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  • Author or Editor: Hartmut Elsenhans x
  • Social and Political Science 2018 x
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Hartmut Elsenhans and Hannes Warnecke-Berger

Development NGOs arose from a crisis of the Third World development state. Unlike the state, NGOs practise “small is beautiful”, channelling resources to people incommensurate to the benefits received from the NGO. NGO- managed resources are thus rents that tend to escape control by pure economic forces. The NGO world is state-created, and NGOs employ moral arguments for autonomy using material and ideological support from other, highly legitimate, spheres of society. This struggle is essentially political, but based on economic issues. The power of NGOs arose from the image of superiority to state development assistance administration. NGOs are increasingly changing their relations vis-à-vis the state in favour of cooperation by assuming functions previously fulfilled by the state. Western NGOs became institutions for distributing government money to financially weak Southern NGOs, finding themselves torn between accountability to donors in the global North and responsiveness to target groups in the global South.