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Dennis Redeker and Kerstin Martens

Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are widely regarded as a force for good in international politics, representing sections of global society that would otherwise be without effective advocates. In order to accomplish this mission, NGOs are now widely accredited to and incorporated into the accountability mechanisms of global governance organizations (GGOs). Yet NGOs themselves need to show that they are accountable to the public. This chapter examines both sides of the same coin, and thus elucidates the reflexive relationship between NGOs and accountability. While various systems are now in place in order to strengthen the accountability of NGOs, recent changes in the organization of global governance present new challenges for effective accountability both of GGOs and NGOs. Taking the example of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the chapter illustrates how the emergence of new transnational GGOs can challenge now established notions of NGO accountability and the role of NGOs as accountability guardians in global governance.

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Stephan Leibfried, Kerstin Martens and Uwe Schimank

In most Western countries, right-wing populism has become a major political force. This phenomenon can be understood within an analytical triangle of inequalities, welfare state and democracy. The first guess that right-wing populism was articulated by left-behind members of the lower classes soon turned out to be untrue. A second explanation went to the other extreme: not the economically, but the culturally deprived tend towards right-wing populism. However, both interpretations oversimplify the entangled inequalities from which right-wing populism originates, and neglect their nexus with the portfolio of welfare policies. For substantial parts of the middle classes this seems to be an economically based culture war against those middle class milieus who go on propagating their own, or others’, cultural discriminations as the top issue on the welfare state agenda. Against this continuation of ‘identity politics’ it is demanded that from now on ‘we’, the ‘normal’ citizens, shall be served first.