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Download Globalizing Social Justice: The Role of Non-Government by Jeffrey Atkinson, Martin Scurrah PDF

By Jeffrey Atkinson, Martin Scurrah

A learn of the foreign NGO advocacy for social and environmental justice, this book looks on the basic problems with legitimacy, responsibility and democracy that such actions contain and the way they're manifested. It offers case experiences on alternate matters, labour rights, extractive industries and indigenous humans in Asia and South the US.

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Extra resources for Globalizing Social Justice: The Role of Non-Government Organizations in Bringing about Social Change (International Political Economy)

Sample text

Thus for example in the case of the negotiations around the landmines ban, the NGOs involved were able to legitimately express their views as forcefully as they could, even though they did not in any formal sense represent landmines victims or anyone else, because those views enriched and assisted the public debate. But the final decisions on the wording and signing of the treaty were with governments alone, as the elected representatives of the citizens of the countries that used landmines. This is the normal situation that has long been the case in national level politics in democratic states.

While governments have to balance a variety of often conflicting interests in society, NGOs are special interest groups that are concerned with one only. And unlike governments, which must face elections, and businesses, which must face their shareholders, it is not always clear how NGOs are held accountable to society as a whole. These fundamental issues of the role of civil society organizations are dealt with in more detail in the next chapter. But despite these questions, civil society organizations and NGOs have the potential to play a key role in governance – by providing ordinary citizens with a bigger say in decisions that affect their lives, and for those living under non-democratic regimes, perhaps the only means of having their voice heard.

Thus for example in the case of the negotiations around the landmines ban, the NGOs involved were able to legitimately express their views as forcefully as they could, even though they did not in any formal sense represent landmines victims or anyone else, because those views enriched and assisted the public debate. But the final decisions on the wording and signing of the treaty were with governments alone, as the elected representatives of the citizens of the countries that used landmines. This is the normal situation that has long been the case in national level politics in democratic states.

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