NGOs and International Economic Policy-Making

Rights and responsibilities in the global arena

Michael Edwards

Published: September 2001

NGOs and other citizens’ groups are enjoying an unprecedented upsurge in their profile and influence in global debates over international economic policy. Public opinion polls show this to be a popular trend, but the outcome of greater civil society involvement depends on whose voices are actually represented in global debates, how competing interests are reconciled, and whether NGOs are effective in playing their roles in the international system. Unless the process of civil society engagement is properly managed, the result may be gridlock. This article outlines the strengths and weaknesses of NGO involvement and suggests a number of avenues for improvement in the future.

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