UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Non-governmental organizations in international politics : an analysis of functions and strategies Velpel, Mary Elizabeth


This thesis examines the existing literature on the role of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in international politics. It synthesizes the current knowledge of the activities of these organizations, highlighting the functions they perform in the international system. Drawing on several case studies, and a survey of the Yearbook of International Organizations, this thesis identifies the four main functions of international NGOs: the research and monitoring of state, international organization and corporate behaviour; the mobilization of public support to change popular social attitudes and values; capacity-building for local, grassroots groups; and advocacy to pressure states, international organizations and corporations to uphold international norms. This thesis also analyses the strategies that NGOs employ to perform these four functions, and the conditions which either limit or facilitate their effectiveness.

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