Promoting democracy in Ghana: Exploring the democratic roles of donor-sponsored non-governmental organizations
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SourceDemocratization, 21, 4, (2014), pp. 583-609
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ RSCR CAOS
SubjectAnthropology and Development Studies
This article examines the democratic roles performed by Ghanaian non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Drawing on a comparative case study approach, it explores how the organizational characteristics of five donor-sponsored NGOs relate to their ability to perform different democratic roles. Our analysis reveals that some of the democratic roles require contradicting organizational characteristics, which are therefore difficult to combine within one organization. Furthermore, it demonstrates that these NGOs do not contribute to democracy as predicted by theory. In particular, they are weak at providing channels of communication between state and society, and at directly representing, involving, and being accountable to ordinary citizens. We argue, nevertheless, that they perform these functions in a different way.
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