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A Beethamite framework for NGOs. DSA Annual Conference 3 November 2012 Erla Thrandardottir. The questions. Literature dilemma? National-international gap? Beethamite framework?. Various approaches to NGO legitimacy. market model services, performance, accountability, credibility
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A Beethamite framework for NGOs DSA Annual Conference 3 November 2012 Erla Thrandardottir
The questions • Literature dilemma? • National-international gap? • Beethamite framework?
Various approaches to NGO legitimacy • market model • services, performance, accountability, credibility • Problem: excl. advocacy and political side of NGOs • social change model • association, ‘bottom-up’, accountability, democracy • Problem: overlooks darker side of NGOs • new institutional model • norms, NGOs as legitimacy gap fillers for IGOs • Problem: NGOs often not unit of analysis • critical (development) model • empowerment, donor’s agendas, politics • Problem: over-reliant on neoliberal agenda for context?
Beetham’s criteria operationalised for NGOs • Legitimacy as derived from rules • How do NGOs claim legal validity? (internal/external) • Legitimacy as justifiability of rules • What are the internal legitimation processes of NGOs? • Authoritative sources & Justifiable content • Legitimacy through expressed consent • In what capacity do NGOs present their legitimacy claims? • What is the (moral) authority of NGOs’ legitimacy claims?
Applying Beetham's legitimacy criteria to NGOs • NGOs’ power to • Target audience: external (politicians, corporations, general public, global institutions, beneficiaries) • NGOs’ power over • Target audience: internal (members, staff, supporters, and to some extent beneficiaries)
Case studies • Amnesty International: Membership NGO • Cafod: Faith-based NGO • Greenpeace: Environmental NGO
Conclusion • Look at the normative structure of power and how it is socially constructed • Misleading to separate discussions on national and international units of NGOs • International legitimacy of NGOs rather than legitimacy of International NGOs