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Accountability and legitimacy of NGOs under authoritarianism: the case of China

Howell, Jude, Fisher, K. R. and Shang, X. (2020) Accountability and legitimacy of NGOs under authoritarianism: the case of China. Third World Quarterly, 41 (1). 113 - 132. ISSN 0143-6597

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Identification Number: 10.1080/01436597.2019.1658520


How non-governmental organisations (NGOs) craft accountability and legitimacy in authoritarian states is poorly understood. We put forward a framework of analysis for capturing the processes of making accountability and legitimacy. We introduce the ideas of first- and second-order accountability and stocks of accountability capital. In authoritarian regimes, building second-order accountability through the accumulation of stocks of accountability is crucial for NGOs’ survival and organisational development and as a path towards gaining first-order accountability. Drawing on a decade of fieldwork on child welfare NGOs in China from 2007 to 2017, we select three case studies with long operational trajectories to illustrate processes of crafting legitimacy and accountability. The research contributes empirically and theoretically to the understanding of accountability in NGOs in authoritarian states through the novel analytic framework and case study of China.

Item Type: Article
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Additional Information: © 2019 Global South Ltd
Divisions: International Development
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations
Date Deposited: 08 Apr 2020 09:03
Last Modified: 30 May 2024 16:45

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