Two Centuries of Participation: NGOs and International Governance

This article explores the past and present role of NGOs in international governance. Part One reviews the history of NGO involvement, focusing on the period between 1775 and 1949. It shows how NGO activism helped to engender international organizations. Part Two examines some key issues that arise from the expanding involvement of NGOs. It catalogs the pros and cons of an active NGO role, discusses various functions that NGOs fulfill, and lists ten techniques of NGO participation. Part Two also considers a hypothesis that NGO involvement is cyclical.