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Political Science General

Bringing Global Governance Home

NGO Mediation in the BRICS States

by (author) Laura A. Henry & Lisa McIntosh Sundstrom

Oxford University Press
Initial publish date
Nov 2021
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    Publish Date
    Nov 2021
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The world's problems - climate change, epidemics, and the actions of multinational corporations - are increasingly global in scale and beyond the ability of any single state to manage. Since the end of the Cold War, states and civil society actors have worked together through global governance initiatives to address these challenges collectively.

While global governance, by definition, is initiated at the international level, the effects of global governance occur at the domestic level and implementation depends upon the actions of domestic actors. NGOs act as "mediators" between global and domestic political arenas, translating and adapting global norms for audiences at home. Yet the role of domestic NGOs in global governance has been neglected relatively in previous research.

Bringing Global Governance Home examines how NGO engagement at the global level shapes domestic governance around climate change, corporate social responsibility, HIV/AIDS, and sustainable forestry. It does so by comparing domestic reception of global standards and practices in the BRICS states (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa). These newly emerging global powers, representing a range of regime types, aspire to become global policy makers rather than mere policy takers and have banded together through periodic summits to devise alternative approaches to economic development and global challenges. Nevertheless, these countries still engage the world primarily through existing global governance institutions that they did not create themselves. Ultimately, this book explores the interplay of international and domestic factors that allow domestically-rooted NGOs to participate globally, and the extent to which that participation shapes their ability to mediate and promote global governance perspectives within the borders of their own countries with varying regimes and state-society relations.

About the authors

Contributor Notes

Laura A. Henry is a Professor in the Department of Government and Legal Studies at Bowdoin College. Her research investigates Russia's post-Soviet politics, focusing on state society relations, NGOs, and social movements. She is particularly interested in environmental politics and the interaction of transnational and local actors. Henry is the author of Red to Green: Environmental Activism in Post-Soviet Russia and the co-editor of Russian Civil Society: A Critical Assessment. Her work has appeared in Environmental Politics, Global Environmental Politics, Post-Soviet Affairs, and Europe-Asia Studies among other journals. She has been a Watson Foundation fellow and a Fulbright Scholar. Her research has received support from the National Security Education Program, the Social Science Research Council, and the International Research and Exchange Board.

Lisa McIntosh Sundstrom is a Professor of Political Science at the University of British Columbia. Her regional area of expertise is Russia, and her major research interests include democratization, human rights, women's rights, legal mobilization, and NGO activism in both domestic and transnational politics. She is co-author of Courting Gender Justice: Russia, Turkey, and the European Court of Human Rights, author of Funding Civil Society: Foreign Assistance and NGO Development in Russia, and the co-editor of Russian Civil Society: A Critical Assessment as well as Global Commons, Domestic Decisions: The Comparative Politics of Climate Change. She has published in scholarly journals including International Organization, Global Environmental Politics, Communist and Post-Communist Studies, Europe-Asia Studies, Problems of Post-Communism, and Human Rights Quarterly.

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