Pursuing the common goods: An economic theory of collective action among NGOs in transnational advocacy
Political Science and International Affairs
This article integrates previous research on NGO behaviour with economic theory on collective action to create a generalizable and predictive model of advocacy campaign growth. It identifies three types of goods which NGOs may pursue in advocacy: unlimited, non-rival (public) goods; rival and excludable (private) goods; and rival but non-excludable goods. It then models an individual NGO’s decision to (not) join an existing advocacy campaign using a cost-benefit analysis conditioned by the presence or absence of competition for the good(s) sought by the NGO. This model of individual behaviour forms the basis for predicting collective action among NGOs with varying cost structures and pursuing a variety of rival and non-rival goods. The theory is illustrated using two cases of NGOs campaigning on World Bank policy.
Journal of Civil Society
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