This book argues that non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have an important effect on political participation in the developing world. Contrary to popular belief, they promote moderate political participation through formal mechanisms such as voting only in democracies where institutions are working well. This is a radical departure from the bulk of the literature on civil society that sees NGOs and other associations as playing a role in strengthening democracy wherever they operate. Instead, Carew Boulding shows that where democratic institutions are weak, NGOs encourage much more contentious political participation, including demonstrations, riots, and protests. Except in extreme cases of poorly functioning democratic institutions, however, the political protest that results from NGO activity is not generally anti-system or incompatible with democracy - again, as long as democracy is functioning above a minimal level.
|Publisher:||Cambridge University Press|
|Product dimensions:||5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.67(d)|
About the Author
Carew Boulding is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She received her PhD in Political Science from the University of California, San Diego. Boulding's research focuses on how democracy works in younger democracies. She has published research on political participation, participatory budgeting, attitudes toward democracy, and government accountability. Her work has appeared in the Journal of Politics, Comparative Political Studies, World Development, the Latin American Research Review, Party Politics, and Studies in Comparative International Development.
Table of Contents1. Introduction; 2. NGOs, mobilization, participation, and democracy; 3. Local NGO activity and its consequences in Bolivian municipalities; 4. NGOs, associations, protest, and voting in Latin America; 5. Associational activity and participation in developing democracies; 6. Civil society, protest, and attitudes toward democracy; 7. Conclusions: articulating democratic discontent.