POL S 544
Selected problems in the comparative analysis of political institutions, organizations, and systems.
The seminar focuses on the role of nongovernmental organizations in national and transnational governance. NGOs are frequently perceived as providing the blueprint for 21st century citizen engagement and democratic renewal in public affairs. Yet with increasing numbers and reach of NGOs, questions about the sector’s legitimacy and accountability emerge: Whom do NGOs actually represent and speak for? To what degree do governments and international organizations rely on the sector’s input in policy formulation as well as on its role as service provider? What are the power dynamics when NGO networks operate transnationally? We will critically engage with the growing literature on the role of non-state actors in politics and explore conditions that inform NGO engagement, NGO networks, the spaces in which activism and advocacy are practiced as well as questions of legitimacy and accountability.
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