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Foreign Policy Centre

Ideas for a fairer world

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NGO rights and responsibilities: A new deal for global governance

[Cover of NGO rights and responsibilities: A new deal for global governance]

Michael Edwards

July 2000

Is the rise of the NGO movement a powerful democratising force or a damaging threat to political representation? NGO campaigns - from debt relief to land mines - have enjoyed unprecedented success. But since the battle of Seattle, NGO-bashing has become a favourite pastime - as government officials, business and the media question the right of 'armchair radicals' to speak for the world's poor. Michael Edwards argues that we need to move beyond the blame-game over the failures of international governance and work our what the new rules of the road are. His innovative reform proposals set out a reform agenda for NGO accountability and show how international organisations can become more effective and inclusive by channelling NGO energies democratically and to the genuine benefit of those excluded from global progress.

This project was supported by NCVO

"Compelling and succinct" Peter Hain, Minister of State, FCO
"Timely and thought-provoking … balanced, objective and written with great sense and flashes of humour" David Bryer, Director, Oxfam
"A smart and insightful account of the changing role of NGOs … a series of excellent policy recommendations" David Held, LSE