• Marc Bjerregaard Sanganee
4. semester, Udviklingsstudier, Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
The political power of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) is an issue rarely addressed by mainstream scholars of international relations, who tend to emphasize the power of states or the liberal market when analyzing international politics. However, the growing number of national and international NGOs (INGOs) in the world demands a deeper understanding for how these actors engage in political matters. The notion of global governance is useful for understanding why NGOs possess political power, as it suggests that non-state actors are growing in importance in relation to states. This has become evident after seeing states develop their levels of human rights due to international pressure accumulated with help from NGOs. NGOs can namely play a crucial role in bringing domestic human rights violations onto the international agenda, as their various links to the international community enhance their ability to communicate. Studying the mechanisms and relations within umbrella organizations is thus relevant for understanding these political actors, as they highlight the possibilities created by uniting national NGOs and INGOs for common purposes.
Motivated by the growing political influence of such actors, the thesis investigates how NGOs attempt to affect political change by communicating through campaigns. The research on NGOs in different national contexts is capable of explaining how domestic factors are reflected in NGOs’ communication, which can vary in relation to the target government’s attitude on human rights. Risse, Ropp, and Sikkink’s theory, Socialization of Human Rights Norms, facilitates the analysis to great extents, as its framework concerns the transnational relationships that NGOs and INGOs maintain when engaging in politics. In order to analyze how NGOs attempt to affect political change, the thesis compares campaigns between NGOs of the same umbrella organization, as it can highlight how the different approaches depend on their national contexts. Moreover, the respective styles of communication are analyzed through the scope of Constructivism, which focuses attention on ideas, identities, and norms. Constructivist thought compliments the analysis of NGO campaigns, as it can create an understanding for the political objectives that NGOs seek to achieve. The thesis further clarifies how support from INGOs can empower the campaigns of NGOs, as they then are capable of gaining increased international attention.
The thesis finds that NGOs engage in politics in different ways depending on which national context they operate within and what umbrella INGO they represent. Depending on the level of human rights development within a state, campaigns of NGOs can vary in relation to how the target government is presented; what human rights violations that are exposed; and how likely the campaign is to gain increased international attention from INGOs, states, and human rights regimes. However, the thesis also explains how the campaign-strategies of umbrella INGOs differ from each other, as it will expose why NGOs prioritize different strategies when engaging in politics. Finally, the thesis concludes that NGOs and INGOs are capable of affecting political change by developing campaigns; however, argues that their persuasive communication and political achievements are influenced by the target government’s development of human rights and the structure of the given umbrella INGO.
Udgivelsesdato30 maj 2018
Antal sider64
ID: 280129833