Why legal form and funding models matter in advocacy

October 19, 2023 @ 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm Europe/Rome Timezone
Sala Belvedere, Villa Schifanoia
Alessandra Caldini
In this ‘Europe in the World’ seminar series, Nina Hall will present research on how legal form and funding models help explain the behavior of advocacy organisations.
A large, rich scholarship in international relations (IR) has sought to explain advocacy organisations behavior, and their impact on international affairs. Scholars have investigated differences: in the norms organisations champion, as well as their tactics (radical/moderate), strategies (insider/outsider), and decision-making processes (decentralised vs centralised). However, IR scholars have not examined variation in their: 1) legal status and 2) funding models. Advocacy organisations can register as charities or political entities; and can be funded by philanthropic grants or member-donations. In this seminar, Nina Hall will draw on existing research on NGOs, not-for-profits, and political communications to illustrate why legal form and funding models help explain the behavior of advocacy organisations, their accountability structures, and vulnerability to government restrictions. IR scholarship should not examine global trends in repression of NGOs, but also how advocacy organisations can respond to this shrinking civic space by changing their funding models and/or legal status.