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22.1 Do TNGOs contribute to more democracy at the international level?

1. To what extent may TNGOs be indicative of an emerging global civil society?

  • TNGOs are often considered crucial in representing and lending a voice to those individuals not considered by IGOs. As such, they are perceived to be collaborative networks, where individuals' needs can be expressed at the international level.
  • On the other hand, many argue that TNGOs are increasingly coopted by governments and corporations that force them to abide by their rules. Thus, it is argued, TNGOs become tools for governments, IGOs, and TNCs, to help legitimize their actions and policies.

2. Evaluate the claim that TNGOs cannot be held accountable.

  • This argument is mainly premised on the idea that TNGOs are self-appointed rather than democratically elected. Thus, it is argued that they are constituted on undemocratic structures, as people cannot be made to leave their office due to wrongful conduct.
  • A counterargument to such views might be the notion that increasing interconnectedness among TNGOs, IGOs and TSMOs creates a system of checks and balances.

3. To what extent are claims about the centralistic structures of TNGOs (in)compatible with the assertion that these organizations guarantee the recognition of alternative viewpoints in IGOs?

  • Misrepresentation is always a danger in representative politics, particularly when centralized structures are at play, as this means that ideational-informed politics are less prone to negotiating processes.
  • Another way in which representation by TNGOs might be hampered is through relying on external contributors for funds. Thus political and economic conditions often inform policies, which might have otherwise been played out differently.