Bi Zhao
Does increased participation of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) improve the democratic quality at intergovernmental organizations (IGOs)? Multilateral institutions and global governance mechanisms have emerged during the past few decades to tackle global challenges, such as climate change. However, policy making institutions such as IGOs are often viewed as lacking democratic legitimacy. The decision- making process remains tied to nation-states represented often by non-elected delegates,
more » ... yet the decisions affect people who do not have a say in the process. One remedy proposed by global governance scholars to close such democratic deficit is to include a variety of stakeholders such as non-governmental actors. I challenge the conventional wisdom that assumes the democratic potential of these actors, and unpack the "blackbox" of NGOs to assess their internal politics.To assess their role in global governance, we need to understand the substantive participation and patterns of interaction among the NGOs at the governance institutions. I construct a multilevel theoretical framework from a social network perspective to understand their participation and interaction. The theoretical framework is based on transnational social movement theory and social network theory.I draw on the example of women's groups working at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) annual conferences. Employing both quantitative statistical analysis and network analysis, I demonstrate an evident increase in women's groups that participate substantively at the UNFCCC. How- ever, the growth is accompanied by inequality in participation. Not all groups that attend the UNFCCC participate in collective advocacy or network actively. The variation is associated with the capacity and social embeddedness of a given organization. Furthermore, the community working on women's issues has become fragmented over- time. The fragmentation is a result of NGOs' different strategies and understandings of their role in global clima [...]
doi:10.25394/pgs.12477239 fatcat:qxook7yanbcerojri3tebmy46u