NGO Influence in International Organizations: Information, Access, and Exchange
British Journal of Political Science, Forthcoming
53 Pages Posted: 26 May 2015
Date Written: May 26, 2015
While there is broad consensus that non-governmental organizations (NGOs) sometimes succeed in influencing policy-making within international organizations (IOs), there is much less agreement on the factors that make NGO lobbying effective. In this article, we make two contributions to this debate. First, we examine the determinants of influence among NGOs active in different IOs, issue areas, and policy phases. The analysis builds on original survey data of more than 400 NGOs involved in five different IOs, complemented by elite interviews with IO and state officials. Second, we advance a specific argument about how the strategic exchange of information and access between NGOs and IOs increases NGO influence in IOs. We contrast this argument, derived from theories of lobbying in American and European politics, with three alternative explanations of NGO influence, privileging material resources, transnational networks, and public-opinion mobilization, and sketch the broader implications of our results for research on NGOs in global governance.
Keywords: non-governmental organization, NGO, civil society organization, CSO, interest group, lobbying, advocacy, influence, impact, international organization, IO, United Nations, UN
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