Who should they be accountable to and how? This book provides the first comprehensive examination of the issues and politics of NGO accountability across all sectors and internationally. It offers an assessment of the key technical tools available including legal accountability, certification and donor-based accountability regimes, and questions whether these are appropriate and viable options or attempts to 'roll-back' NGOs to a more one-dimensional function as organizers of national and global charity.
In the spirit of moving towards greater accountability the book looks in detail at innovations that have developed from within NGOs and offers new approaches and flexible frameworks that enable accountability to become a reality for all parties worldwide. Product details Format Paperback pages Dimensions x x Review quote 'Credible and effective accountability is quite simply a pre-condition for NGOs' continued historical significance as global and local agents of change.
Prepared by informed and yet critical insiders, this book faces this reality unflinchingly whilst illuminating its real-life complexities and implications in today's daunting political context. Rather than treating NGO accountability as a technocratic endeavour based in managerial best practice, the authors confront its political and power-laden underpinnings head-on. Jordan and van Tuijl show us the dark side of accountability politics - how its language and mechanisms can be abused for suppressing basic rights of voice and political participation.
Yet, they also give us a vision, grounded in field-based innovation, of what accountability can be: a pathway towards universal human rights and better democratic governance. This lack of alternatives is the main failing of the book. While it is true that Davis also employs a somewhat alarmist discourse laced with moralistic condemnation, considering the subject matter I find his language and arguments justified if depressing. The book is packed with data collected from official World Bank and United Nations sources and written in a very engaging style. While potentially off-putting to professionals in the development sector, this book would make a useful text for an introductory undergraduate course and contributes to the debate concerning the efficacy of NGOs and self-help projects within the context of neoliberalism.
New York: New Press. The New Public Finance of the title of this volume is a second wave of newness in public finance. The first wave concerned itself with the increased public—private partnering; this second wave deals with the blurring of the borderlines between domestic and foreign. Globalization sets new challenges for public finance. There is a growing demand for global public action like controlling climate change, checking diseases or preventing international terrorism.
And there is a need to promote development so that all countries can benefit from globalization. The book aims to address these issues. It does so through a large number of generally rather short chapters. Given the large number of contributions, this review can only briefly indicate the topics that are raised. The first part of the book identifies the new global challenges. It is argued that globalization may well reduce the size of the state as global competition reduces the ability to tax while new challenges such as ageing population and climate change may require greater government spending.
Then the book looks into public—private co-operation at the international level and describes the various forms and types of global public—private partnerships and the growing diversity of financing mechanisms. Investing in global public goods is discussed next: how to identify the high return investment opportunities and how to find global financing arrangements for them. In these decisions dis- tributional issues play a large role. Not all countries derive the same benefit from global goods such as the global trade regime, disease eradication or climate control and not all countries have the same ability and willingness to contribute to their financing.
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It is also argued that markets can contribute to the achievement of public goods: for instance the Chicago Climate Exchange may contribute to climate stability, commodity future markets could contribute to price stabil- ity for commodity exporters and collective action clauses in bond contracts can contribute to financial crisis management. The final part of the book deals with development co-operation.
How can it be made more effective? There are arguments for a more effective use of the various instruments of aid: grants should concentrate on low-income countries and loans on better-off countries. The case is made for selectivity rather than conditionality in aid using the Millennium Chal- lenge Account as a case. One of the chapters notes that, although there is substantial crit- icism of IMF and the World Bank, and reforms of these organizations are necessary, there is a strong case for multilateral lending. As this brief review shows the book touches upon many issues and aspects, maybe too many because quite a lot of the contributions are rather short.
It is also a book that covers a new era in public finance — as such it is rather exploratory. Some contributions mainly try to identify potential issues, to classify problems or to suggest criteria for the selection of approaches to deal with the problems. Other contributions propose solutions to selected problems. The book is not very convincing as a conceptual or theoretical approach to global public finance, al- though there are attempts at this.
But many of the specific contributions are quite interesting. London and Sterling, VA: Earthscan, With the rising importance of non-governmental organizations NGOs as key actors in national and international politics these organizations have come under criticism for what they claim to achieve and for their role in civil society.
The first is that NGOs have no natural membership or constituency — they generally have a self-appointed leadership and therefore need to find other ways to legitimize their actions. The second reason is that NGOs are more inclined to be upwardly accountable to their donors, rather than to those they are supposed to benefit or support. This creates a fundamental problem about who allocates, who sets priorities — in other words, who controls and owns NGO development interventions? The third reason for debate has surfaced in the last few years: the lack of NGO credibility.
Due to the more prominent role of NGOs in world politics, national governments as well as global institutions such as the World Bank demand better regulation and certification of NGOs via legislation, codes of conduct, and other instruments. It has become apparent that some NGOs are not making enough effort to really put into practice what they are preaching. Since cracks in the reputation of some NGOs are affecting the entire sector, regulating this sector has become a key target in recent years. They thus avoid the more technical angle of certification, self-regulation and other accountability mechanisms currently flourishing in the NGO literature especially in regard to relationships between NGOs and donor agencies.
The underlying idea of the authors is to contribute to a more coherent discourse on accountability for NGOs that takes rights and responsibilities into account. This certainly is an ambitious endeavour; to what extent did the authors succeed in this task? The book starts with an introduction by the editors, followed by two additional framework papers, and ten chapters by authors from different regions, focusing on the more traditional accountability approaches as well as innovations coming from the field.
The introductory chapters by the editors and Charnovitz do not offer the hoped for coherent framework for understanding and analysing the new discourse on NGO accountability. The idea of democratic accountability is not really worked out; nor is the link between rights and accountability very well elaborated. Fortunately this is compensated for by the Peruzzotti chapter, which provides a good overview of the current debate. Peruzzotti argues convincingly that NGO representation is not the central issue, rather it is the question of giving legitimacy to NGOs and not so much about their relationships with their constituencies.
These systems are treated separately but not analysed in a common framework, which makes the reader wonder why these particular ones were chosen and not oth- ers. The chapters on innovative practices are rather diverse but do offer new perspectives. Overall, the authors identify the particular context in which NGOs operate as a key variable in establishing their accountability. It is therefore a pity that only a few of these contexts notably in Asia are analysed, without really drawing conclusions about the key aspects of the context variables that might facilitate or obstruct improved NGO accountability.
Another missing element in the book is a look at the way in which NGOs are being held accountable by broader social movements at the national and particularly global levels. Here we are witnessing the evolution of a whole new pattern of networks and groups that requires a more thorough analysis of the way in which they relate to their constituencies. This would definitely constitute a valuable follow-up to the current volume of case studies, of which several are already a few years old. References Ebrahim, A.
"What NGO Accountability Means - and Does Not Mean" by Kenneth Anderson
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Edwards, M. London: Earthscan. Fox, J. A political economy approach to war civil or otherwise, but in this case mostly the former is not an easy thing. Yet to do so is stupid. Its focus is mainly on Africa, but it engages with the rest of the world. It makes a lot of sense to use these theories to blend the vicissitudes of local accumulation struggles with trends at the global level — after carefully sifting through scores of other efforts at explanation that leave us wanting better.
This notion also pushes readers to reflect on the developmental possibilities of coercive accumulation. Thus one is forced to think: if capitalist development needs violence, why not have states rather than warlords direct it? This is what Cramer is getting at — if one realizes that fundamental socio- economic transformation is not a picnic, then the question is about who controls the coercion of accumulation, and how they can minimize the devastation p. There is little doubt that pre-capitalist Africa is very different from pre-capitalist Europe — both their internal and global dimensions — not least because the former are articulated with the results of the latter in distinct ways.
NGO Accountability: Politics, Principles and Innovations
On the other hand, the fragile peace — or more honestly, the lessening of the war — in places like Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo could lead to the tentative emer- gence of productive accumulators, phoenix-like, from the coffers of the warlords. Cramer dif- fers somewhat from Duffield on this score. It is hard to tell about these processes yet, but the case of Zimbabwe — discussed almost parenthetically in the book p. A full civil war has so far been avoided — unlike many other parts of Africa where land has not been turned into capital.
However, if this form of capital is not soon used productively and a state does not emerge that can channel it and nurture the birth of something like a new bourgeoisie, full civil war may soon ensue, including a restructuring of property rights that may send the whole process back to the starting point. If this book is widely read, perhaps all those wars that Cramer describes will not have been totally destructive — and new wars might be avoided or at least incorporated into the process of development.
Reference Duffield, M. London: Zed Books.
NGO Accountability : Politics, Principles and Innovations
Aldershot: Ashgate, High Stakes and Stakeholders is a readable and persuasively argued book. Omeje argues that the high stakes rentier mentality, calculations and manoeuvres saturate the polity. The book also examines the context of conflict and the responses of the state and oil industry to oil threats. Omeje argues that oil communities are complicit in the pervasive high stakes rentier politics through the aggressive utilization of political struggles and violent protests to assert themselves as stakeholders.
Thus, high stakes politics not only configure society but are widely celebrated and glamorized. Apart from providing no evidence for his claim, an empirically informed analysis of what conditions occasioned the metamorphosis would have furthered scholarship, rather than its acceptance as a given and as evidence of rapacity.
The political economy of conflicts, at least, shows that the resort to economic predation can be explained as an attempt to sustain ongoing conflict and does not eliminate initial grievances. Omeje blames the youth wing of MOSOP for the strife between the Ogoni and their neighbours, partly over control of land containing oil wells — a view Claude Ake dismisses as untenable Crow, ; Maier, and which is impugned by leaders of the communities concerned. Some blame Saro-Wiwa over the formation of NYCOP, yet remain silent on the point that Ogoni elders commissioned the committee which recommended mass mobilization based on the Yaa tradition Kpone-Tonwe, , The tendency to capture leadership in individualistic terms thus disembeds leaders from their networks, and while conferring larger-than-life virtues on a leader, denies the leadership team its agency Ganz, However, Omeje shares with those he criticizes an understanding of the state and TNCs as bound and separate actors, but he fails to see both actors as embedded in networks of relations, replete with rules and conflicting interests.
State action is mediated by the goal of unfettered capitalist accumulation and considerations of repercussions of its action within its rule-governed networks. A binary view does little justice to understanding such complexities. Omeje points to a pervasive political culture with an incorrigible predilection for primitive accumulation and, in the process, discursively dismisses the cultural projects of actors attempting to create a better society Dibua, No society could be as irredeemably selfish and wanton as the one Omeje paints. The rentier space may be composed of key politicking, but it is hardly the only significant sphere of politics.
If every actor is compromised by high stake politics, from where will change emerge? Omeje unabashedly reposes faith in international intervention, and thereby de-emphasizes the agency and relevance of local collective actors. His high stakes reductionism of the politics — of both the elite and the masses — to accumulation and survival struggles, respectively, is ahistorical and severely limits the possibilities of political action.
Omeje is intolerant of analysis that seeks to explain the crippled status of Nigeria as the legacy of colonialism. Common colonial legacy, he claims, has not prevented significant progress in Botswana, Mauritania and Malaysia and Tunisia. This suggests a lack of postcolonial reading of colonialism and deploys a spatial sensibility that is hardly cognizant of the view that the colonial experience is not monolithic Ahluwalia, Moreover, his argument cannot account for how existing configurations in some places align differentially with, or inflect, global processes. Furthermore, his is an understanding of colonialism as an event rather than a process that, in articulating colonial economies in global capitalism, assigned the former a peripheral role.
The dynamics of global capitalism has ensured the continuation of such configuration. If the status quo is properly neocolonial, it seems hasty to dismiss colonial legacies as causal explanation. References Ahluwalia, P. London: Routledge. Crow, M.
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New York: Human Rights Watch. Dibua, J. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate. Ganz, M. Kpone-Tonwe, S. Anderson and P. Peek eds Ways of the Rivers, pp. Maier, K. London: Penguin Books Ltd. Reno, W. Email: agbonifo iss. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, It is a fact that China experienced the most successful economic performance in its history from to The increase in the human development index, health and education as well as GDP per capita during these years is an indication of this success.
The editors and their expert contributors present different aspects of the Chinese economy, environment, trade, technology, investment and ways of following current globalization trends. It is a known fact that China provides parts and components, primary products and some finished goods for the rest of East Asia. The important question for the long term is how the regional division of labour between China and the rest of East Asia will develop.
Saygili and Wong present a two-differentiated product, multifactor, three- country model to investigate the impact of trade liberalization on the movement of goods and capital. In this regard, there were more talks about Japan as a foreign direct investment source country. Since the emergence of high technology industries in China and its impressive growth rate during the last two decades of the twentieth century, some observers have been debating whether China is entering a new stage of economic growth due to rising knowledge intensity, globalization, production and distribution of goods and services.
The three chapters in part IV provide an excellent overview of the key challenges related to investment efficiency, economic growth, environmental impact, and agricultural developments in China.
Finally, part V is concerned with corporate governance and management in China. It concludes that the corporate governance role of the supervisory board as it is currently structured under Chinese law will not be effective in fully privatizing listed firms and providing better protection for minority shareholders. The editors have brought together a range of studies that will enlighten readers in China as well as overseas. This book will be of particular interest to advanced students, economists, researchers and scholars who are already involved with the fields of international political economics and international business.
However, for some readers, the data presented in tables or graphs and described at length in the text with the development and presentation of econometric models do not make for easy reading. An econometrics background is helpful. There are some interesting theoretical extensions to the existing literature on China presented in the book. However, I think that the main contributions lie in the empirical investigation of the Chinese economy. A challenge that often faces developing countries is the formulation and implementation of ap- propriate policies to improve the welfare of their populations.
Efforts to design and implement sound policies in the environment and natural resource sectors are thwarted by the lack of ad- equate capacity in government and non-governmental agencies. Environmental policy making is complex and knowledge intensive involving scientific, technical, economic, legal and so- cial issues. This book highlights some of the case studies of environmental policy formation and im- plementation and their links to economic development in the Asian region.
Different chapters provide a refreshing contribution to environmental policy formulation and implementation and their links to economic development in the Asian region. As mentioned in the introductory chapter, the objective is to reveal factors of dynamism between environmental policy and social change in domestic, regional and global contexts, which could mutually influ- ence effectiveness in environmental policy. The editors have taken care to ensure each chapter is properly introduced and concepts and approaches are explained.
Part II provides interesting case studies relating to the dynamism of the environmental policy process in the Asian region. The authors also examine multiple facets of environmental policy implementation and their success or failure with respect to different socio-political and economic factors in each country. Overall, the case studies presented in chapters 5 to 10 provide a range of transdisciplinary perspectives through investigating the dynamic process of environmental policy formation and implementation in the developing countries.
Links to the broader range of social change with respect to policy such as industrialization, democratization, decentralization and globalization in each country are also described. An interesting perspective on how stringent environmental regulation through CAC can promote competitiveness in developing new technologies such as flue gas desulphurization technology for SO x and flue gas treatment FGT technology for NO x is presented. The role of local government research institutes in technology development and diffusion of knowledge about monitoring pollutants is discussed in the third chapter.
It highlights the need for engineers and researchers who can work at field level in pollution control and thus the need for improved education systems in the developing countries for effective training. The importance of administrative structure for pollution control is emphasized. Through case studies in two cities of Osaka and Kitakyushu in Japan, factors that have led to the success of administrative guidance as well as pollution control are outlined. It clearly gives the message to developing countries that introducing pollution control agreements without developing the capability of the local governments may not be effective and might only increase administrative cost.
The pollution problems and environmental policy process in China, Indonesia, India and Taiwan are described. Using empirical calculations the author infers that command and control measures in China have significant drawbacks in terms of cost effectiveness. As the fastest growing segment of civil society, as well as featuring prominently in the global political arena, NGOs are under fire for being 'unaccountable'.
But who do NGOs actually represent? Who should they be accountable to and how?