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date: 20 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article raises some critical questions about the role of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in governance; identifies three modal NGO activities, including advocacy, service provision, and regulation; and discusses strands of scholarship and literature on each. It addresses the issues of NGO accountability, capacity, and coordination, and describes their roles as global regulators and enforcers of soft law. The article suggests that, as scholars and practitioners of governance look to NGOs to fill various roles related to advocacy, service provision, or regulation, they should consider both the multi-level character of NGO fields and the tensions which come to the fore as each set of activities unfolds over time.

Keywords: NGOs, governance, advocacy, service provision, regulation, accountability, global regulators, soft law

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