Advertisement

Interest Groups & Advocacy

, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 356–375 | Cite as

Taking control of regulations: how international advocacy NGOs shape the regulatory environments of their target countries

  • Andrew HeissEmail author
Original Article

Abstract

A wave of legislative and regulatory crackdown on international nongovernmental organizations (INGOs) has constricted the legal environment for foreign advocacy groups interested in influencing domestic and global policy. Although the legal space for advocacy is shrinking, many INGOs have continued their work and found creative ways to adapt to these restrictions, sometimes even reshaping the regulatory environments of their target countries in their favor. In this article, I explore what enables INGOs to cope with and reshape their regulatory environments. I bridge international relations and interest group studies to examine the interaction between INGO resource configurations and institutional arrangements. I argue that the interaction between resources and institutions provide organizations with ‘programmatic flexibility’ that enables them to adjust their strategies without changing their core mission. I illustrate this argument with case studies of Article 19 and AMERA International, and demonstrate how organizations with high programmatic flexibility can navigate regulations and shape policy in their target country, while those without this flexibility are shut out of policy discussions and often the target country itself. I conclude by exploring how the interaction between internal characteristics and institutional environments shapes and constrains the effects of interest groups in global governance.

Keywords

International nongovernmental organizations Civil society regulations Freedom of expression Refugees Resource configurations Institutional arrangements 

Notes

Acknowledgements

I thank Elizabeth Bloodgood and Lisa Dellmuth for their invaluable editorial and theoretical suggestions, Nina Hall, Laura Henry, and Lisa Sundstrom for their insightful comments, and the participants of the ‘Interest Groups, International Organizations, and Global Problem-Solving Capacity’ workshop held at Stockholm University in June 2018 for their support and assistance.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

References

  1. AbouAssi, Khaldoun. 2013. Hands in the Pockets of Mercurial Donors: NGO Response to Shifting Funding Priorities. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 42 (3): 584–602.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0899764012439629.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. AMERA International. 2015. Report of the Trustees and Unaudited Financial Statements for the Year Ended 31 January 2016. Reading: AMERA International.Google Scholar
  3. AMERA UK. 2008. Reports and Accounts for the Year Ended 31 January 2008. Reading: AMERA UK.Google Scholar
  4. AMERA UK. 2009. Reports and Accounts for the Year Ended 31 January 2009. Reading: AMERA UK.Google Scholar
  5. AMERA UK. 2011. Reports and Accounts for the Year Ended 31 January 2011. Reading: AMERA UK.Google Scholar
  6. AMERA UK. 2012. Reports and Accounts for the Year Ended 31 January 2012. Reading: AMERA UK.Google Scholar
  7. AMERA UK. 2013. Reports and Accounts for the Year Ended 31 January 2013. Reading: AMERA UK.Google Scholar
  8. AMERA UK. 2014. Reports and Accounts for the Year Ended 31 January 2014. Reading: AMERA UK.Google Scholar
  9. Article 19. 2005a. Annual Review 2004. London.Google Scholar
  10. Article 19. 2005b. Report and Consolidated Financial Statements for the Year Ended 31st December 2004. London.Google Scholar
  11. Article 19. 2006. 2005 Annual Implementation Report. London.Google Scholar
  12. Article 19. 2008. 2007 Annual Report. London.Google Scholar
  13. Article 19. 2009. 2008 Annual Report. London.Google Scholar
  14. Article 19. 2013. Implementation Report for 2012. London.Google Scholar
  15. Article 19. 2015. Protecting Civic Space: Annual Report 2014. London.Google Scholar
  16. Barry, Colin M., K. Sam Bell, Chad Clay, Michael E. Flynn, and Amanda Murdie. 2015. Choosing the Best House in a Bad Neighborhood: Location Strategies of Human Rights INGOs in the Non-Western World. International Studies Quarterly 59 (1): 86–98.  https://doi.org/10.1111/isqu.12172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Berliner, Daniel. 2016. Transnational Advocacy and Domestic Law: International NGOs and the Design of Freedom of Information Laws. Review of International Organizations 11 (1): 121–144.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11558-015-9228-6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Bloodgood, Elizabeth A., Joannie Tremblay-Boire, and Aseem Prakash. 2014. National Styles of NGO Regulation. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 43 (4): 716–736.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0899764013481111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Bush, Sarah Sunn. 2015. The Taming of Democracy Assistance: Why Democracy Promotion Does Not Confront Dictators. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.  https://doi.org/10.1017/cbo9781107706934.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Chaudhry, Suparna, and Andrew Heiss. 2019. Charity During Crackdown: Analyzing the Impact of State Repression of NGOs on Philanthropy. Working paper.Google Scholar
  21. CIVICUS. 2017. People Power Under Attack: Findings from the CIVICUS Monitor.Google Scholar
  22. Dellmuth, Lisa M., and Jonas Tallberg. 2017. Advocacy Strategies in Global Governance: Inside Vs. Outside Lobbying. Political Studies 65 (3): 705–723.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0032321716684356.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Dellmuth, Lisa M., and Elizabeth A. Bloodgood. 2019. Advocacy Groups in Global Governance: Global and Domestic Opportunity Structures. Working Paper.Google Scholar
  24. Heiss, Andrew. 2017. Amicable Contempt: The Strategic Balance Between Dictators and International NGOs. Ph.D. thesis, Durham, NC: Duke University.Google Scholar
  25. Heiss, Andrew. 2019. NGOs and Authoritarianism. In Routledge Handbook of NGOs and International Relations, ed. Thomas Davies. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  26. Heiss, Andrew, and Tana Johnson. 2016. Internal, Interactive, and Institutional Factors: Towards a Unified Theory of INGO Behavior. International Studies Review 18 (3): 528–541.  https://doi.org/10.1093/isr/viv014.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Heiss, Andrew, and Judith G. Kelley. 2017. Between a Rock and a Hard Place: International NGOs and the Dual Pressures of Donors and Host Governments. Journal of Politics 79 (2): 732–741.  https://doi.org/10.1086/691218.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Henry, Laura A., Lisa McIntosh Sundstrom, Priya Bala-Miller, and Carla Winston. 2019. NGO Participation in Global Governance Institutions: International and Domestic Drivers of Engagement. Working Paper.Google Scholar
  29. Herman, Robert D., and David O. Renz. 2004. Doing Things Right: Effectiveness in Local Nonprofit Organizations, A Panel Study. Public Administration Review 64 (6): 694–704.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-6210.2004.00416.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. IFEX Tunisia Monitoring Group. 2005. Tunisia: Freedom of Expression Under Siege. https://www.ifex.org/tunisia/2010/02/16/tmg_report_feb_05_free_expression_under_seige_en.pdf. Accessed 20 June 2019.
  31. IFEX Tunisia Monitoring Group. 2010. Behind the Façade: How a Politicised Judiciary & Administrative Sanctions Undermine Tunisian Human Rights. https://www.ifex.org/tunisia/2010/06/18/ifextmgmissionreport_june2010.pdf. Accessed 20 June 2019.
  32. International Refugee Rights Initiative. 2015. Reports and Accounts for the Year Ended 31 January 2015. Reading: International Refugee Rights Initiative.Google Scholar
  33. Kerlin, Janelle. 2006. U.S.-based International NGOs and Federal Government Foreign Assistance: Out of Alignment? In Nonprofits and Government: Collaboration and Conflict, ed. Elizabeth T. Boris and C. Eugene Steuerle, 373–98. Washington, D.C.: Urban Institute.Google Scholar
  34. Kim, Mirae, and Gregg G. Van Ryzin. 2014. Impact of Government Funding on Donations to Arts Organizations: A Survey Experiment. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 43 (5): 910–925.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0899764013487800.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Landman, Todd, and Meghna Abraham. 2004. Evaluation of Nine Non-Governmental Human Rights Organisations. IOB Working Document. The Hague: Inspectie Ontwikkelingssamenwerking en Beleidsevaluatie (IOB).Google Scholar
  36. Oster, Sharon M. 1992. Nonprofit Organizations as Franchise Operations. Nonprofit Management and Leadership 2 (3): 223–238.  https://doi.org/10.1002/nml.4130020303.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Pallas, Christopher L., and Lan Nguyen. 2018. Transnational Advocacy Without Northern NGO Partners: Vietnamese NGOs in the HIV/AIDS Sector. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 47 (4S): 159S–176S.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0899764018758462.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Renz, David O. 2004. Governance of Nonprofits. In Philanthropy in America: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia, ed. Dwight F. Burlingame, 191–199. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO.Google Scholar
  39. Stiles, Kendall W. 2002. Civil Society by Design: Donors, NGOs, and the Intermestic Development Circle in Bangladesh. Westport: Praeger.Google Scholar
  40. Stroup, Sarah S. 2012. Borders Among Activists: International NGOs in the United States, Britain, and France. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.  https://doi.org/10.7591/9780801464256.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Tallberg, Jonas, Lisa M. Dellmuth, Hans Agné, and Andreas Duit. 2018. NGO Influence in International Organizations: Information, Access and Exchange. British Journal of Political Science 48 (1): 213–238.  https://doi.org/10.1017/S000712341500037X.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Watson, Mary R., and Rikki Abzug. 2010. Recruitment and Retention in Nonprofit Organizations. In The Jossey-Bass Handbook of Nonprofit Leadership and Management, ed. David O. Renz. 3rd Edition, 669–708. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  43. Witesman, Eva, and Heiss Andrew. 2016. Nonprofit Collaboration and the Resurrection of Market Failure: How a Resource-Sharing Environment Can Suppress Social Objectives. Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11266-016-9684-5.Google Scholar
  44. Wong, Wendy H. 2012. Internal Affairs: How the Structure of NGOs Transforms Human Rights. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.  https://doi.org/10.7591/9780801466069.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Limited 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Public Management and Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy StudiesGeorgia State UniversityAtlantaUSA

Personalised recommendations