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Legitimacy and activities of civil society organizations


  • Kotzian, Peter
  • Steffek, Jens


Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) play an active and noteworthy role in governance, both at the national and international level. Three questions arise: First, how do CSOs exercise their advocacy, what repertoires, strategies and resources do they use? Second, to what degree are they legitimized to do so? Third, are there systematic differences between member and non-member CSOs, respectively between policy fields? Based on a survey of 60 exemplary CSOs covering four distinct international-level policy making fora, we will inquire into these questions. The central finding is that membership CSOs neither differ substantially from non-member CSOs in their roles and strategies of dealing with International Organizations, nor do they differ in other aspects of legitimacy, such as transparency or inclusion of beneficiaries. There are no systematic patterns in CSOs properties or behavior which correspond to policy fields.

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  • Kotzian, Peter & Steffek, Jens, 2011. "Legitimacy and activities of civil society organizations," TranState Working Papers 156, University of Bremen, Collaborative Research Center 597: Transformations of the State.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:sfb597:156

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Brown, L. David & Fox, Jonathan A, 2001. "Transnational Civil Society Coalitions and the World Bank: Lessons from Project and Policy Influence Campaigns," Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, Working Paper Series qt5885r699, Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, UC Santa Cruz.
    2. Greenwood, Justin, 2007. "Organized Civil Society and Democratic Legitimacy in the European Union," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 37(02), pages 333-357, April.
    3. Roland Vaubel, 1986. "A public choice approach to international organization," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 51(1), pages 39-57, January.
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