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Accountability of Nongovernmental Organizations (Ngos) in Global Governance


Steve Charnovitz


George Washington University - Law School

April 1, 2005

Steve Charnovitz, Accountability of Non-Governmental Organizations in NGO Accountability: Politics, Principles and Innovations (Lisa Jordan & Peter van Tuijl ed., Earthscan 2006)
GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 145
GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 145

Abstract:     
The issue of the accountability on nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in global governance has received increased attention in recent years. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the issue, to consider whether any public problems exist, and to make recommendations on what should be done. The paper contains three parts. Part I examines the historical context of NGO accountability starting with the Papal Encylical Rerum Novarum of 1891 and considering episodes relating to the League of Nations and the founding of the United Nations. Part II provides an overview of the contemporary debate on NGO accountability and uses a recent article by Robert Keohane and Ruth Grant as a point of entry. Part III offers my own framework for how to think about the challenge of NGO accountability and suggests that more attention be given to the individual as the unit of analysis. The paper makes recommendations for what should be done to improve NGO accountability and more importantly what should not be done. This paper was prepared for a conference at New York University Law School in April 2005 on the emerging field of global administrative law (GAL).

Number of Pages in PDF File: 40

Keywords: nongovernmental organizations, NGO, civil society, global governance, legitimacy, democratic theory, global administrative law

JEL Classification: K23, K33, D73, F02

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Date posted: May 4, 2005 ; Last revised: April 11, 2013

Suggested Citation

Charnovitz, Steve, Accountability of Nongovernmental Organizations (Ngos) in Global Governance (April 1, 2005). GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 145; Steve Charnovitz, Accountability of Non-Governmental Organizations in NGO Accountability: Politics, Principles and Innovations (Lisa Jordan & Peter van Tuijl ed., Earthscan 2006); GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 145; GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 145. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=716381 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.716381

Contact Information

Steve Charnovitz (Contact Author)
George Washington University - Law School ( email )
2000 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20052
United States
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