ERIC Number: ED205423
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Economic and Political Theories of Organization: The Case of Human Rights INGOs.
Blaser, Arthur W.
This paper reviews research on international nongovernmental organizations dealing with human rights (INGOs), and interprets this research in light of the overlap of the fields of organizational theory (including group theory) and human rights. The purpose is to contribute toward a useful exchange between social scientists who seek to explain organizational behavior and scholars who seek to understand, explain, and/or improve international nongovernmental human rights activity. The discussion focuses on five major topics: (1) an overview of the nature and activities of five INGOs (Amnesty International, International Confederation of Free Trade Unions, International League for Human Rights, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, and the World Peace Council) and an introduction to various theories of organization; (2) consideration of group theory, with emphasis on the work of David Truman: (3) analysis of political approaches to organization, based particularly on research by James Q. Wilson and Amitai Etzioni; (4) analysis of economic approaches to organization, based on the works of Mancur Olson; and (5) a suggested agenda for further application of organizational theories to human rights activity. Some attention is focused also on an additional theme--the commensurability of different national and cultural efforts for promotion of human rights. Based on the above review and interpretation, the author concludes that, although the relationships among group theory, political, and economic theories appear to offer a basis for creation of a more comprehensive social theory, these disparate approaches have yet to be integrated into a coherent framework applicable to organizations in a variety of societies. The implication is that research applying major propositions of these and other theories to a specific human rights INGO would be useful to theorists and practitioners alike. (DB)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Etzioni (Amitai); Olson (Mancur); Wilson (James Q)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Studies Association (Philadelphia, PA, March 17-21, 1981).