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Conserving Nature in the State of Nature: The Politics of INGO Policy

Deborah Avant
Review of International Studies
Vol. 30, No. 3 (Jul., 2004), pp. 361-382
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20097923
Page Count: 22
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Conserving Nature in the State of Nature: The Politics of INGO Policy
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Abstract

Prevailing analyses of INGO influence have focused on their advocacy role, claimed that they are motivated by values and assumed state monopoly over legitimate coercive power. As INGOs increasingly implement policy where state power is weak or non-existent, their commitment to their mission frequently causes action that violates their proper role. This article examines one case to probe how the INGOs community responds when the principles to which it is committed conflict and generates two findings. First, when principles conflict, they structure competing responses to a problem and who falls on which side reflects a kind of 'bureaucratic politics' of the transnational community. Second, principled actors have a hard time reasoning through trade-offs when values conflict. The same principled commitments that yield more success in advocacy roles may hinder success in policy implementation.

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