The Dark Side

  • Jonathan Murphy


Strong claims are made by many third sector leaders about the positive contributions made by the sector. In this chapter it is argued that these claims substantially exaggerate the extent to which third sector organizations are different from their private sector and government cousins. Three case studies, of large international third sector organizations in action, are examined. These address the government and business ties of large environmental conservation organizations, the moulding of a global anti-poverty agenda into a vehicle for restructuring post-colonial states, and the framing of anti-corruption action excluding broader normative questions surrounding neoliberal globalization. It is concluded that (a) the third sector does not always act autonomously from business and government; (b) NGO policies tend to be driven by leadership interests rather than grassroots constituencies; (c) NGOs may not be democratic in a meaningful sense; and (d) they may not consistently support greater social equity.


Sector Organization Forest Stewardship Council Corruption Perception Index Universal Primary Education Transparency International 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cardiff UniversityWalesUK

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