Between Power and Irrelevance: The Future of Transnational NGOs

ISBN : 9780190084714

George E. Mitchell; Hans Peter Schmitz; Tosca Bruno-van Vijfeijken
352 ページ
156 x 235 mm

Geopolitical shifts, increasing demands for accountability, and growing competition have been driving the need for change within transnational non-government organizations (TNGOs). As the world has changed and TNGOs' ambitions have expanded, the roles of TNGOs have shifted and their work has become more complex. To remain effective, legitimate, and relevant in the future necessitates organizational changes, but many TNGOs have been slow to adapt. As a result, the sector's rhetoric of sustainable impact and social transformation has far outpaced the reality of TNGOs' more limited abilities to deliver on their promises. Between Power and Irrelevance openly explores why this gap between rhetoric and reality exists and what TNGOs can do individually and collectively to close it. George E. Mitchell, Hans Peter Schmitz, and Tosca Bruno-van Vijfeijken argue that TNGOs need to change the fundamental conditions under which they operate by bringing their own "forms and norms" into better alignment with their ambitions and strategies. This book offers accessible, future-oriented analyses and lessons-learned to assist practitioners and other stakeholders in formulating and implementing organizational changes. Drawing upon a variety of perspectives, including hundreds of interviews with TNGO leaders, firsthand involvement in major organizational change processes in leading TNGOs, and numerous workshops, training institutes, consultancies, and research projects, the book examines how to adapt TNGOs for the future.


Chapter 1: Confrontation
Chapter 2: Soul
Chapter 3: Strategy
Chapter 4: Power
Chapter 5: Legitimacy
Chapter 6: Digital
Chapter 7: Measurement
Chapter 8: Governance
Chapter 9: Leadership
Chapter 10: Collaboration
Chapter 11: Mergers and Acquisitions
Chapter 12: Change
Afterword by Barney Tallack
Note on Sources


George E. Mitchell is an associate professor at the Marxe School of Public and International Affairs at Baruch College, City University of New York and a founding member of the Transnational NGO Initiative at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. His work examines topics in NGO management, leadership, and strategy. ; Hans Peter Schmitz is an associate professor at the School of Leadership and Education Sciences at the University of San Diego. He is also a co-founder of the Transnational NGO Initiative at the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. His current research and teaching focus on digital advocacy, human rights, and philanthropy. ; Tosca Bruno-van Vijfeijken has worked on international development and civil society issues for 30 years in development practice, academia, and as an independent consultant. Before launching her consulting practice, Five Oaks Consulting, she was the director of the Transnational NGO Initiative at the Maxwell School at Syracuse University.