Handbook of Research on NGOs
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Handbook of Research on NGOs

Edited by Aynsley Kellow and Hannah Murphy-Gregory

This volume provides a critical overview of research on Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs). While it notes that the definition of NGOs is contested, and can include both business and national groups, it focuses primarily on international NGOs engaged with human rights, social and environmental concerns, and aid and development issues. With contributions by Peter Willetts, Tom Davies, Bob Reinalda and other leading scholars, it provides a series of critical essays on both general aspects of NGOs and significant issues of particular concern.
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Chapter 9: NGOs and global economic policy institutions

Hannah Murphy-Gregory

Abstract

The chapter examines the evolution of arrangements for consulting with NGOs at four international economic policy institutions – the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). It reveals that despite the formal constraints, a diverse set of NGOs active on a range of issues contribute to global economic policy issues in alternative ways, and that the key institutional characteristics of the arenas themselves help structure the ensuing relationships between NGOs and member states. NGOs exert most influence behind the scenes rather than at the negotiating table, are adept at forming tacit alliances with member governments, and even secure access to decision-making via delegations of member governments. Organizational characteristics, particularly the decision-making rules of the institutions, often determine and reinforce power relations among member states, which may create important sources of leverage for NGOs to impact agendas and, on occasion, policy outcomes.

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