Legitimate authority of international non-governmental organisations

5 December 2018:

Andrea Warnecke, Marie Curie Research Fellow at the Department of International Politics, Aberystwyth University,  explains her research on the strategies and practices that INGOs employ to gain and maintain legitimacy vis-à-vis multiple parties.

While INGOs working in crisis areas often present themselves as manifestations of a truly cosmopolitan international society, their critics hold that INGOs are conduits for advancing the economic and political interests of their respective, mostly ‘Western’ donors. This discussion on the role of INGOs in the domestic affairs of states is hardly new, but it is gaining momentum given intensified controversies surrounding actual or suspected forms of political interference. Examples range from government prohibitions and restrictions on the work of INGOs and externally funded NGOs in Ethiopia, Egypt, China, Myanmar, and Turkey, to alleged INGO interference in the Arab Spring and Maidan protests. 

Andrea reviews substantive and procedural conceptions of legitimacy and discusses their applicability to und usefulness for different types of INGOs and different fields of INGO work.

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