FROM INVISIBLE TO ICON : How to Become an Expert in Your Industry
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Located in Paris, this institute is one of Europe's preeminent business schools, recognized worldwide for offering Europe? Horwath HTL is the world? Skip to main content Press Enter. Sign in. Skip auxiliary navigation Press Enter. Skip main navigation Press Enter. This type is probably found in all developmental settings, but is particularly associated with humanitarian disasters such as the Indian Ocean tsunami. While we would probably like, for the sake of definitional purity, to keep these types outside our definition of global civil society, it is necessary to be aware that these actors too have socio-political effects on their environment.
Even the FLAMINGOs undoubtedly have such effects in terms of the trust populations who have experience of them put into other civil society actors they come across. Finally, there is a category of actors and phenomena that are relatively new, and that most of us would recognise as belonging to global civil society. Their emergence relates to different processes of globalisation. First, there are actors related to migration.
These include diaspora groups, which may be active in the home country, in the host country, or they may indeed be active in one of these realms to achieve ends in the other. In the post-modern version of global civil society, we would have to recognise anti-immigrant groups, in Europe, North America and Australia, but also for instance in South Africa, as one of the rising phenomena in this category. Secondly, there are actors and phenomena that have been able to emerge thanks to the new information and communication technology.
These include Internet forums, social networks such as Facebook, videosites such as Youtube, bloggers, and rapid mobilisation via mobile phone. There is some research emerging on such phenomena, but it is challenged to keep up with fast-movement developments in this field. So what are the trends? Trends could be a catch-all category, but I will use it to make a brief point about language, and a slightly more comprehensive one about an important shift in organisational structure. The first point relates specifically to those actors in global civil society who are engaged in funding other global civil society actors, particularly across borders.
They seem to be continuously in search of better terms to describe themselves, what they do, and who they fund. Most are now deeply uncomfortable with the notion of being a charity, or even a donor. Some are even in denial about being an NGO. Those who are funded cannot be called beneficiaries or subcontractors. I suspect that the constant change of terms is a symptom of a deeper discomfort, on the part of western donor organisations, about the political economy of the aid industry, and a related reluctance to spell out very clearly to their own sources of funding and beneficiaries alike what values they stand for, and which ones they do not espouse.
But the final trend I want to discuss in part two of this survey, is the gradual shift, among many of the formally organised actors of global civil society, from a hierarchic to a networked form of organisation. There are probably different origins of the network form. In their struggle against all forms of patriarchy, they also challenged the quintessential organisational form of the twentieth century, the pyramid structure, which can be seen as inspired by the patriarchal extended family. They organised instead as networks, without clear leadership roles. A very different origin of the network form is with the early computer geeks who explored open source code and accidentally invented the Internet.
Both in turn inspired the anti-capitalist movement of the early 21st century that made much of its networked, leaderless nature. The idea of network as opposed to hierarchy has even found a small following in the corporate sector, especially with ICT and new technology companies. But it has been especially influential in global civil society, where thousands of platforms, networks and coalitions have been born in the last decade or two. The move from a hierarchical or Fordist to a network model is one in which all actors are nodes, theoretically equal but differentially connected.
The move to networks partly reflects a real shift in practices, but it is also a shift in thinking about what are the most efficient and ethical ways of working. The pyramid structure and the network are each associated with a set of mutually opposed connotations, as follows:. Research by Jordan and Van Tuijl , Taschereau and Bolger and Carpenter suggests that transnational activist networks sometimes obscure rather than resolve tensions.
These include differences of opinion over strategy, different points of departure in terms of norms and values, uneven information flows, and of course power differentials. Most successful networks regularly adapt their structure in order to try and manage, if not necessarily resolve, them. Charli Carpenter has discovered another important problem with networks. Intuitively, we assume that a problem, when felt in different locations and requiring policy change at different levels, may lead to the emergence of a transnational activist network.
However, Carpenter has shown that powerful nodes in existing networks play a key role in brokering which issues become global campaigns and which do not. Her important example is that of children born of rape. What we see in global civil society depends on what value lens we use to define global civil society.
The lens used by participants, donors, and academics again shapes social reality, but not always in the way we expect. There is now a broad acceptance that counting the number of NGOs, globally or in a particular country, is not a particularly meaningful measure of social reality whatever definition of global civil society one uses, unless it is a tautological one, from which no further implication can be drawn for social change.
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Are we willing to abandon broad assessments of quality and quantity of civil society in favour of contextualised micro-understandings? If so, academics and funders alike must think through the policy implications of doing so. HR on Purpose. Steve Browne. True Fit. Jim Beqaj. CHF 9. Instant Team Building. Brad Sugars. Storytelling Made Easy. Michael Hauge. Dear Client.
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