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 15: NGOs and accountability

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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