the use of force-a case-by-case calculation of costs and benefits.
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Many questions of interest to political scientists may be answered with event history analysis, which studies the duration and timing of events. We discuss the statistical analysis of event history data - data giving the number, timing, and sequence of changes in a variable of interest. These methods are illustrated by examining three substantive political science problems: overt military interventions, challenger deterrence, and congressional career paths; many other applications are possible. Our article is intended to provide a better understanding of the growing number of applications that currently exist in political science and to encourage greater use of these models by showing why event history models are useful in political science research and explaining how one specifies and interprets these models.
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This article introduces a large new cross-country database, the Database of Political Institutions. It covers 177 countries over 21 years, 1975-95. The article presents the intuition, construction, and definitions of the different variables. Among the novel variables introduced are several measures of checks and balances, tenure and stability, identification of party affiliation with government or opposition, and fragmentation of opposition and government parties in the legislature.
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Obra que reconstruye el origen y evolución de las actuales redes transnacionales que, con la utilización de las nuevas tecnologías informativas como recurso organizador y aglutinador, han logrado constituirse en movimientos más o menos presionadores en la defensa de los derechos humanos, de la protección ambiental y de una mayor equidad de género, entre otros.
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Do human rights international nongovernmental organizations (HROs) impact public opinion? This article argues that HROs provide information to citizens in repressive regimes about their government's human rights practices. Without this information, worsening governmental abuse of human rights alone will not lead to fewer people believing their government respects human rights. With increased HRO shaming of the state, however, [End Page 199] a smaller proportion of people come to believe that their government respects human rights. These hypotheses are tested using an updated dataset on shaming by over 400 HROs, together with never-before-examined data from the World Values Survey on the public's opinion of human rights within a state. The results largely support the article's contention: HROs are powerful conduits through which a population becomes informed of domestic human rights issues. Without HRO shaming, a bad or worsening human rights condition does not diminish the proportion of a population that believes their government respects human rights.