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date: 28 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The chapter examines the international context within which transnational activism has flourished during the last three decades. Specific attention is paid to those conditions that have allowed for the inclusion of civil society organizations within global governance mechanisms. In order to understand this shift, the chapter analyzes the ideational contribution of civil society organizations in relation to the debate on globalization. A specific pro-civil society participatory norm, now embedded in a number of international organizations, is shown not only to be a contextual condition, but also broadly in line with the politics of norm change forcefully promoted by civil society itself. The chapter ends by analyzing a number of specific institutional cases (UN, EU, WCD) in which this norm has been implemented in a partisan way, favoring professionalized NGOs while marginalizing social movements.

Keywords: norms, transnational activism, globalization, master frames, European Union, United Nations, World Commission on Dams, stakeholders, governance, participatory democracy

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