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Chapter 3 focuses on the challenges and opportunities of transnational worker representation and their consequences for the development of more democratic governance institutions. We examine these from two key theoretical perspectives. Starting from the notion of associational democracy, we differentiate between two logics of democratic representation: representation as claim versus representation as structure. The first approach is associated with a discursive or communicative model of transnational democracy as put forward by political theorists. Rather than thinking of representation in terms of representative structures, representation becomes the dynamic and ongoing process of making “representative claims” that reflect certain discourses, categories, concepts, judgments, dispositions, and capabilities. In contrast, structural ideas of representation are grounded in industrial democracy. Here, constituents of an organic political unit defined by voluntary membership, such as a trade union, authorise their representatives to deliberate, negotiate or bargain on behalf of members. We develop their theoretical grounding in structuralist and post-structuralist thinking, and question to what extend these approaches may be reconciled with each other to advance prospects for transnational worker representation.
Globalisation has placed democratic institutions under severe pressure as economic actors seek to take advantage of the disjuncture between national political governance and transnational economic activity. This chapter provides an introduction and overview as to the key themes to be addressed in the book. In particular, we highlight the debate between different approaches to democratic representation and associational democracy which is the theoretical framing for the remainder of the book: representation as claim versus representation as structure.
Transnational labour governance is in urgent need of a new paradigm of democratic participation, with those who are most affected - typically workers - placed at the centre. To achieve this, principles of industrial democracy and transnational governance must come together to inform institutions within global supply chains. This book traces the development of 'transnational industrial democracy', using responses to the 2013 Rana Plaza disaster as the empirical context. A particular focus is placed on the Bangladesh Accord and the JETI Workplace Social Dialogue programme. Drawing on longitudinal field research from 2013–2020, the authors argue that the reality of modern-day supply chain capitalism has neither optimal institutional frameworks nor effective structures of industrial relations. Informed by principles of industrial democracy, the book aims at enhancing emerging forms of private transnational governance as second-best institutions.
During the 1970s, religious activists were heavily involved in national and international campaigns against multinationals and urged firms to adapt their behavior to align with Christian ethics. This article analyzes the strategies of Nestlé in addressing religious activism at three levels: national, international, and organizational. The analysis examines Nestlé’s collaboration with other Swiss and European multinationals and high-ranking church representatives in establishing dialogue platforms that sought to improve mutual understanding and promote tolerance for global capitalism. Nestlé also contributed to the creation of guidelines for the main churches in Switzerland that were aimed at their partial depoliticization. When Nestlé’s executives faced religious shareholder activists during its shareholders’ annual general meetings, they chose to engage with them to avoid their radicalization, although most of their demands ultimately remained unanswered. Overall, Nestlé contributed to the reorientation of religious discussions to small-scale ethical problems and business self-regulation rather than to substantial reforms of the capitalist economic system.
The study of global politics is frequently organized around fields, but the boundaries of these fields are little understood. We explore the relationship between two proximate fields, human rights (HR) and democracy promotion (DP), in order to understand the emergence and maintenance of field boundaries. The two fields are closely linked in international law and practice, yet they have remained largely separate as fields of action, despite vast changes in global politics over four decades. The disjuncture has been largely maintained by HR organizations who police the boundary to keep DP out. We identify differences in anchoring norms as the key factor driving boundary maintenance. Actors in the two fields hold different foundational ideas about how to protect and advance rights, norms that we describe as cosmopolitan and statist. This account is superior to alternate explanations that emphasize functional demands or resource flows, and complements historical institutionalist accounts. Our research offers a theoretical contribution to the study of fields and practical insight into two important areas of global practice. Our qualitative research is supplemented by digital annotations, supported by the Qualitative Data Repository.
This chapter discusses environmental democracy from an institutional perspective focusing on the role Inshore Fisheries Conservation Authorities and environmental NGOs have in marine conservation regulation. Environmental NGOs are the ‘usual suspects’ when discussing environmental democracy. They are the voice of the more-than human, operating as a proxy, and they are defending the environmental rights of present and future generations through a variety of strategies, more or less confrontational. Thus, NGOs are an obvious subject in discussions of environmental democracy. For radical scholars, Inshore Fisheries Conservation Authorities may seem less interesting. After all, their transformative potential is tamed by the statutory obligations governing their behaviour, they are local arms of the state. However, the chapter reveals that their set up and operation display important democratic aspects. Although both organisations contribute to the democratisation of regulation, they also experience some challenges and constraints, which the chapter discusses.
This chapter discusses the role of NGO observers in the IPCC and the extent to which they have access to and participate in the work of the Panel. Many UN institutions have arrangements for participation by NGOs and the IPCC is no exception. NGO observers include academic institutions, think tanks, civil society, Indigenous Peoples Organisations, and business associations. They take part in IPCC meetings and nominate their representatives to serve as authors and reviewers in the preparation of assessment reports. NGO observers’ participation in the Panel is an important topic in light of the increasing emphasis on inclusiveness and diversity of views in science-policy interfaces and international institutions. The chapter also identifies related knowledge gaps and summarises the challenges and opportunities for enhanced NGO engagement in the IPCC.
This chapter aims to investigate the extent to which France has attempted to rein in transnational corporations from developing and emerging states by imposing requirements as a matter of regulatory compliance, either directly as an obligation formulated in a rule, or indirectly by offering corporations the opportunity to defend against civil violations. In 2017, France became the first state in the world to adopt a value chain responsibility law for all corporate risks, including human rights-related ones. Section 1 of this chapter analyses the parliamentary debates preceding this Law in order to increase our understanding of the impact that competition in the global marketplace – and, in particular, transnational corporations from developing and emerging states – had on the genesis and the stringency of the Law. Section 2 discusses the avenues available to bring claims against transnational corporations from developing and emerging states in France. Interestingly, several civil liability claims have been brought against the South Korean corporation Samsung and its French subsidiary in criminal proceedings.
This article examines three Japan–South Korea postwar compensation cases: the comfort women issue, the Sakhalin Island forced labor issue, and Korean atomic bomb survivor issue. These compensation movements produced vastly different results, even though the basic policy directions for compensation provision in all three cases were similar. Japan's approach toward the comfort women problem has been a complete failure, while its treatment of the Sakhalin forced labor issue and the atomic bomb issues has been more successful. This article's explanation of the different outcomes focuses on the character and geographical base of the civic groups leading these compensation movements. In South Korea, women's rights activists spearheaded the comfort women compensation movement and related victim-relief activities. The Korean non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that assisted the comfort women treated this problem not only as a women's rights issue, but also as a nationalist issue. In contrast, the Red Cross, a politically neutral international organization, promoted the Sakhalin forced labor and atomic bomb issues. In short, the different receptions accorded to those championing the comfort women issue and those promoting the Sakhalin forced labor and atomic bomb issues depended on the principal agent of each compensation process. This article aims to provide some implications for successfully implementing postwar compensation policies. It suggests that, if successful postwar compensation policy depends on successful perpetrator–victim reconciliation, establishing solidarity between perpetrator and victim countries’ civic groups is important. This can only be facilitated through the depoliticized and transparent operation of leading NGOs both inside and outside the redressal-seeking nation.
This contribution investigates the role of legal advisors in lobbying and advocacy work of non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Law is an important tool for NGOs, and many of them employ legal or ‘law and policy’ advisors. These advisors deal with a range of matters, providing strategic advice and legal support for community-based outreach work and engaging in litigation and policy dialogue with government and their agencies. Through a set of expert interviews conducted among legal advisors working in Brussels and Helsinki based NGOs, this contribution sheds light on the hitherto unknown group of legal experts. It is interested in how legal advisors see their own role in lobbyng and advocacy work that NGOs do and how they construct and shape the notion of public interest in their activities, trying to remain faithful to what they see as a “lawyer’s” role. At the same time, the contribution also provides information about new roles that lawyers have in modern societies and the increasing significance of legal expertise in lobbying and advocacy activities.
Several decades of scholarship on international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have established their important role in leading cosmopolitan political projects framed around moral ideals of global justice. But contemporary legitimacy crises in international liberalism call for a reexamination of NGOs’ global justice activism, considering how they should navigate the real-world moral contestations and shifting power dynamics that can impede their pursuit of justice. Recent work by deliberative-democratic theorists has argued that NGOs can help resolve disputes about global justice norms by facilitating legitimate communicative exchanges among the diverse political voices of subjected global communities on the correct interpretation and implementation of global justice norms. In response, this essay argues for an expanded account of the political roles of NGOs in global justice activism, which reflects greater sensitivity to the multifaceted political dynamics through which power in real-world global politics is constituted and contested. It is shown that in some NGOs’ real-world operational contexts, structural power imbalances and social division or volatility can undercut the operation of the ideal deliberative processes prescribed by democratic theory—calling for further attention to work focused on mitigating power imbalances, building solidarity, and organizing power in parallel or as a precursor to deliberative-democratic processes.
In this article, we reflect on the current socio-political context of the 1972 World Heritage Convention after 50 years rather than its significant achievements and trials throughout its turbulent history. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has already documented and publicized these formative episodes. Instead, we consider the World Heritage milieu today, embedded as it is within a much broader landscape of non-governmental organizations and civil society preservation initiatives than it was five decades ago. Like other United Nations agencies, UNESCO now faces challenges arising from various types of re-spatialization beyond the nation-state that further impact its effectiveness. Those challenges encompass not only the expansive force of globalization but also regionalization and localization, all of which have given rise to a new diplomacy. We discuss the proliferation of competing international agencies and individual donors, then describe the dilemmas facing World Heritage, including the rise of non-state actors and post-conflict remediation in the Middle East, the limited recognition of Indigenous Peoples and their role in decision making, and the persistent failures to remedy the inequitable position of Africa as a priority region.
The share of basic services that NGOs deliver has grown dramatically in developing countries due to increased receipt of aid and philanthropy in these countries. Many scholars and practitioners worry that NGOs reduce reliance on government services and, in turn, lower demand for government provision and undermine political engagement. Others argue that NGOs prop-up poorly performing governments that receive undeserved credit for the production, allocation, or welfare effects of NGO services. Using original surveys and a randomized health intervention, implemented in parallel to a similar universal government program, this article investigates the long-term effect of NGO provision on political attitudes and behavior. Access to NGO services increased preferences for NGO, relative to government, provision. However, political engagement and perceptions of government legitimacy were unaffected. Instead, the intervention generated political credit for the incumbent president. This study finds that citizens see NGOs as a resource that powerful government actors control, and they reward actors who they see as responsible for allocation of those resources.
The security-migration nexus is ubiquitous throughout Europe and beyond. An avalanche of scholarship has explored the construction of migration as a security threat in general and, in the UK, the creation of the ‘hostile environment’ in particular – the problematic nature of each being well documented. Yet, far less attention has been paid to activities that contest this process. Deploying Balzacq's four modalities of contestation – desecuritisation, resistance, emancipation, and resilience – this article addresses the imbalance, exploring how asylum and refugee sector NGOs engage in and contest security-migration politics. Using Scotland (2018–19) as an illustrative case and analysing discursive and predominantly non-discursive activities, findings demonstrate that NGOs are successfully contesting the security-migration nexus in Scotland across four principal categories, supporting the ‘surviving’ and ‘thriving’ of asylum seeker and refugee communities, problematising previous conceptualisations of ‘UK’ asylum and refugee politics, with implications extending globally. The article helps refine the theorisation of contestation, demonstrating first, the need to move beyond studies of ‘desecuritisation’, with consequences for understandings of ‘success’ in securitisation, and second, the potential blindness of single-modality studies to vital, meaningful contestation, resulting in the production of less comprehensive visions of the security world.
Part V explores how Batswana manage interdependencies and distinctions between kinship and politics on local, national, and transnational levels. It takes in three major events: in Chapter 13, a family party; in Chapter 14, a homecoming celebration for the first age regiment to be initiated in a generation; and in Chapter 15, an opening event held by a respected national NGO. Chapter 13 argues that family celebrations are catalysts for conflict, performing familial success and distinguishing home from village by demonstrating an ability to manage dikgang. In Chapter 14, families prove pivotal to regenerating the morafe (tribal polity), and initiation proves pivotal in re-embedding Tswana law in families – equipping them to better engage dikgang. NGO, government, and donor performances of success also rely on the performance of kinship; in Chapter 15’s opening ceremony, idioms and ideals of kinship legitimise the work of government and civil society agencies, establishing their precedence over the families they serve. But their everyday work is also permeated – even generated – by unmarked, conflicting kinship dynamics. In their interventions, these agencies unsettle both the interdependencies and distinctions Batswana customarily make between kinship and politics; and, in doing so, they may create more profound challenges than the AIDS epidemic.
This week, Batswana have welcomed into their family twenty-nine ambassadors from Canada. In diplomatic work, relations can be nurtured at personal level; nation-states are composed of individuals, and the international system is composed of nation-states, so it follows that individual relations facilitate better international relations.
Part I maps out the geographies of Tswana kinship, beginning in Chapter 1 with the Tswana gae, or home. The gae is a multiple, scattered place – stretching to include masimo (farmlands) and moraka (cattle post) – integrated by continuous movement, shifting residence, and care work that gravitates around the lelwapa (courtyard). For kin, both closeness and distance create dikgang; and while continuous movement enables balances to be struck, ‘going up and down’ produces tensions and dangers of its own. In Chapter 2, the building of new houses – a critical means of go itirela, or making-for-oneself – presents similar conundrums, requiring the mobilisation of resources among family in order to establish distance from them. When help is refused, dikgang generated are enough to stall building and self-making alike. These risks are marked in an epidemic era, where orphaned children may inherit early, and where NGO and government programmes may provide access to resources they might not otherwise have. Chapter 3 describes the spatial practices of these NGO and social work programmes, which show surprising similarities to the spatial practices of family – but also invert those spatialities and knock them out of sync, producing problematic alternatives to the gae, and new, intractable dikgang.
Shaped around the stories of one extended family, their friends, neighbours, and community, Pandemic Kinship provides an intimate portrait of everyday life in Botswana's time of AIDS. It challenges assumptions about a 'crisis of care' unfolding in the wake of the pandemic, showing that care - like other aspects of Tswana kinship - is routinely in crisis, and that the creative ways families navigate such crises make them kin. In Setswana, conflict and crisis are glossed as dikgang, and negotiating dikgang is an ethical practice that generates and reorients kin relations over time. Governmental and non-governmental organisations often misread the creativity of crisis, intervening in ways that may prove more harmful than the problems they set out to solve. Moving between family discussions, community events, and the daily work of orphan care projects and social work offices, Pandemic Kinship provides provocative insights into how we manage change in pandemic times.
This article examines the conditions under which non-governmental organisations (NGOs) gain access to defence administrations when campaigning for transparency around the use of military force. We theorise that gaining access in this traditionally secluded domain is a matter of supply and demand. NGOs can gain access through technical and political information, yet not without demand for these resources, dependent on the politicisation of concerns about the use of force. We focus on the activities of Airwars, an international NGO, and its campaign in the Netherlands (2015–20) to foster transparency about civilian casualties caused by Dutch airstrikes. Our analysis shows that their credible information about air strikes led to access to the defence administration and allowed them to effectively advocate for transparency, mediated by the politicisation of the issue through parliamentary and media attention. Our findings contribute both to the literature on NGO advocacy and to the field of civil-military relations.