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The Political Economy of Environmental Nongovernmental Organizations: Funding, Agendas and Strategic Actors in Public Policy

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Kauneckis, Derek
Conference: Crossing Boundaries, the Seventh Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Conf. Date: June 10-14
Date: 1998
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/1296
Sector: Theory
Subject(s): IASC
common pool resources
organizational behavior
public policy--analysis
environmental policy
Abstract: From pp 1-2: "Environmental nongovernmental organizations (ENGOs) have become increasingly in public policy since the 1970s. With recent efforts towards decentralization and privatization their function has increased beyond agenda setting and includes policy evaluation and implementation (Clark 1995, Salamon 1994). Even multilateral development organizations have increased the involvement of ENGOs in development projects as an answer to cries for more accountability and a greater inclusion of civil society (World Bank 1996). Yet in spite of the increased activity og ENGOs there is a curious lack of theory. Public policy analysts have tended to assume that ENGOs are of one type and exhibit homogeneous behavior in the public policy settings. They are assigned the category of public interest organizations and understood to generally represent members' interests. "This paper presents a basic model of environmental nongovernmental organizations and their behavior in policy situations. It develops a classification of three basic types of environmental groups; collective action organizations, interest groups and bureaucratic organizations. These are defined based on internal institutional structures and incentives. It then lays out a framework to understand dynamic between environmental membership organizations and donors. Finally, the paper makes some theoretical predictions on the behavior of these organizations in a policy setting. "It is premised on the idea that the behavior of an organization in a public policy context is largely determined by the institutional constraints under which the organization operates. The focus of this paper is not on the external political frame under which organizations operate, but rather the internal structures which mediate their behavior."

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