ONLINE | Book Launch: Against NGOs: A critical perspective on Civil Society, Management, and Development

Grace Hou's picture
March 30, 2023
New York, United States
Subject Fields: 
Diplomacy and International Relations, Humanities

What would development look like if its practitioners and scholars were ‘against NGOs,’ challenging common sense about them? This book presents a critical perspective on NGOs, describing how they emerged as key agents of development over time. Through an interpretative history based on Gramscian concepts it shows how civil society organizations were gradually enlisted in development as non-state technocratic actors. The book argues that management studies and development studies emerged as commonsensical explanations for capitalist crises. Each offered complementary solutions to balance the needs of capital and society, in particular historical circumstances. These solutions also situated civil society as agents of development and vectors of management. Against NGOs fills a gap within the literature of management and development studies through its original discussion of their historical interconnections and shared themes. The book raises provocative questions on what forms of knowledge-politics can respond productively to the crises of our contemporary moment.

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Grace Hou

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