Nongovernments: NGOs and the Political Development of the Third World

By Julie Fisher | Go to book overview

1
NGOs, Civil Society,and
Political Development

• There is no central committee: each committee is central.

-- Brazilian Citizen's Campaign

• We have it in our power to begin the world again.

-- Thomas Paine

SINCE THE RIO CONFERENCE in June 1992, the global community has haltingly inched along the "steep and rocky path" of sustainable development. 1 Rio not only increased global awareness of the need to develop without destroying the resources needed for future development but also stimulated international debate about the relationships among poverty, population, and environmental degradation.

Two stories in the New York Times of July 13, 1993, symbolize the enormous gap separating the mindless destruction of natural resources from the promise of sustainable development. Hinunangan, on the Philippine island of Leyte, was once a rich tropical ecosystem of tall trees, bamboo, monkeys, wild boar, ducks, and ostriches. Because of the rapacious deforestation of valuable hardwoods, most wildlife is now extinct, water is in short supply, and even the basic rice crop is threatened. Hawaii, in contrast, has a laboratory and a commercial park complex that use differentials in seawater temperature to produce electric power and desalinated water. Its economic spin-offs include fruit, vegetables, commercial fish, and lobster.

Implementing a sustainable development project -- be it a technologically sophisticated laboratory or a simple program such as planting fruit trees or teaching women to read -- is never easy, as thousands of indigenous nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in the Third World have already learned. Yet the complexities of implementing locally sustainable

-1-

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Nongovernments: NGOs and the Political Development of the Third World
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Foreword vii
  • Preface xi
  • 1 - Ngos, Civil Society, and Political Development 1
  • Notes 32
  • 2 - Government Policies Toward Ngos: Political Context and the Growth of Civil Society 39
  • Notes 69
  • 3 the Impact of NGOs on Governments: the Role of NGO Autonomy 75
  • Notes 99
  • 4 - Promoting Democratization and Sustainable Development 105
  • Notes 132
  • 5 - Subnational Governments and Ngos 135
  • Notes 155
  • 6 - Civil Society, Democracy, and Political Development 159
  • Notes 187
  • Glossary 191
  • References 193
  • Index 227
  • About the Author 237
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