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The Power and Limits of NGOs

by Sarah E. Mendelson

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Since the end of the Cold War, a virtual army of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) from the United States, Britain, Germany, and elsewhere in Europe have flocked to Central and Eastern Europe and Eurasia. These NGOs are working on such diverse tasks as helping to establish competitive political parties, elections, and independent media, as well as trying to reduce ethnic conflict. This important book is among the few efforts to assess the impact of these international efforts to build democratic institutions. The case studies presented here provide a portrait of the mechanisms by which ideas commonly associated with democratic states have evolved in formerly communist states, revealing conditions that help as well as hurt the process.… (more)
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Since the end of the Cold War, a virtual army of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) from the United States, Britain, Germany, and elsewhere in Europe have flocked to Central and Eastern Europe and Eurasia. These NGOs are working on such diverse tasks as helping to establish competitive political parties, elections, and independent media, as well as trying to reduce ethnic conflict. This important book is among the few efforts to assess the impact of these international efforts to build democratic institutions. The case studies presented here provide a portrait of the mechanisms by which ideas commonly associated with democratic states have evolved in formerly communist states, revealing conditions that help as well as hurt the process.

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