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2005 | 17 | 305-351

Article title

Global Non-governmental Administrative System


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The non-governmental organizations are not independent agents of social change, as theories of social movements are usually trying to make us think. Sudden spread of NGOs at the end of XX century can be explained rather by restructurization of the welfare state and further globalization of that process. Private philanthropy is not so important to functioning of NGOs while most of financial and political support within global third sector comes from governments of affluent OECD countries. The most important function of the non-governmental system is redistribution and allocation of economic and social resources aimed at management of the social and geographical spheres of social risk, influencing peace and order through maintaining a sense of safety, as in classic welfare systems. Only the mode of operation of that system is different, owing more to free market flexibility as the effect of constant competition for available resources, i.e. grants and funds. Third sector is thus not a sphere between market and state but rather a hybrid of both. The expansion of NGO-system is the effect of political project defined in the so-called theory of communitarianism, i.e. growth and strengthening of civil society. This project gives alternative to projects of liberalism and socialism as synthesis of both. We are witnessing a growth of flexible network of institutions fulfilling a role of managing a social reality. Non-governmental administration does not work towards integration of social conflicts and coherence of apparatus to repress them as in cases of modern national administrations. Rather, its purpose is to control differences. It is not aimed towards social integration, treating all equally, but rather towards differentiation and dissemination, treating each one differently. Summing up, the author proposes to conceptualize NGOs as interdependent administrative units, elements of global non-governmental administrative system, on which institutionally is reliant a post-national apparatus of global governance.


  • P. Zaleski, Uniwersytet Warszawski, ul. Krakowskie Przedmiescie 26/28, 00-927 Warszawa, Poland


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