After World War II dozens of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) emerged on the global scene, committed to improving the lives of the world's most vulnerable people. Some focused on protecting human rights; some were dedicated to development, aimed at satisfying basic economic needs. Both approaches had distinctive methods, missions, and emphases. In the 1980s and 90s, however, the dividing line began to blur. In the first book to track the growing intersection and even overlap of human rights and development NGOs, Paul Nelson and Ellen Dorsey introduce a concept they call 'new rights advocacy'. New rights advocacy has at its core three main trends: the embrace of human rights-based approaches by influential development NGOs, the adoption of active economic and social rights agendas by major international human rights NGOs, and the surge of work on economic and social policy through a human rights lens by specialized human rights NGOs and social movement campaigns.Nelson and Dorsey draw on rich case studies of internationally well-known individual NGOs such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Oxfam, CARE, ActionAid, and Save the Children, and employ perspectives from fields of human rights, international relations, the sociology of social movements and of complex organizations, and development theory, in order to better understand the changes occurring within NGOs.
In questioning current trends using new theoretical frameworks, this book breaks new ground in the evolution of human rights-development interaction. The way in which NGOs are reinventing themselves has great potential for success - or possibly failure - and profound implications for a world in which the enormous gap between the wealthiest and poorest poses a persistent challenge to both development and human rights.
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Paul J. Nelson is associate professor and director of the division of international development in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh. Ellen Dorsey is executive director of the Wallace Global Fund and has served as the chair of the Board of Amnesty International USA.
Introduction 1. The New Rights AdvocacyOrganizational Fields and the Division of Human Rights and DevelopmentThe New Rights AdvocacyInternational System Change and the NGO SectorsOrganizations, Their Environments, and PowerThe Emergence of NGO Cooperation in the 1980s and 1990sImplications of the New Rights AdvocacyTracking the Origins 2. Transforming the Human Rights Movement: Human Rights NGOs Embrace ESC Rights The Emerging Movement for ESC RightsTraditional International Human Rights NGOs and ESC RightsNew NGOs and the Global Network for ESC RightsDebating ESC Rights AdvocacyImpact of the New Movement for ESC Rights 3. NGOs and the Development Industry: Toward a Rights-Based Approach? IntroductionOrganizations, Politics, and the Meaning of Rights-Based ApproachesThe Development Field and the Call for Rights-Based ApproachesCrisis of Development, Promise of Human RightsDevelopment Agencies and the Tentative Embrace of Rights-Based DevelopmentHuman Rights and the Millennium Development GoalsDurability and Limits, Constraints and Resistance 4. Alliances and HybridsLocal and Global Cooperation Sets the Stage, 1980s-1990sConverging Agendas, New Organizations, Shared Initiatives, Methods, and IdentitiesCreating Organizational HybridsAlliances, Hybrids, and NGO Politics 5. Human Rights and Development: What Is New? Will It Last?What Is New?Are the Sectors ConvergingDurabilityImpact on Outcomes BibliographyIndex
An important contribution to an ongoing debate among adherents of human rights organizations. Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights
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