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Advocacy Organizations and Collective Action
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Book description

Advocacy organizations are viewed as actors motivated primarily by principled beliefs. This volume outlines a new agenda for the study of advocacy organizations, proposing a model of NGOs as collective actors that seek to fulfil normative concerns and instrumental incentives, face collective action problems, and compete as well as collaborate with other advocacy actors. The analogy of the firm is a useful way of studying advocacy actors because individuals, via advocacy NGOs, make choices which are analytically similar to those that shareholders make in the context of firms. The authors view advocacy NGOs as special types of firms that make strategic choices in policy markets which, along with creating public goods, support organizational survival, visibility, and growth. Advocacy NGOs' strategy can therefore be understood as a response to opportunities to supply distinct advocacy products to well-defined constituencies, as well as a response to normative or principled concerns.

Reviews

‘This book brings together a top-flight team of scholars to address the factors that help shape the advocacy activities of international NGOs. Complementing previous research but starting from a different perspective than most, the chapters show that leaders of NGOs must establish their organizations' individual identities, maintain their memberships, and worry about survival. Advocacy strategies are influenced, then, by these concerns as well as by the moral convictions of their members. An important contribution sure to inform as well as provoke.'

Frank R. Baumgartner - University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

‘Prakash and Gugerty have assembled an unusually innovative and imaginative set of essays on interest group advocacy. This important collection advances the field with its emphasis on organizational behavior.’

Jeffrey M. Berry - Tufts University

‘Rather than characterizing advocacy organizations by their distinctive ideals and the intentions of their members, the contributors to this important new volume ask what can be learned by exploring the similarities with profit-oriented firms and collective action projects. The result is a collection of rich, theoretically-engaged case studies that significantly advance our understanding of the structure and strategies of advocacy organizations while generating compelling new questions about norms and shared values.’

Elisabeth Clemens - University of Chicago, and author of The People’s Lobby

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