top of page

Transnational NGOs


Nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) are a broad category of organisations that includes "private voluntary organisations," "civil society organisations," and "nonprofit organisations." The word non-governmental organisation (NGO) refers to a diverse spectrum of groups and organisations, ranging from watchdog organisations and humanitarian agencies to development and policy organisations.

NGOs are a complex web of alliances and rivalries; for-profit and nonprofit organisations; conservatives and revolutionaries. The funding comes from a variety of sources, and NGOs as a whole are diversified and multifaceted. Their operations and outlooks may be local, regional, national, or global in scope. Some are task- or issue-oriented, while others are ideologically motivated. While some NGOs advocate for broad public interest, others have a more narrow and private emphasis. They range in size from small, grassroots organisations to huge, professionally staffed organisations. Some operate independently, while others have developed networks to pool resources and information in order to maximise their impact.


Many regard NGOs as the primary actors in global civil society, owing to their institutionalised and professionalised status as insiders. There can be no question that big multinational NGOs today comprise a sizable group of global political actors.

They have matured into major social movements after being acknowledged as policymakers, policy influencers, and even policy implementers. Not only do NGOs have formal consultation rights with international organisations, being recognised as a source of professional advice and information, but they also frequently collaborate on the formulation and implementation of a variety of humanitarian projects. Numerous non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are also partially supported by the government, for example, Doctors Without Borders. Indicators of the growing relationship between NGOs and TNCs include the fact that the World Economic Forum now includes representatives from leading NGOs and that a revolving door' has developed in which TNCs demonstrate their commitment to corporate social responsibility by hiring former NGOs leaders and specialists.

Global politics has shifted dramatically as a result of the expansion of nonprofit organisations. NGOs or civil society organisations have moved from the margins to the centre of global politics, exercising their influence and strength in global policymaking as a result. Certain organisations, such as Amnesty International and Greenpeace, have effectively become NGO brands, helping to popularise the term "NGO." There was a strong NGO presence at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.

State Sovereignty is undermined?

Thus, one may argue that the rise of NGOs has corresponded with a decline of sovereignty in many of the world's poorest countries, as well as some of the wealthiest. However, blaming NGOs alone for this erosion of sovereignty is likely to be misleading. Indeed, abundant evidence indicates that the collapse in sovereignty has been accelerated significantly by organisations such as multinational businesses and, more specifically, global governance institutions, Having said that, many of the larger NGOs have developed into extremely powerful entities capable of directly challenging state power. To the degree that this tendency is likely to continue, it is necessary to admit that NGOs have contributed to the erosion of state sovereignty, but are far from being the primary source of this erosion.


Nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) are critical in the sphere of international relations. International relations have historically been dominated by wars, struggles for dominance, and countries' endeavours to advance their own national interests. Non-state entities such as NGOs are progressively becoming involved in the important issues of global politics. Over the last four decades, an increasing number of experts have emphasised the critical role of NGOs in fostering international understanding and collaboration. Countries are not only losing sovereignty in a globalised economy, but they are also sharing powers including security, political, and social roles at the core of sovereignty with international, business organisations and NGOs. This transformation in the relationship between the commercial sector, the state, and civil society has created a slew of problems, opportunities, and issues for numerous NGOs.

It has frequently been claimed that international relations theory is primarily concerned with the study of international relations. 


bottom of page