NGOs, Crisis Management and Conflict Resolution
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NGOs, Crisis Management and Conflict Resolution

Measuring the Impact of NGOs on Intergovernmental Organisations

Daniela Irrera

Daniela Irrera explores the relationship between non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and intergovernmental organisations (IGOs). The author reviews the issue of NGOs’ participation in the decision-making processes of intergovernmental IGOs and investigates new activities undertaken by NGOs, including their participation in multilateral humanitarian intervention operations, crisis management and conflict resolution.
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Chapter 3: Non-governmental organisations and humanitarian action

Measuring the Impact of NGOs on Intergovernmental Organisations

Daniela Irrera


Security-building, peace and democracy promotion and strengthening, and humanitarian crisis management are priorities on the present agenda of the world governmental system. In past years, the world system has been increasingly concerned with violence and security issues. At the same time, increasing interdependence and the growth of collective problems have made the impact of the NGOs stronger not only in traditional fields but also in high politics. IGOs are the context in which such spillover occurred, while humanitarian action is the meaningful aspect of how the top–down and bottom–up approaches combine. On such a premise, attention is directed to the impact that humanitarian NGOs have on the tools that IGOs (namely, the UN and the EU) use to respond to humanitarian emergencies. Assessing such an impact entails the analysis of the transformations affecting the concept of global security, as well as the implications for the nature of contemporary conflicts and the attributes of humanitarian intervention in contemporary world politics. The realist and neo-realist theories posited a concept of security traditionally associated with the nature of the state, the image of the enemy, and the use of military violence. Changes in armaments technology, the rising importance of non-state actors and political innovations, namely the adoption of collective security by the UN and of comprehensive security by the EU, have contributed to change this paradigm.

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