By Matthias Finger
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Extra resources for Environmental NGOs in World Politics
7 A second limitation is the very concept of power. What, for example, is the relevance of state ‘power’ when global warming is a function of activities at all levels of industrial organization and when collective action entails governmental cooperation at every level from the local to the international? Or what is state power when communities resist waste facilities or logging operations and effectively thwart national and international policies? 8 A third problem is in the nature of the actors themselves.
20 With world-wide economic recession in the early 1990s, many of these organizations have experienced tighter budgets, and lay-offs. 21 World Wildlife Fund-US (annual report, 1991). 22 Joy Meeker, ‘Greenpeace’ (paper, Syracuse University, NY, 1991); Bob Ostertag, ‘Greenpeace Takes Over the World’, Mother Jones (March/April 1991): 85. , The World Environment 1972–1992, 680. 24 Friends of the Earth, newsletter of Friends of the Earth-US, Washington, DC, 23 (1) (January 1993): 14; Chris Sneddon and Alma Lowry, ‘Friends of the Earth International: The Role of an International Network in Global Environmental Politics’ (paper, April 1992, School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan).
Analytically, bottom-up approaches are more intractable than top-down approaches. Organizations, networks, and projects are diffuse and often ephemeral. There is no single hook, no structure, no ‘system’ analogous to a balance of power or a hegemonic system, upon which to hang one’s analysis, let alone to design a policy. Consequently, it is easy to ignore or downplay such efforts. From both the analytic and policy perspectives, it is easier to concentrate on institutional design and institutional reform, to note the contribution of interest groups, and to concentrate on modifying traditional diplomacy to accommodate the needs of interested actors.
Environmental NGOs in World Politics by Matthias Finger