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Joy in the Present
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1975

International Nongovernmental Organizations and their Functions

- / -

with Kjell Skjelsbaek
International Peace Research Institute, Oslo


Published in: A.J.R. Groom and Paul Taylor (Eds): Functionalism; theory and practice in international relations. London. University of London Press. 1975.

1. Introduction

The purpose of this paper is to describe and discuss a particular set of actors in the global social system which, in an historical perspective, may be considered newcomers on the scene. They are frequently called international organizations (INGOs)(1), and this term covers a wide variety of organizational units with many and different functions. Our objective is not to put INGOs into a comprehensive theoretical model, but to give a description of them and their relationships and activities using ideas and terms borrowed from the theory of functionalism. First of all we shall discuss the context and concept of INGOs. Then we shall present some data showing the growth and spread of the INGO system. The following section is a presentation of what INGOs typically do, and what functions they perform. On the basis of this we will then try to outline what we think are likely future trends, and we conclude this paper with a number of policy recommendations aimed at increasing the effectiveness of INGOs and improving their relationship with other kinds of actors in the international system.

2. Context and concept of INGOs

In this section we want to widen the range of types of organization (rather than organizations) prior to isolating those entities that conventionally are termed INGOs. The suggestion therefore is that many statements made elsewhere in this text are also applicable to styles of organization found outside these narrow limits.

2.1. The Concept of an Organization
There are many factors which determine the manner in which different functions are associated with particular styles of organization drawn from the wide range of possibilities of kinds of organization. An attempt at isolating some different combinations is presented in Table 1, which in no way is intended to be definitive, but is really an indication of how some different styles of organization may be distinguished. One example of how a need satisfied by a conventional organization may be satisfied by a functional equivalent in the table is the case of a "subscription ship". In one setting it maybe necessary to have interaction between members via an "organization", while in another the need for such interaction may be satisfied by a journal to which individuals can subscribe. Another example is the case of an "agreement" which may be considered an hyperf ormal organization. In one setting a written or even verbal agreement may satisfactorily regulate relations between members, in another an equivalent agreement may have to be administered by a secretariat via an organization. Where formal agreement is not possible, an 15 organization" may even perform the necessary mediating or nego tiating functions between its members. A final example is the case of a meeting, and particularly large regular meetings, in a series. In terms of activity, this maybe more significant than a small normally constituted organization.

One consequence of focusing on conventional organizations only is that functional equivalents, particularly in non- Western cultures(2), are excluded from the analysis thus introducing cultural bias and jeopardizing comparative studies. Another consequence is that even within a certain culture an `organizational analysis" will exclude many styles of organization performing functions which mesh with those of the organizations we are trying to isolate for closer scrutiny in this paper, thus rendering the analysis incomplete. A complicating feature is that a conventional organization may, for example, perform functions for a "membership", but at the same time produce a periodical which serves as a focal point for a
subscri ership" which is not identical nor coterminous with the membership. A further complicating feature derives from the dynamics of a social system in that the growth or decay of a particular organization form may be accompanied by transference of functions to another organization form, for instance due to change in technology. The ability to accomplish this transference may be hindered by inertial features, such as vested interests identified with particular patterns of organization.
Finally, it is useful to consider what may be termed "potential" organization, namely the facility with which a network of interacting bodies can gel out appropriate organization forms and combinations of members in response to each new detected need. Such organizations come into existence when required but otherwise only exist potentially their potential existence obviates the need for a permanent organization in the domain in question (3).

2.2. International vs. national.
There is a series of problems connected with this dimension. Some organizations may have members from one or two nations, but financial support from one only (4). Their activities may be geared towards the international system as such, towards the domestic situation in a specified set of countries or towards one single country regardless of the structure of the membership and/or financial contributions. In addition there is a difficulty connected with the distinction between manifest and latent functions. Activities of typically national NGOs to solve national problems -for instance a strike organized by a trade union -- may very well have unintended repercussions in other nations thus affecting inter-nation relationships. Any cutting point is therefore bound to be arbitrary (see Table 2) . The conventional requirements are that an INGO must have members and financial support from at least three different countries and the intention to cover operations in as many.
There is a further problem for many organizations in that the nationality of members, funding and activity or office location may be considered of little significance to the members -- the organization is not territorially-orien ed. In such cases the term "transnational" is more appropriate (5) .

2.3. Nongovernmental vs. governmental
The concept of a "nongovernmental" organization is an extremely difficult one to handle satisfactorily. The definition at the inter national level derives from a compromise wording in the early days of the United Nations (6).
Table 3 shows some of the many borderline areas (points 2- 13) which are treated as "nongovemmental" . The current crisis in INGO-UN relations (7) is in part due to the fact that the narrow Western concept of an NGO is not re- examined. (There is also a suspicion that the prefix "non-" may translate badly into some non-Indo-European language and culture settings and give the sense of "anti-", or at least a "non-kosher" connotation.) More or less successful imitations exist as functional equivalents in non-Western societies, but frequently with a strong governmental component making them "mixed" or "intersect" organizations. (8) The government or party influenced "NGOs" in socialist countries tend to be viewed as political front organizations by the West, whereas the socialist countries tend to view Western "NGOs" as fronts for secret service activities. A more sophisticated typology is required.

2.4. Non-profit vs. Profit
Within the UN context, which originated the term NGO, there is no specific restriction on recognition of nongovernmental organizations which themselves have profit making objectives. To date however, of the 350 organizations in consultative status with ECOSOC, more have such objectives -- although some, as for example the various trade associations, are clearly attempting to facilitate profit making on the part of their members (9). Many aspects of nonprofit status are indicated in Table 4.
Tax law may further confuse the issue by recognizing some nonprofit bodies as having "charitable status" or as being "benevolent" or "philanthropic". This varies very much from country to country.

2.5. Voluntary vs. Nongovernmental

"Voluntary" is as subject to confusion as "nongovernmental". Many INGOs have "voluntary bodies" as members, and may even have programmes administered by "volunteers". But on the other hand, many differ from profit-making bodies only in the lack of a prof it- objective, and would oppose the label "voluntary". (10) There is a tend ency to treat "voluntary agencies" as a special class of INGOs with programmes for developing countries.

2.6 Legal Status
INGOs are fictional entities in terms of international law. They are international "outlaws". (11) This is true of both profit and nonprofit organizations. No international convention exists to supply either with legal status. In both cases they are treated as national organizations in the country where they are headquartered (12) and as "foreign" organizations in other countries. This situation has had a marked negative influence on the thinking of scholars unwilling to recognize any body not accorded existence by law. Even at the national level, however, many organizations remaining unincorporated for a variety of reasons -- one of which may be the illegality of their activities.

Organized crime is an important feature of the social system, at least through the influence of the "nationwide cartel and confederation", "the single loosely-knit conspiracy" operating in the United States, and most probably through other related international crime syndicates, about which information is unobtainable(*) . In some respects organized crime resembles a set of normal profit-making enterprises, although illegal; in others the underlying "family structure" (as with the Tong secret societies) are significant; or, as a totality, it may be a network loosely-knit structures, possibly with a central arbitrating "commission" International organized crime is almost entirely ignored in analyses of governmental and business systems due to its "abnormalities", but aside from thus falling into a catchall category of INGOs it may through its functions as a network of pressure groups or established structures and properties bear a strong resemblance to the legitimate network of associations (as well as infiltrating some', such as unions and trade associations) Such organization may perform some positive functions. (13)

2.7 Salience
Organizations may be distinguished by their visibility to the ublic eye. There appears to be a tendency to study the most visible. (14) The following range should however be considered:

(a) secret societies (e.g. Freemasons), organized crime (e.g. Mafia), secret services (e.g. CIA), and liberation movements.

(b) deliberately not publicized for political reasons (e.g. Bildeberg Group), for reasons of profit (e.g. certain trade associations cum cartels) .

(c) known but closed to the "nonqualified" public (e.g. certain professional association) or bodies with deliberately high entrance fees (e.g. exclusive with international reciprocity of membership) .

(d) known and open to the interested.

(e) deliberately publicized (e.g. certain mass movements and prosyletizing organizations) .

**** "Our knowledge of the structure which makes 'organized crime' organized is somewhat comparable to the knowledge of Standard Oil which could be gleaned from interviews with gasoline station attendants."

2.8. Duration

There is a a marked tendency in sociology and political science to focus on "permanent" organizations -- particularly since they are reliable generators of comparable data for diachronic studies. Organizations are, of course, not permanent and, in the case of business enterprises the average lif e may be a s low a s f ive years in the U. S. Less easily documented, for example, is the organization associated a meeting -- which may extend over five years for international meetings of 10,000 people -- but which nevertheless may substitute for a possibly ad hoc organization, as in the case of regular meeting series or a one-off meeting.

Of increasing importance are temporary bodies specially Incorporated for a specific task and generally grouping a number of permanent bodies. The most ambitious examples of these are the International Geophysical Year and the International Quiet Sun Year (15), which grouped a wide range of bodies. The boundary between such activities and international "programmes" launched, for example, by the United Nations, may be unclear. Such bodies as the United Nations Development Program gelled out of other UN programmes as an "organization only halfway through the first UN Development Decade which became its major concern. Programmes and meetings may act as functional substitutes for conventional organizations.

It is a mute point as to what degree of impermanence should be considered a cut off point. The informal temporary alliances between delegations with respect to an agenda point at an international conference can be of great significance during the hours they last. It is in this time period that much "organization" is created, modified and dissolved. A process oriented perspective would attempt to isolate any relative invariance as being significant.

2.9 Levels of Coordination
There is a prevailing assumption, particularly in UN circles, that every international NGO has national association members or branches. There is also a tendency to assume that the secretariat or executive committee has no constitutional limitation of its control over a national affiliate (16). The reality of the situation is that there are many combinations of membership and degrees of control. Of particular significance is the emergence of international NGOs which themselves group other international NGOs (e.g. the Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences) . In some cases, the member international NGOs may themselves have international NGOs as members (e.g. the International Council of Scientific Unions) and the latter type may in turn be member of several general conferences of international NGOs (e.g. the Conference of Nongovernmental Organizations in Consultative Status with ECOSOC) . This phenomena may repeat itself at the national level (e.g. the American Council of Learned Societies) to give a complex multi-level structure separating the ultimate member from the highest level of coordination. This structuring and the potential of this mechanism has not been subject to academic scrutiny.

2. 10. Cross -modality (17)
A given organization's Programme may be restricted to a mix of one or two concerns --- typically:

  • problem focus i.e. where solutions to real world problems is of major concern
  • discipline focus, i.e. where development of methodology, skills or theory is primary
  • profession focus, i.e. where job security, status, remuneration, or possibly ethics, is primary.

More sophisticated organizations are faced with the interaction between these concerns and their integration within a viable and socially responsible strategy. The extent of this cross-modal integration could be an important means of highlighting particularly significant bodies. Other possible modes of importance might include: policy-making, pro gramme management,. education and public information. Lack of cross-modal coordination tends to give rise to 'spastic' efforts in the social system.

2. 11 Multidiscip linarity
Organizations may also be usefully distinguished by the range of disciplines which they attempt to Work with or relate to. Many international organizations are concerned to interrelate different relevant perspectives expressed through member or sub-sections activity. To the extent that such activity is coordinated through complex multilevel structures, the integrative potential of the top most layer is high. There do, however, appear to be certain parallels between behaviour with respect to geographical and functional territor which merit study to avoid a repetition in a new domain of the existing territorial conflict. (44)

2.12. Participativeness
The participativeness of an organization is especially important in the case of nongovernmental organizations. Potential members or supporters experiencing an organization as non-part icipat ive will tend to allocate their resources to more participative groups. NGO activity as a whole may in some respect be considered a participative alternative to governmental activity -- although there is a definite bureaucratization of NGO activity which suggests that youth and volunteer movements represent a still more participative wave. There is need for measures of degree of part icipat ivenes s, for example:

  • Decisions are reached through the unanimous sense of the meeting, or in face-to-face groups.
  • Decisions are by majority vote with every facility for the expression of minority views.
  • Decisions are made by an in-group and then approved by an assembly in a democratic vote following appropriate speeches by the leaders.
  • Decisions are made by an in-group and then presented in appropriate speeches by leaders.
  • Decisions are made by a charismatic leader or dictator.

2.13. Autonomy
It is a truism that no organization exists in splendid isolation. However, the extent of organizational inter-dependence is not well recognized. This may extend to a point where the boundaries between organizations or their sub-sections are fixed arbitrarily for legal, fiscal or funding convenience but do not constitute a meaningful boundary in the working activity of most of those involved. Organizations may be conceived as embedded in a network to a degree in some cases that the links in the network between organizations are of g reater importance than the nodes, i.e. the organizations themselves. (18)

2.14. Conventional INGOs

The above paragraphs indicate the range and complexity of nongovernmental organizations in society. The UN system faced with this complexity in 1946 introduced, in Article 71 of its Charter a negative definition of NGO which in fact established no clear cut off points on any of the above dimensions. UN practice has, however, resulted in recognition as NGO of Western-style "permanent organizations" with an "established headquarter", a constitution and, where possible, members in a "substantive number" of countries.

This legalistic definition has tended to disguise the sociological reality although convenient for some practical administrative purposes. Clearly it only discloses a small proportion of the activity which would be detected with a more comprehensive acceptance of styles of social organization. The legalistic definition appears to result in embarrassment over such categories of organization as churches (e.g. the Roman Catholic Church), youth movements, "people organizations" (e.g. in the style in P.R. of China) and liberation movements. A new attitude and terminology is required. Perhaps "transnational association networks" would be better -- although to it should be added such adjectives as dynamic, evolving, adaptive, participative, and the like.

In the remainder of this article attention will be confined to conventional INGOs as recognized in the Yearbook of International Organizations. This means (i) permanent bodies with offices, officers and a constitution, (ii) not created by intergovernmental agreement, (iii) members, officers, and funds from at least 3 countries, (iv) no redistribution of profits to members, (v) non secret, (vi) democratic officers election procedure, (vii) autonomous, excluding subgroups of organizations, (viii) currently active, (ix) excluding: (non-democratic) religious orders, educational or training institutions or social and entertainment clubs. This leaves us with a total of 2281 INGOs in 1970, 288 of which were European Common Market or EFTA business and professional groups . (19)

2 .15. Some Illustrations

The 2281 organizations make up a very heterogeneous group. Among them are the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the International Federation of Kennel Clubs, the International Society for Plant Geography and Ecology, the World Council of Churches (WCC), the International Commission of Rules for the Approval of Electrical Equipment (CEE), and the International Olympic Committee (IOC). In addition, there are international trade unions, international political organizations, for instance the Socialist International, a large number of professional, commercial, agricultural and cultural organizations. Other INGOs deal with problems of health, peace, documentation and f inance. There seems to be almost no limit to the number of activities that can be and will be organized internationally.

3. Growth and spread of the INGO system

We have selected a few tables based on the data collected and published by the Union of International Associations (UIA), an INGO situated in Brussels. A more detailed presentation and discussion of these and related tables can be found elsewhere. (2 0)

3.1. Growth in Numbers and Memberships
Figure 1 shows the number of INGOs found per five-year period since 1850. Before 1895 the number never exceeded fifty, but in the subsequent period lasting to the onset of World War I there was a sharp increase. The war killed the boom, but after 1919 the world witnessed a resurgence of INGOs which lasted until a new political catastrophy emerged in the thirties. Since 1945 there has been an impressive and steady growth of organizations. Table 5 shows the number of active INGOs since 1954. It has practically doubled in the course of those sixteen years, which means that the mean annual increase has been somewhere between 4% and 5%. (EEC and EFTA INGOs are excluded from this as well as from the other tables.) The mean number of countries represented in each organization has also increased considerably. It was 21.0 in 1951 and 25.7 in 1966, a growth of 22 per cent in fifteen years. These figures partly reflect the large number of new nations, of course, but it nevertheless means that INGOs generally have become more representative.

3.2. National Representations across Regions
In spite of the growth of the mean number of national representations, representativeness still remains one of the key problems in the INGO system, as this is illustrated in Table 3. (21) The Northwestern region has more than half of all the national representations in INGOs. The figure drops considerably from 1951 to 1966, but this is in large part due to the increasing number of nations in some of the other regions. The number of nations now seems to have reached it saturation point, and we therefore expect less reduction of the Northwestern bias in the future to come unless there is a conscious attempt to change this. On the basis of other data regarding the site of headquarters, the nationality of INGO officers and the like, it is safe to conclude that the higher the level in the organizational structure at which involvement takes place, the larger is the percentage of Northwest representation. Moreover, the higher the organizational level, the more slowly the percentage of Northwest representation diminishes. Thus the INGO system is to a large extent, but certainly not exclusively, a Northwest dominated system.

4. Structure and functions of INGOs

Because INGOs are so varied in size and composition and operate in so many different issue areas, it is difficult to summarize their features in a few words. We shall first try to describe what immediately meets the eye, the upper part of the iceberg, and then examine the submerged problem of their latent functions and importance for other types of social actor. Finally we shall discuss the role of INGOs in relation to certain problem areas.

4.1. Membership Composition

The composition of the membership of INGOs varies tremendously from organization to organization. It may consist of individuals, national organizations, governmental agencies or their officers, national branches, business enterprises, international regional groupings of organizations, international universal organizations, or any mixture of these. There are presently approximately a hundred INGOs which partly or exclusively have other INGOs as members either exclusively or in part. Needless to say, the size of the membership also varies appreciably. The International Committee of Food Science and Technology consists of 28 individuals while the International Co-operative Alliance is made up of more than 600,000 cooperative societies whose membership totals 224, 000, 000 people. Only three nations can boast of a larger population.

4.2. Activities of INGOs

One of the most important objectives of almost any INGO is to coordinate the activities of its members whether they are individuals or organizations in one form or another. Most international secretariats have little formal regulatory power, so the coordination usually takes the form of suggestions, exchange of views and information, and bargaining during organizational meetings. Exchange of information is also an important function in itself. An organization frequently serves as a clearing-house between its members f or the sector in which the INGO has competence. Some of them publish reference works, others compile bibliographical and documentation material. Scientific INGOs frequently administer the exchange of scientific data. A large proportion of all INGOs have their own periodicals which keep their members and other persons concerned informed about the state of affairs between their general conferences. On an average, such general meetings are held every second year while the executive boards meet more frequently, usually once or twice a year.

A few INGOs not only try to coordinate and encourage research among their members, but are also actively engaged in research projects themselves. Direct INGO involvement in projects has certain advantages when the research includes cross-national comparisons. A related pair of functions is education and training. A large number of INGOs organize exchange of scholars and students. An important part of the programme of the World Crafts Council, for instance, is to exchange apprentices and artists. INGOs also frequently provide opportunities for "on the job training" in connection with development aid programmes. Some of these programmes include education and training of the local population.

With respect to development aid, it is too often forgotten that national and international private nonprofit organizations and volunteers make a very substantial contribution to development. The Development Assistance Committee of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development estimated that aid resources handled by nonprofit bodies exceed US $ 1 billion annually of which at least $ 700 million ($ 840 million in 1970) is raised from private resources (excluding foundations and missionary societies). For a comparison of aid flows to developing countries see Table 7. In 1968, some 25,000 people from developed countries were working as volunteers in the low-income countries. This figure had increased five-fold in six years and was then equivalent to nearly a quarter of all technical assistance personnel serving abroad under official programmes (22).

A limited number of organizations have specialized in training courses for diplomats and other civil servants dealing with international politics. Finally it should be stressed that INGOs educate a large section of the general public through their branches. This is done in study groups, at meetings, and conferences, and in a number of other ways as is well known.

The establishment and revision of technical standards is another activity of some INGOs. The need for standardization of technical equipment and measurement has been one of the driving forces behind the growth of international organization over the past hundred years and it has the side-effect of easing transnational communication in other areas. A related activity is the elaboration of professional and ethical codes and norms of operation. The World Medical Association, for example, is concerned with the ethics of medical doctors.

INGOs have often been described as international pressure groups, and this is perhaps the part of their activity that the political scientist will be most interested in. INGOs may focus on many different kinds of targets in order to promote their interest. Sometimes they try to influence national governments, but our impression is that this is practically always done through members in the respective countries. On the other hand, intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) are usually approached directly (sometimes on invitation) but there are instances in which INGOs have tried to influence the decision of an IGO by asking their national branches to exert influence on the respective governments. This latter approach seems more practical when an INGO tries to influence the content of an intergovernmental convention. Multinational business enterprises constitute another target of the political activities of some INGOs. They are of particular concern to international trade unions and consumer organizations, but other INGOs with a general interest in peace and development have also become aware of the mounting power of international business. (2 3) Finally, many INGOs try to influence the mass media. This is, of course, the case for most of those who seek mass support, but several limited membership organizations also wish to have their message distributed to a larger audience or to draw attention to specific problems. This may be done, for instance, in connection with the visit of a secretary general or a president to a national branch or local group.

Related to the pressure group activities is the consultative function many INGOs are performing, particularly vis-à-vis the United Nations, some of its specialized agencies, the Council of Europe and the OAS. About twenty per cent of all INGOs are formally given consultative status with one or more of these IGOs. Some of the problems involved in this relationship will be discussed below.

INGOs often serve as channels of information complementary to those of conventional diplomacy. Many organizations have good contacts and recruit members from the "grass roots" level, and they are less subject to short-term political considerations. This information may, of course, be used both positively and negatively.
In addition to serving as information channels, INGOs also serve, as recruitment channels. In response to a questionnaire, about five per cent of the secretary generals who had made up their plans for future employment, said that they expected to serve in IGOs. Others will be involved to a varying extent in international programmes. sometimes serving in developing countries. Experience from INGOs is, supposedly, useful for national civil servants who, to a smaller or greater extent, become involved in international cooperation on the governmental level.

Parallel to the recruitment function is the participation function of INGOs. (2 4) They make it possible for persons other than diplomats and high ranking civil servants to participate in international affairs (in the broadest sense of that term) . It is true that a stable leadership in member organizations of INGOs often monopolizes the international contacts so that it should be possible to increase the degree of participation by such means as greater rotation of personnel in delegations to conferences.

Although social clubs (perhaps unwisely) are excluded from inventories of INGOs, there still remains a number of organizations that has value expression as one of their most important functions. Value expression is also a significant by-product of the activities of many others. An example of an organization in which comradeship is particularly evident, is the International Association of Skal Clubs.

An explicit objective of many INGOs is to increase international understanding. This is done in a number of ways, of which increased participation is one of the more important ones. Other means such as information dissemination and exchange programmes have been discussed above.
Some INGOs are mainly protective, that is, they try to defend the interests of their members. The protective element may be strong in INGOs made up of minority groups (the Celtic League) or exile organizations.

Another INGO activity which deserves mention is the continuing attempt to integrate and formulate member concerns both for their own internal purposes and for third parties. This process goes on in all kinds of organizations, but one should pay special attention to it on the international level because, in addition to all ordinary causes of disagreement, there may be differences of opinion on the basis of loyalty to different nation states.

For a number of reasons nongovernmental organizations are often able to respond quickly to new needs created by changes in the environment (breakthroughs in technology, natural disasters, etc.) or by changes of policies or quality of services provided by government and business, either prior to an awareness of the need in government or business, or after their programmes have terminated or deteriorated. INGOs can therefore perform the function of "lookout" institutions for society. In this manner INGOs can serve as functional equivalents or substitutes of other actors.

Finally we want to mention that some INGOs see it as their duty to make relevant and interpret international programmes to national members or special constituencies. This is one way support for international programmes is mobilized.

The above presentation of INGO activities and goals is by no means exhaustive although we think we have covered most of the essential features.

4.3. INGOs, their actual and potential Impact

International nongovernmental organizations mean different things to different people. They are therefore called by different names and there is a lack of awareness of them as a class, as a whole. In this section we shall discuss the relevance of INGOs first to different classes of actors, and second, to different problem areas.

4.3.1. INGOs, functional for whom and in which way?
At the present time, and partly due to the lack of an elaborated interorganizational conceptual framework, too few INGOs perceive themselves as part of a network of actors (other than in the meta physical sense used when referring to the "international community") This network of organizations is constantly changing and evolving as different parts of it perceive and respond to new problems. Sub-networks of INGOs (perhaps in combination with non-INGOs) with a special interest in common come into existence for a period of joint action and are implicitly mandated to meet the challenge. A given INGO may be participating, terminating (or commencing participation) in any number of such partial networks. (25)

The lack of a network perception leads INGOs to be less functional for each other than they could be. There are, nevertheless, groups of international nongovernmental organizations that cooperate rather effectively with each other, particularly when they have a strong interest in the same relatively limited problem area such as care for the handicapped and training of social workers) . INGOs with very different objectives also sometimes cooperate in order to promote the interests of INGOs as a class and to improve their status in the international system. This seems to be one of the main functions of the conferences of INGOs in consultative status with ECOSOC and UNESCO.

The functions of INGOs for their members are manifold, but to a large extent these have already been covered above. To the IGOs, the INGOs are of importance in three respects. Firstly, INGOs provide pools of competence on which IGOs can draw in the execution of specialized projects. This is recognized in the consultative relationship. INGO information may be more detailed over longer periods of time or information which does not enter governmental channels for political reasons may be collected by INGOs which are thus able to detect problems long before there is any trace of them in the ordinary information channels of IGOs. A good example is the whole environment issue, of which aspects have been for many years the major concern of the following:

  • International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (founded 1948),
  • European Federation for the Protection of Waters (1956)
  • International Association on Water Pollution Research (1962)
  • International Association against Noise (1959)
  • International Union of Air Pollution prevention Associations (1964) and others.

The United Nations is taking action on this issue following the UN Human Environment Conference.

Secondly, INGOs may carry out projects for IGOs under contract or carry on programmes which would otherwise have to be performed by IGOs. (Unfortunately, the current tendency is for an IGO to assess an INGO in terms of whether it contributes to the IGOs programmes rather than in terms of its effectiveness in tackling the problems the IGO and INGO have in common; in short, the INGOs are seen as satellites of the IGO.)

Thirdly, INGOs represent an extremely useful channel by which IGOs can influence special sectors of the public to support IGO programmes, for example, to create the political will to support development programmes. This leads some IGO officials to treat and assess INGOs as a new media to disseminate the current IGO message.

A fourth unrecognized function of interest to IGOs with social development programmes, is the extent to which increase in INGO activity in itself is a form of social development - - to the extent that social development may be interpreted as the complexification of the organization of a society in terms of number, variety and interlinkages.

The way in which INGOs are relevant for national governments depends not only on the nature of the INGOs involved, but also on the kind of national government. As in the case of IGOs, INGOs can provide the governmental sector with specialized opinion and technical information, and this will be particularly welcome when the government concerned does not have adequate expertise in a particular area. Furthermore, INGOs may channel funds, technical and other forms of assistance to governments, and this may be especially important when other national governments are, for political reasons, debarred from assisting.

What are the functions of INGOs vis-à-vis multinational business enterprises? We have already mentioned that there are international consumer associations, and we expect these to play an increasingly important role in line with the growing consciousness of consumers in many countries. They may serve as effective checks on these international manufacturing and service organizations that up to now have had the opportunity to "divide and rule" with respect to their scattered markets and sites of operation. International trade unions provide another kind of check on international business, although, according to some observers, they are not as effective as they could be. A difficult problem is, for instance, the tendency of multinational enterprises to exploit wage differences between countries in such a way that workers in high-pay and low-pay countries may find it difficult to formulate a common policy. In addition, several other INGOs which cannot be classified as trade unions and consumer organizations, are relevant for multinational business. Together they represent large segments of actual or potential markets and thereby provide channels of Information about products, advertising, and buyers' reaction to this. (The international motor organizations wittingly or unwittingly performs these functions vis-à-vis the international automobile industry.)

The INGOs themselves constitute an important market and have a significant effect on the tourism industry through the many widely dispersed international meetings to which they give rise. (26) Their presence in a country, or that of IGO offices for that matter, is not a drain on the host country, as used to be thought, but a minor source of foreign currency. The economic side-effects of the presence of many international bodies may, however, be extremely important in terms of, for example, use of the country's airline, hotel accommodation of incoming visitors, tendency to organize meetings in cities with many similar institutions, use of local services (printing, etc.) . In small cities like Geneva and Brussels with relatively large numbers of foreign personnel, their internationalizing impact on the society maybe quite significant. Brussels is unique as a host to major headquarters or regional offices of IGOs, INGOs, and multinational corporations.

To the extent that multinational corporations take a significant interest in their social and environmental context and the social consequences of their activities, INGOs can provide an appropriate channel for application of the resources (skills, communications channels, contacts, funding, etc.) of multinationals to social
problems. (2 7) This opportunity may prove increasingly significant for multinationals, given the growing business-career disillusionment of the young elites from which they attempt to recruit personnel for key positions.

A very important function of some INGOs is to be mechanisms for interaction and protection of competing businesses. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is a prominent representative of this category of INGOs, but there are many others. They work out standards, defend their common interests vis-à-vis governments, IGOs and the general public, and regulate competition. Multinational enterprises sometimes become members directly, but the usual practice is for their subsidiaries to join. It is very interesting that some of these INGOs serve as arbitrators in conflicts between business enterprises on the national and international level. An example of such an organization is the Inter-American Commercial Arbitration Commission. In addition many of these organizations develop expertise and sponsor research that is utilized by their members, that is, business corporations. International professional organizations also possess specialized knowledge that is used in business. Furthermore, the professional organizations, together with the international trade unions, serve as vehicles for multinational employee concern.
International nongovernmental organizations perform many functions that are very valuable to academics. We mentioned above their coordinating activities, research activities and information dissemination. The primary purpose of a large proportion of INGOs is simply to serve as communication channels between scholars. Furthermore, scientific INGOs provide academics with a channel through which they can make their research conclusions known to government, both on the national and on the international level. Finally, INGOs provide scholars with a means of formalizing the many "invisible colleges" (2 9), scientific milieus, and thus contributes to the universalization of science.

Next we want to consider what INGOs do for underprivileged persons. The organizations working in this area seem to be very responsive to any form of discrimination, social injustice or physical depravation. However, one side-effect of the very existence of these organizations, regardless of which issue area they are particularly concerned with, is to perpetuate a more or less elitist system insofar as they provide unequal status opportunities for those involved. If more thought was given to new forms of INGOs, this side-effect could possibly be counteracted.

Finally, INGOs contribute to the degree of pluralism in world society by providing isolated and special interest persons and specialists with a vehicle through which they can facilitate the information and furtherance of their activities. (A quick glance through any compilation of names of INGOs will convince the reader that some of the interests are quite off -beat.)

4.3.2. INGOs and World Problems

The importance of INGOs depends, of course, to a large extent on the degree to which they can contribute to the solution of grave world problems. There are, as we know, many of these, but the overriding one seems to be the absence of peace.

Like Galtung, we conceive of peace as the absence of violence, of which there are two sorts. (2 8) First, there is personal violence which becomes manifest when person A physically hurts person B (for instance, by shooting him during a battle). Second, there is structural violence which is analogous to exploitation and social injustice. This kind of violence usually occurs in a social structure which is set up in such a way that some people become rich (in terms of life expectancy, income, education, individual freedom and what not) and other people remain or become poor. This relationship may or may not be realized by the members of such a social structure. The net result of both kinds of violence is a reduced quality of life and/or shorter life expectancy due to untimely deaths.

INGOs can and do contribute to the reduction of violence in two different ways. (30) They can take direct action aimed at preventing war and reducing social injustice, and they can contribute to both ends by their mere existence without any deliberate efforts to promote peace. Given two different kinds of violence, this leaves us with four distinct ways in which INGOs contribute to peace:


(i) They do many different things to prevent wars between nations. Indeed, 45 per cent of a highly representative sample of INGOs considered that "to work for peace between all nations and peoples in the world" was one of their objectives. Among the different strategies are: Peace research and education, political action, exchange of persons and information and deliberate attacks on national loyalties of members and non-members.

(ii) Fifty-one Per cent of the same sample stated that they worked "for social and economic development in the world", and have already discussed some of the ways in which this is done. An important trait in this picture is the transfer of know-how to developing countries. The problem here is that aid to development is often felt as an attempt to super impose Western culture in non-Western societies. The scepticism against INGOs in some developing countries is probably sound and should be taken very seriously.

(iii) The very existence of a network of INGOs have an effect on the structure of nation states. Conflicts between nations or groups of nations frequently lead to the termination of most forms of interaction between them. This has at least two consequences. The opponents become less functionally dependent on each other, and their negative perceptions of each other become mutually reinforced. The setting is ideal for overt conflict behaviour (war) .(31) It seems, however, that interaction through INGOs is less easily stopped than, for instance, trade and diplomatic relations. Although there are difficulties, INGOs relatively frequently penetrate the wall between the Warsaw Pact and NATO countries, they frequently include both Arab and Israeli members, and representatives of divided countries meet more often in INGO settings than one would expect by chance. (32) one reason for this is that INGOs constitute a multilateral form of inter action. It is often hard to withdraw from or resist becoming member of an organization in which adversaries are members because it is most likely that it includes quite a few "friends" too. Another reason is that INGOs are non governmental. They do not get much public attention, and delegates to meetings and conferences do not have to participate in whatever official capacity they may have.

(iv) To what extent can the structure of the INGO network contribute to the reduction of structural violence on the world level? First of all, being represented in INGOs may be a coveted goal in itself, an indication of the prestige or status of a nation. Second, being represented in many INGOs makes it easier to obtain what is currently a highly regarded asset - specialized information. In addition, it may be easier to get funds for certain purposes and so on. Thus, to the extent that the distribution of the value "INGO -membership" is less skewed than and uncorrelated with the distribution of other values in the international system, say GNP per capita, the INGO system contributes to the estab lishment of social justice between nations. Empirical investigations show that the number of INGO memberships is less unevenly distributed across nations than most indicators of social, economic and technological development, and the correlation between the number of representations and these indicators is positive and moderately high. Consequently, INGOs make a contribution to social justice through their activities although this is somewhat counteracted by their membership distribution.


Other problems
INGOs are also important to society in the process by which new values are generated by the emergence of new problems and in the process by which society debates which problems are of overriding importance. They also keep a watchful eye on other potentially- significant problems. INGOs clamour for social recognition of the (often obscure) problems around which they were created. It is in this respect that they appear to perform a function for the psycho- social system analogous to aspects of population dynamics, which maintains the variety of a gene-pool and thus provides the best guarantee of racial survival. Efforts by any one organization to coordinate other bodies to force them to subscribe to a particular value system, or to force them into any position of dependence for needed resources, information or. recognition lead to a reduction in variety. These need to be carefully assessed for patterns of structural violence carried over with elitist -imperialist thinking habits.

4.4. Ignorance about INGOs and other Problems
In this section we shall first deal with the problems arising from the wide-spread ignorance about INGOs which is to the detriment not only of the nongovernmental organizations themselves, but also to those persons and institutions who are unable to benefit from the services INGOs provide. Then follows a discussion of some other problems of INGOs not directly related to ignorance about them.

4.4.1. Ignorance about INGOs and its consequences

The general neglect of INGOs takes many forms. Starting with the legal ignorance, we observe that INGOs are practically excluded from consideration in international law because of their lack of de jure status (33) despite the fact that they are well established de facto.

Although apparently trivial, this lack of legal status is sufficient to convince wide segments of society, particularly governments, that INGOs do not exist -- thus blinding governments to their social significance.

In effect, INGOs are forced to function as international "outlaws", and this weakens their ability to interact effectively with many official bodies. It also creates many kinds of practical problems in connection with taxation, recruitment, status of personnel, receipt and transfer of funds, and the like.

Secondly, there is scholarly ignorance. We have to admit that there is a regrettable tendency to exclude INGOs from "systematic" analyses of the international system and from comparative studies of organizations. (34) This leads to oversimplified typologies of actors in the international system and of possible forms of organization, both of which in turn result in poor awareness of organizational ecology. Another consequence is insensitive predictions about the future of world society and the construction of unrealistic models for the same future. The same ignorance shows up in the poor education of students and briefing of government delegates and administrators as well as in the biased coverage of text books. (3 5) If INGOs are at all mentioned, the emphasis tends to be on isolated organizations or categories of organizations without recognizing the many interorganizational relationships in the INGO network and to the IGO network. In the case of applied research with policy implications such as some peace research, there is with a few notable exception little awareness of the potentialities of the INGO system as an agent for change. In many countries there is a tendency not to make use of national NGOs in governmental programmes and thus to avoid using the international contacts provided by the related INGO system. This leads to inefficient use and development of available organizational resources.

Many IGOs give some kind of official recognition to INGOs, but the recognition is extended only to a small proportion of the international nongovernmental organizations and usually on a bilateral basis. For administrative purposes IGOs tend to ignore the network of INGOs as a phenomenon of the social system they are trying to develop and instead treat a select group of INGOs as an administrative problem. In particular IGOs are short-sighted in their desire to monopolize competence in certain areas thus placing an unnecessary strain on their own administration and budget instead of seeking to delegate programme activity to the competent part of the INGO network where resources and support may be more readily available. Indeed, the fundamental problem for IGOs is to define an area of competence for INGOs without destroying their sense of commitment and thus depriving society of valuable organizational resources. However, the tendency of IGOs to give a shallow recognition to a small proportion of the INGOs leads to a kind of divide and rule strategy which means that the INGO system is fragmentized and polarized around a few IGO agencies. At the same time, IGOs perceive INGOs as satellites and query the relevance of many aspects of their programmes which do not directly reflect or support the current short-term political interests of the intergovernmental agency.

We have tried to summarize our arguments in the attached diagram

4.4.2. Other Problems of INGOs

It is often difficult for INGOs to stimulate interest on the part of members via regional and national branches, particularly interest in international activity. There seems to be a tendency for some leaders on the national level to monopolize international contacts, or to fail to relate international cooperation to the activities and problems of rank and file members. As a corollary it is difficult to pursuade national organizations to allocate significant resources to international activity. The focus of action tends to be at the national level.

Another problem some INGOs struggle with is the incompatibility of national members. In different social systems functional equivalents of national organizations may have different relationships to governments particularly with regard to the degree of governmental control, funding and staffing. National sections in different countries may perform ranges of functions that only partially overlap such that the non-overlapping features tend to result in suspicion and incompatibilities probably lead some governments to hesitate in facilitating interaction between their national organizations and the equivalent INGOs. In particular, in some non-Western cultures there maybe difficulty in locating organizational forms natural to that culture which could relate to a given INGO. (36) There may be resentment of any imposition of a new Western style organization, and a lack of any socio-anthropological skill to match very different styles of organizations, or to create or adapt an INGO appropriate to them. Most INGOs require the same basic administrative services and facilities, but because of their restricted budgets, they are forced to use minimum facilities, which are often inadequate and insufficient. Because of great sensitivity to
their independence and autonomy of their programme, they are reluctant to pool services and facilities in order to increase the efficiency of their administrative operations. This is partly due to an inability to distinguish between the objectives of the organization and the facilities and professional skills required to achieve them.

Because of a combination of factors, INGOs individually or in small groups tend to think of themselves as operating In an international vacuum. They are often surprised to find other organizations with similar programmes or whose programmes are in some way affected by their own. There is, at present, no method to determine and facilitate the most appropriate inter -organizational contacts.

Because of a narrow conception of socio-economic development in which "social" is restricted to factors contributing to "economic" growth, IGOs, and particularly the UN system, accept isolated INGOs as instrumental to development without being able to respond to the network of INGOs as a feature in itself, a new stage of psycho-social development. Consequently IGOs do not seek to improve the functioning of the INGO network independent of immediate governmental concerns, thus relegating INGOs to a form of "third world" status vis-à-vis governmental and business organizations.

In conclusion, the nature of the problems to which INGOs are exposed places them in a vicious circle, in that the problems force them into a state of progressively greater inefficiency, preventing them from getting off the ground operationally. The inefficiency is seen as justifying the non-participative policies of intergovernmental organizations which in effect contribute directly to the inefficiency of the network. The IGOs are then, as in the case of UN development programmes, surprised to be faced with the seemingly unrelated problem of public apathy and lack of "political will" for development. (37)

5. Probable future trends

See note (38)

Increasingly rapid organizational creation, evolution, adaptation, and dissolution is to be expected with rapid membership turnover and constantly changing patterns, of inter- organizational interaction, including splits and mergers. The rate at which people or organizational units link together in response to newlyperceived problems will increase. This will be facilitated by improvements in communication technology. Some information systems may even be deliberately designed to bring increasingly improbable combinations of bodies into the same organization on very specific issues for very limited periods. (39)

New styles of INGO may arise as a result of contacts between the mixed government-voluntary sector organizations encountered in many socialist and Third World countries and the intersect organizations in the West. The influence of the position of the People's Republic of China in the debate on INGOs within the United Nations may prove to be particularly significant in this respect. Disillusionment with coordinating "umbrella" and other inter-agency organizational mechanisms will lead to more sophisticated use of information systems to link organizations and by-pass the behavioural and "territorial" problems of "super-INGOs" to the point of substituting for many of the functions performed by them.

The difficulty for society to organize itself in advance in preparation for unknown problems which no existing official body is mandated to recognize, will lead to greater recognition of dependence on the network of nongovernmental bodies as "lookout" and "first-aid" institutions before the problem is politically respectable. It will be recognized that the network will "generate" organizational forms appropriate to the problem.

The option of channelling project funds through the most appropriate body under the circumstances, whether it be governmental business, academic, or nongovernmental will gain greater acceptance. The organization of response to a problem will become much more complex as many interdependent channels in the network are used.

The effectiveness of INGOs will come under increasing criticism and new, more sensitive, criteria for evaluating their performance and significance will be developed. (One possibility is the development of a variety of organizational indicators, similar to corporation stock indicators, to show the utility of contribution through a particular nonprofit body.)

The number of regional INGOs will increase. It is also probable that the number of INGOs formed from sub-national level NGOs will increase as the fragmentation of the nation-state becomes a social reality. The territorial basis of representation will become less significant.

It will increasingly be recognized that INGOs and voluntary organizations constitute a participative, possibly part- time, career opportunity and a viable alternative to the frequently alienating and dehumanizing environments of the government and business sectors. This recognition by young people will be accompanied by a rejection of bureaucratic INGOs and the adaption in some cases of a new style of operation, which may have more of the features of movements and, possibly, networks of communes. This is also a central notion in Mitrany's thought.

6. Conclusions and recommendations

The number of INGOs is growing, and they are expanding in terms of geographical representation and functional scope. Whilst the INGOs, directly or through their members, constitute an extremely useful group of actors in some respects, their full contribution to the global social processes can only be achieved if the development of the INGO network is stimulated along certain lines to correct for imbalance, side-effects and inadequate utilization. A number of policy recommendations in this direction are listed below:

6.1. The degree of organizational interlinkage would seem to preclude simplistic analysis of organizations as isolated entities. Furthermore, the network of INGOs is constantly evolving in response to new insights, possibilities, and problems. It is therefore less the pattern at any one moment which should be the focus of concern and much more the pattern-forming potential of organizational sub units and active individuals.

6.2. To handle the problems associated with the catchall category of INGOs, the goal should be to map organization in its broadest sense, namely as composed of relatively invariant entities. The entity is in fact a pattern of relationships, subject to change, but recognizably extended in time. The cut-off point, below which the duration of a pattern is considered too ephemeral, should be dependent upon data collection ability rather than preconceived models. This way 'of regarding the objects of attention in society helps to resolve the dichotomy between the individual and society and many other pseudo-problems resulting from the tendency, built into language, to regard entities as "things" rather than systematically related sequences of events. (40)

This "loose" approach can be achieved by handling the entities and relationships as networks which can be processed and represented using graph theory techniques (41). In effect, a non -quantitative topological structure of the psycho-social system is built up, to which dynamic and quantitative significance can be added as and when appropriate data becomes available.

6.3. Greater effort should be made to map out transnational networks (possibly by a succession of overlapping surveys) so that organizations can see their direct and indirect relationships to one another, -- and also such that second and higher order patterns of dominance can be detected. (Interorganizational maps should have the same status and accessibility as road maps in order that people can navigate more effectively through the social system.)

6.4. The degree of possible functional substitution between different styles of organization suggests that great care is required when establishing categories for the purposes of analysis, program elaboration or legislation. There is in fact a need for greater understanding of organizational networks as ecosystems, such that the function of a significant, but seemingly insignificant, body in a communication web can be made apparent.

A greater tolerance of the variety of organizational species is required and of the manner in which particular types are more appropriate under given conditions. (It is perhaps appropriate to note that botanists and zoologists recognize around one million plants and animals respectively -- whereas a sociologist might be said to recognize around one hundred types of collectivity.) A taxonomy and a new "Origin of Species" is required to knot together this variety into an evolving psycho-social system.

6.5. Greater stress should be placed on the network of nongovernmental nonprofit bodies as a social -phenomenon rather than as an administrative or political problem for government. The degree of organization of a society is one measure of its social development. The number and variety of organizations or office-holders per capita is a measure of the participative opportunity or socializing potential of that society. Data on INGOs and their national counterparts could therefore constitute an important social indicator for development policy-making and should have a status equivalent to that of economic units of society. (As things stand, no systematic data collection on organizations between the national and local level is carried out.) (42)

6.6. Nongovernmental, nonprofit bodies pose a special problem for countries in the early stages of social development, since, as with the two-party system, they appear to constitute a threat to the stability of the government in power and are therefore the subject of suspicion if permitted to exist. Further study is required of the areas in which the different styles of INGOs can usefully function, at different stages of development, without constituting a rallying point for premature dissent. This should help to determine at what stage, and under what conditions, the (more suspect) link to an INGO becomes appropriate.

6.7 Besides the functions performed for their special constituencies, INGOs in a network perform functions for one another. Further study is required of the manner in which control information should be elaborated and circulated to govern the action of a network of organizations in the absence of any prime controller (due to the continuing emergence of new problems configurations) any single permanent objective ( ) .

6.8. The degree of interconnectedness and direct or indirect interdependence of organizations suggests that, where two organizational systems have common objectives or concerns, it is short-sighted and possible counter -productive for the first system to request the second for assistance in the accomplishment of its own system objectives -- and to ignore or disassociate itself from the second when it pursues the same objectives in a different manner Both systems should rather
seek to improve their functioning as interdependent systems and ensure that their operations mesh effectively.

6.9. Any successful attempt by a particular organization to mobilize all others in unquestioning support of its own programmes reduces the overall ability of the network of organizations to respond effectively to unforeseen problems. Recommendations to "regroup", "reduce proliferation", or "increase coordination", should be
assessed against the need for variety. The degree of fragmentation of organizational systems (whether governmental or nongovernmental) in part reflects the need for sufficient organizational frameworks through which active individuals can meaningfully participate in the social process. The interlocking complexity of the nongovernmental sector may be considered a major insurance against undetected manipulation of social processes by elite groups -- provided such
bodies have sufficient freedom of action to fulfill their responsibility.

6.10. Means are required to achieve an optimum degree of organizational coordination (consistent with points 6.7., 6.8., 6.9.).

(a) Informal contact: Provision of low-rent office and meeting facilities (or other shared administrative services) in one centre within major cities, brings a variety of organizations with potentially related concerns into fruitful informal contact. This increases their effectiveness, leads to working contacts where and when appropriate, provides the "critical mass" required for mutual encouragement and outside recognition, and facilitates the conception and germination of new programmes. It also provides the facilitative base for newly- e stabli shed bodies during their growth period. The creation of such focal points for the mobilization of untapped social forces should be viewed as a priority for city and national governments.

(b) Information systems: Bodies should be informed of each other's existence a s soon a s they are able t o f ormulate a problem or interest in common. Prior to entering into some direct relationship potential partners need to be conceived of as "members" of a "potential association" from which particular groupings gel as required by the problem configuration, and into which they dissolve when their objective is achieved. Such a potential association could be given the necessary operational framework by substituting a form of information system or cum referral service for normally- con st ituted membership organizations -- thus avoiding administrative and political problems of "recognition" and proof of "relevance".

Provision of low-cost communication facilities (telephone, telex, datalink) between organizations in centres (see point 6..9.) in different countries permits organizations to develop regional contacts more easily to mesh their programmes more effectively with those of other bodies, to channel resources through the network more efficiently and rapidly in response to emergencies, and increases their ability to interact with their counterparts at the national level and with programmes in the field.

6.11. In order to reduce official hostility or indifference to INGOs in the future, steps should be taken to introduce material on nongovernmental action and its relation to social development into university curricula, diplomat training, and foreign service briefing sessions. Intergovernmental organizations, particularly the UN Specialized Agencies, could usefully focus in their. public information and personnel training programmes on their relationships with INGOs.

6.12 Specific legislation concerning the status of INGOs with headquarters or branches in a given country (possibly on the Belgian model) should be recommended to States via intergovernmental assemblies. (This should take into account the apparently minor questions of status of "alien" personnel, problems of double taxation, continuity of pension and social security rights for personnel moving between countries and organizations, which are the sine qua non of the effective professionalization of the INGO network.)

6.13 Steps should be taken to represent the case for an international convention to give an international legal status to INGOs -- with due consideration for their responsibilities and rights. As participants in the social process they have responsibilities for the well-being of individuals, other bodies, and society as a whole, in the spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights -- the principal responsibility is to make every effort to call attention to, or to counteract any errors of omission or commission in society which their special expertise enables them to detect. Organizations should have certain rights for their protection in the exercise of their responsibilities ( )

6.14. INGOs (and IGOs) must recognize the existence and need for a wide range of styles of organization, that is, the "significance" of an INGO should be rated on a combination of many measures rather than on membership or budget . Functional equivalents of Western-type organizations should be recognized in other cultures, and social systems. Allowances shoul i d be made for structural or constitutional incompatibilities between potential members. Research is needed on the problems of
decision-making in multi-cultural organizations.

6.15 Regional IGOs should facilitate the formation of regional INGOs according to the styles of organization in the region. IGO-INGO contact mechanisms at the regional level should be developed. In some issue areas super-INGOs of regional INGOs should be encouraged when appropriate. Efforts should also be made to increase the involvement of developing region INGOs or national bodies in multi-region INGOs. In particular communication links should be improved (see point 6.9.), meetings should be rotated through developing region countries, or possible travel expenses could be pooled so that everybody pays the same regardles's of where he or she comes from.

6.16. It would be useful to consider the extent to which many INGOs and other bodies are "non-territorial actors", that is, actors for which the geographical or national representation is of minor importance to their action (4 3) . There is some possibility that such bodies may be sliding into a repetition of processes (structurally very similar to those encountered throughout the history of territorial conflict) with respect to what has been termed "quasi-territory", namely the sort of functional domain which each body defines and stakes out as its special field of concern -- a domain whose boundary line is constantly called into question by changing societal conditions (44). The stress in the future may be less on the problems of national interest -coordination, which led to the formation of the United Nations, but increasingly on the problem of functional coordinations for which some equivalent global mechanism may eventually be evolved, possibly in part out of the existing INGO system, but certainly out of the three hundred to six hundred multinational corporations which it is expected will control much of the wealth of the Western world by the year 2000. Functional domains will be decreasingly fragmented by territorial preoccupations, but nation states will be increasingly fragmented by functional preoccupations. In this sense the problems of coordination would seem to be the common root concern of international relations and the policy sciences.


References

1. "INGO" is the accepted abbreviation in academic circles. Intergovernmental system documents refer to "NGOs" avoiding any definition of international or any clear distinction between national and international NGOs. The term is usually restricted to nonprofit bodies, in which case the profit-making bodies are referred to as multinational corporations (MNCs) or business INGOs (BINGOs),

2. For example, in Arab countries or those with a Moslem culture, a common form of organization for social development is the "Waq" (mentioned in the Koran) which bears some resemblance to a Western religious fund or foundation. It is not known whether any of these are "international". Similarly, the family name and ancestral province association play an important role in and between countries with a Chinese population.

3. Each new issue inspires a new configuration of bodies. This has been discussed in connection with political party election machinery in Richard R. Fagan. ' Politics and Communication. Little, Brown, 1966 (Chapter on the "Components of Communication Networks"). For a means of developing this technique, see: Anthony Judge, New types of social entity; the role of the potential association. International Associations 239 1971

4. Many United States trade unions are "international" in the title, e.g. International Longshoremen's Association.

5. There is a movement to restrict "international" to "intergovernmental" and to refer to INGOs as transnational associations; see: G.P. Speeckaert, Transnational ou International? International Associations, 24, 19727 4, pp. 225- 232.

6. "Any international organization which intergovernmental agreement shall be mental organization-" (UN ECOSOC Resolution 1296 (XLIV) June 1968). See discussion in G.P. Speeckaert, ibid.

7. Anthony Judge. Summary of the crises in inter-organizational relationships at the international level. International Associations, 24, 1972, 5, Also: The UN System's ivory tower strategy. International Associations, 23, 1971,, pp. . 24-48 [text]

8. Kenneth E. Boulding. Management of "intersect" institutions. In: Management in a Changing World, Conference Board, USA 1972

9. The United Nations, even through its Agencies concerned with trade, cannot recognize the existence of multinational business enterprises as INGOs because of the political sensitivity of profit-making. The exception is FAO through its FAO/Industry Cooperative Programme on which multinationals are represented. This embarrassment is in sharp contrast with OECD which has a Business and Industry Advisory Committee.

10. For a broad definition of voluntary, see: David Horton Smith, et.al. Types of voluntary action; a definitional essay. In: D.H. Smith (Ed.) Voluntary Action Research. Lexington, Lexington Books, 1972. (See also: Journal of Voluntary Action Research.)

11. Those "recognized" by the United Nations acquire a measure of legal significance. There have also been attempts to extend the interpretation of the status of private persons in international law to cover collectivities. See: Université Catholique de Louvain. ' Premier colloque de Département des Droits de 1'Homme (1969); les droits de 1'homme et les personnes Morales. Bruxelles. Emile Bruylant, 1970.

12. Belgium is the only country to recognize and provide special legislation and facilities for INGOs (Law of 25 October 1919 expanded by Law of 6 December 1954) which is one reason why 490 INGOs have offices there. Efforts are being made by the European Economic Commission to define a "European Corporation" to which international trade unions will have a specially recognized relationship.

13. President's Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice. Task Force Report: Organized Crime. Washington, US Government Printing Office, 1967. Note that profits to organized crime from gambling, loan sharking and narcotics (excluding infiltrated legitimate business and other operations) are probably in the region of $ 8 billion per year in the United States alone.

14. 25 per cent of the studies on international nongovermental organizations listed in the International Political Science Bibliography over the past eight years are concerned with one organization, the International Red Cross.

15. G.P. Speeckaert. Les associations momentanées d'organisations internationales. International Associations, 23, 1971, 4, pp. 205-217.

16. G.M. Riegner. Consultative Status; recent developments and future prospects (11th General Conference of Nongovernmental Organizations in Consultative Status with ECOSOC). Geneva, 1969, 11/GC/22, p. 2

17. "Cross-modal" is a term used in psychology, to refer to the ability of an individual to handle and integrate several modes of sensation (sight, sound, etc.). It seems equally applicable to the degree of integration of different modes of organization action.

18. "The problem of the seventies will lie not so much within the organization as between it and society. We shall have to look much more to the social and family life of organizations, at organizational marriage and divorce, at the children that organizations spawn. We shall begin to know organizations by the company they keep. The future, I think, will be social, political, inter-organizational." Harold J. Leavitt, The Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow of Organizations. European Business, Spring 1971, 29, pp. 28-33.

19. United Nations, ECOSOC. Arrangements for consultation with non-governmental organizations. E/RES/1296 (XLIV), 25 June 1968. (Text and commentary reprinted in International Associations 20, 9, 1968, pp. 609-649.

20. Union of International Associations. Yearbook of International Organizations (1970-1971). Brussels, Union of International Associations, 1971, 1053 p.

21. Kjell Skjelsbaek. Development of the systems of international organizations; a diachronic study. IPRA Papers on Peace Research: proceedings of the Second International Peace Research Association General Conf erence. Assen; Netherlands, Van Gocum, 1970. Kjell Skjelsbaek. The growth of international nongovernmental organizations in the twentieth century. International Organization 25, 39 1971, p. 420-442.

22. Lester B. Pearson. Partners in Development; report on the Commission on International Development. 1969, pp. 185-189. Praeger,

23. An example of the concerns of trade unions is the action taken by the International Federation of Chemical and General Workers Union (ICF) in 1969. The ICF coordinated the confrontation with the French multinational glass manufacturing company, Compagnie de Saint Gobain, by unions in the Federal Republic of Germany, France, Italy and the United States. This confrontation dramatized a development which was taking place over a much wider front, See: Robert W. Cox, "Labor and Transnational Relations International Organization M, No. 3 (1971), pp. 556- 557.

24. Antony Jay. Corporation Man. Jonathan Cape, 1972, p. 58 (suggests that the tendency of bureaucracies to frustrate the formation of natural working groups (ten- groups) leads to the enormous burgeoning of societies, professional associations, action committees and the like which provide the channel for the instinctively needed face-to-face purposeful group relationships.)

25. Donald Schon. Beyond the Stable State; public and private learning in a changing society. London, Temple Smith, 1971 (Notes that the network of organizations is always out-of-phase with the reality of problems that people think are worth solving. The problem is to reduce this mismatch by increasing the response-time of the network.)

26. Depending on assumptions annual non-travel expenditure by participants at international conferences in 1971 is estimated at US S 0.25 - 3.0 billion. Travel expenditure is estimated at US $ 0.40 - 4.0 billion. (It has been estimated that one per cent of airtravel arrivals are for international meetings.) Investment in conference facilities in 1966 was $ 0.8 billion (5 8 billion required by 1980). The number of participants travelling annually to international meetings is estimated at 2 million in 1971 (4-50 million in 1985). (Data at Union of International Associations. See also: International Organizations and the Budgetary and conomic Aspects of their Congresses. Brussels, UIA, 1971.)

27. A group is currently forming in London to create an experimental INGO clearing body on which INGOs and MNCs would be represented. This would act as an interface to permit INGOs to benefit from MNC skills and to permit the latter to elaborate non-profit social programmes using INGO channels.

28. Johan Galtung. Violence, Peace and Peace Research. Journal of Peace Research, 7, 3, 1969.

29. Diana Crane. Transnational networks in basic science. International Organization, 25, 1971, pp. p. 585-601 (The term "invisible college" is applied to the informal networks of scholars with an interest in a particular topic on which they exchange reprints, comments, etc. The network may be loose or very precisely defined but is vital to the research activity and professional standing of those concerned. )

30. Kjell Skjelsbaek. Peace and International Organizations. Journal of Peace Research, 9, 4, 1972

31. Our reasoning here is parallel to that of David Mitrany as expressed in his book A Working Peace System (Quadrangle Books, 1966). It should be noted, however, that Mitrany primarily thought of IGOs, but we feel that his functionalist propositions are equally applicable to INGOs.

32. Nils Petter Gleditsch. Interaction Patterns in the Middle East. Cooperation and Conflict, 6, 1, 1971

Kjell Skjelsbaek. The Representation of Divided Countries in International Nongovernmental Organizations.

33. Typically a volume of 580 pages on "international organizations" may contain a 12 line reference excluding INGOs in the following terms,
"Des associations revetant les formes d'une organisation internationale peuvent etre créée par des personnes do droit privé ou do droit public non étatique .... Mais, n'étant pas formées par les Etats, ce no sont pas là des organisations internationales au sons strict des termes." (W.J. Ganshof van der Meersch. Organisations Européennes. Bruxelles, Emile Bruylant, 1966).

34. As an example, in justifying the exclusion of certain categories of organizations from an adequate data base on the global system, Michael Wallace and J. David Singer make the following point: "First, our theoretical interests (and, we suspect, those of most of our colleagues) are more concerned with IGO's (inter
governmental organizations) than with nongovernmental organiza tions (NGOs) .... One can hardly urge that the amount of NGO is likely to be important in accounting for many of the theoretically interesting phenomena which occurred in the system of the past century or so." (Intergovernmental Organizations in the Global System, 1815-1960; A Quantitative Description. International Organization, 24, 2, Spring 1970, p. 240) For some of the consequences of this attitude, see Chadwick F. Alger, Research on Research; a decade of quantitative and field research on international organizations,. International Organization, Summer 1970, pp. 414-450; This study indicated that 66% of the studies were on the UN (28 bodies), 19% on the other IGOs (201), possibly with the UN, 14% were on INGOs (2577),
and 0% were on MNCs (2819). (Data on the numbers from the 1968-1969 edition of the Yearbook of International Organizations).

35. This general ignorance about INGOs is clearly reflected even in the deliberations of the ECOSOC subcommittee on NGOs, which, among other things, selects INGOs for consultative status.

36. For example, it proved impossible to create a national professional body in the USSR to work on public administration, stimulated by membership of the International Institute of Administrative Sciences, because public administration was not considered a science in the USSR.

37. In reviewing the results of the United Nations first Development Decade (1960-1970), the Secretary General of UNCTAD stressed that the highest priority should be placed on the persuasion of public opinion and the creation of political will to avoid a second Development Decade of oven deeper frustration. The danger lies in the probability that the United Nations system public information programmes (together with those of the national United Nations Associations) will lead to informed public, many decision-makers, and UN officials to believe that the UN is doing all that can or need be done and has the attack on every world problem well-coordinated. This automatically devalues the activities of other bodies, reduces the allocation of resources and support to them, dampens initiative from the local and national level which is not channelled through governmental and UN channels, and effectively nullifies the type of constructive critic icism which can lead to renewal of effort, new approaches, and galvanization of the political will necessary to the accomplish ment of all internation (and UN) programme objectives.

38. David Horton Smith. Future trends in voluntary action. International Associations. 24, 2, 1972, pp. 166- 169.

39. Anthony Judge. Wanted: New Types of Social Entity. International Associations 23, 3, 1971, pp. 148-170. [text]

Anthony Judge. Communication and International Organizations. International Associations, 22, 27 1970, pp. 67-79. [text]

40. David Bohm. The Special Theory of Relativity. Benjamin, 1965, (Appendix on physics and perception).

41. Norman J. Schofield: "A topological model of international relations" (Paper presented at a conference of the Peace Research Society, International, London, 1971 -- to be published in the Papers of the Society).

42. As an indication of the amount of internationally unrecognized organization activity on which the more visible INGOs are based. David Horton Smith estimates for the USA that there are from 30 to 100 voluntary associations per 1000 population in town with less than 10,000 (5 to 30 per 1000 for larger towns) g ving approximately 5 million voluntary bodies for the USA as a whole. ("Estimation of the total number of voluntary associations in the United States". Washington, D.C. Center for a Voluntary Society, 1970, unpublished paper; preliminary investigation shows that similar per capital figures hold in European countries). An indication of the amount of ad hoc linkage represented by the meetings of such bodies is given by a by a study for the Social Work Advisory Service (London). It was found that those with offices held an average of 23 inside meetings per year of more than 10 people, and an average of 5 outside meetings per year of which 50 per cent were for more than 200 people.

Anthony Judge. A study into the feasibility of establishing an administrative centre for a group of voluntary organizations. London, 1970, summarized in International Associations, 24, 1972, 3, pp. 155-157 [text]

43. Johan Galtung. Non-territorial actors and the problem of peace. Oslo, Paper of the International Peace Research Institute, 1969.

44. "1 have found in the corporation something that I can explain only in territorial terms even though it is not strictly territorial. It is a kind of territorial defense of role or job, and although it certainly operated within individuals, it is at its most powerful in groups: "my department's responsibility", "my salesmen's area", "my union's job" .... The result is something I can only call a quasi-territorial response, a defense of your means of livelihood calling upon territorial instincts but not precisely or exclusively territorial in its application". (Antony Jay. The Corporation Man, op.cit. p. 132).


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