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 14: The multiple dilemmas of consumer associations in global politics

Karsten Ronit

Abstract

This chapter notes that the vast scope of consumer interests, and vast numbers of consumers, mean that organizing and representing this heterogeneous group is loaded with severe difficulties. The chapter first discusses the principal theoretical problems of collective action, before moving to the study of organized consumers and an analysis of which models are actually designed to overcome or at least moderate collective action problems, and how these are similar to or different from other NGOs. It then focuses on the strategies and many policy fields attended to by the diverse consumer movement and interactions with relevant intergovernmental organizations. Organized consumers represented by Consumers International (CI) place great emphasis on the general principles in consumer policy, but also embrace a number of sector-related issues. Then formal participation in intergovernmental agencies is examined before a concluding discussion of how consumers achieve cooperation, overcoming several dilemmas in the organization of such interests.

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