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The Globalization Reader, 5th Edition by John Boli, Frank J. Lechner

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Introduction

In conflict zones where governments fear to tread, volunteers working with Doctors Without Borders rush to the rescue of people in need. Environmental activists have long banded together in organizations like Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth to try to protect whales and tropical rain forests. Since the 1960s, people imprisoned by oppressive regimes have looked to Amnesty International to take up their cause. Sports aficionados take for granted that the International Olympic Committee sets the rules for the Olympic Games. Professionals in many fields join their peers in organizations like the International Sociological Association. As these examples show, international nongovernmental organizations (INGOs) have become actively involved in a wide range of global issues. While many INGOs focus on matters that do not draw much public attention, others help identify and publicize new issues and exert pressure on states and other organizations to deal with them.

INGOs are voluntary associations of individuals, groups, or corporations who band together to pursue specific goals and activities on a worldwide or regional basis. As a complement to Part VI, the selections in this part focus in particular on the role of INGOs, and the global social movements and international conferences with which they are often associated, in world politics and global governance. While most analysts of world politics see states as the primary actors, stressing their jockeying for power ...

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