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'A lot more than the NGOs seem to think': the impact of non-governmental organizations on the Bretton Woods Institutions

by Kelly, Robert Edwin

Abstract (Summary)
My research questions are: Do non-governmental organizations (NGOs) impact the Bretton Woods Institutions, and why or why not? I advance four hypotheses to explain change at the BWI which accord with NGO preferences: H1) Response to Member States (Null), H2) Organizational Defense, H3) Mission Efficiency, H4) Institutional Redefinition. These hypotheses are based in the three main paradigms of international relations theory: H1 from neorealism; H2 and 3 from neoliberal institutionalism; H4 from social constructivism. I use organizational theories to fill out the substance of H2-4. Systems theories of organization suggest that organizations adapt to pernicious environmental impacts; I term this ‘organizational defense.’ Structural-functional organizational theories suggest organizations adapt for the rational purpose of more efficient mission completion. Finally, interpretive and sociological theories of organization suggest that organizations, like any social institution, may learn from environmental pressures and so redefine their self-understanding. In the case the null is incorrect, I postulate a battery of indicators of NGO impact to correspond to the counter-hypotheses. Change on these indicators suggests support for the parallel hypotheses. These indicators begin with the adaptive behavior of simple organizational defense and rise to the deep organizational learning of institutional redefinition: I1) Organizational Change (H2), I2) Program Consultation (H2), I3) Program Impact (H3), I4) Evaluation (H3), I5) Legitimacy (H4), I6) Policy Change (H4). The method is a structured, focused comparative study across this spectrum of indicators of NGO impact. Each institution is mapped against the scale of indicators, with evidence, or the lack, for each indicator presented individually. The means of data collection were 1) a survey, 2) interviews, 3) documentary analysis, and 4) participant observation. I found that the Bank has moved further down the list of indicators of NGO impact than the Fund. The Bank engages NGOs because they, 1) improve mission performance (H3), and 2) (to a lesser degree) ‘represent’ grassroots demands (H4). The Fund, by contrast, is still negotiating the NGO challenge primarily as a public relations exercise (H2). NGOs do not improve its mission accomplishment (H3), nor does the Fund accept NGOs as legitimate representatives of the populations affected by its programming (H4).
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:The Ohio State University

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:world bank international monetary fund organization non governmental ngo globalization global governance civil society anti

ISBN:

Date of Publication:01/01/2005

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