NGOs and Civil Society

NGOs and Civil Society : Democracy by Proxy?

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This accessible book provides a concise introduction to the way in which non-governmental organizations (NGOs) work. By bringing together a range of literature - including ideas from international relations and organizational analysis - Hudock is able to develop a new conceptual framework for understanding both the strengths and weaknesses of NGOs as they operate in the development field. Healthy democracy depends on a strong and vibrant civil society. NGOs have a central role to play in this process, especially those which empower disadvantaged and under-represented groups. However, Hudock shows that over recent years, NGOs have become heavily dependent on development agencies and governments for their funding, jeopardizing their effectiveness. The book argues that we need a thorough organizational and political understanding of the way in which NGOs in the north and south work in order to comprehend fully both the opportunities they can offer and the serious constraints under which they operate. Using many examples and two case studies, Hudock highlights the difficulties faced by NGOs and outlines possible solutions for the future.
NGOs and Civil Society will be indispensable reading for all those studying the role of NGOs in development studies, international relations and the sociology of development, as well as for practitioners.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 128 pages
  • 146.05 x 228.6 x 12.7mm | 272.15g
  • Polity Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • glossary, references, index
  • 0745616488
  • 9780745616483

Table of contents

Glossary. 1. Non-Governmental Organizations: Pawns or Practitioners. 2. The Ties that Bind: Northern NGOs' Relationships with Southern NGOs. 3. Analysing Institutional Interdependence: A Conceptual Framework. 4. Paying the Piper and Calling the Tune: Northern NGOs' Capacity Building Support for Southern NGOs. 5. Cascading Conditionalities and the Role of International Organizations in Capacity Building. 6. Sierra Leone and The Gambia: Case Studies of NGO Interdependence. 7. Sustainable Idealism: Innovative Financing Strategies and NGOs' Contribution to Civil Society Development. 8. Conclusions: 'Just Say No': Strengthening Southern NGOs' Capacity to Contribute to Civil Society. References. Index.
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Review quote

'Hudock makes a highly original contribution to an NGO literature which has on the whole tended to be stronger on empirical detail than conceptual clarity. The book challenges the glibness of much of the current policy debate around the "capacity building" of developing country NGOs by those in the industrialized world by focusing on the wider relationships of power and accountability in which they are enmeshed. Precisely written and clearly argued, the book manages to inject a much needed dose of realism into the new civil society and development discourse.' David Lewis, Centre for Voluntary Organisation, Department of Social Policy, London School of Economics 'NGOs and Civil Society focuses on the roles of Southern non-governmental development organizations (NGOs) in strengthening civil societies, especially organizations and institutions that support the very poor. Hudock has made some important points, articulated some provocative ideas, and described some valuable examples ... it will generate useful debate.' David Brown, Institute for Development Research, Boston 'The book raises questions about relationships among NGOs, and provides a conceptual framework for understanding interdependence among NGOs. It also suggests how changing these relationships can increase the capacity of NGOs in developing countries.' Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 'Much has been written about civil society, democracy and the role of NGOs in resolving ethnic conflicts, but few books have explored the links between them. This short volume is a first attempt to redress the balance.' The Ethnic Conflict Research Digest 'The book helps bridge a gap in NGO literature whilst providing a good balance between theory and case study. The book should be useful to all interested in the role of NGOs within development. It is compact and concise and written to target a varied audience. In short, the book is a useful general introducion.' Progress in Development Studies
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About Ann Hudock

Ann Hudock works in the Department of State (US Government) in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.
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