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Formal and informal relations between un headquarters, permanent missions and NGOs - A social network analysis.

Kallmeyer, Anja (2006) Formal and informal relations between un headquarters, permanent missions and NGOs - A social network analysis. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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NGOs have long been active at the UN, making the organisation a unique venue for analysing the work of NGOs, and how they cooperate with other NGOs, the UN and its member states. After major UN conferences it appeared as if NGOs had become part of the UN machinery, a perception reinforced by the growing number of accredited NGOs, and the positive language of partnership used by the UN itself to describe its relationship with NGOs.On the basis of a social network analysis, this study shows that individual success stories do not translate into a pervasive influence of NGOs at the international level, and more specifically as analysed here, at the UN. There are no formal arrangements for NGO participation at the most important UN organs, the Security Council and the General Assembly. Attempts in the past to establish such mechanisms failed because of the strong resistance of member states. As for informal cooperation, it remains patchy and undermined by a high degree of mistrust between NGOs and the UN, particularly when it comes to member state representatives. The replacement of major conferences by summits with very limited NGO partiCipation, and the failure of the Cardoso Panel to expand NGO rights, further suggests a backlash in UN-NGO relations. Bearing in mind that global governance calls for a stronger role of NGOs in international affairs, and that UN conferences are often mentioned as key venues for global civil society action, the study warns that concepts of global governance and global civil society should only be used with caution. The author used to work for the UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service in New York, advised the Office of the Under-Secretary-General in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs on NGO matters and served as the Assistant Secretary of the Committee on NGOs of the Economic and Social Council.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Political Science, International Relations, Sociology, Organizational
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses

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