Direct Activism vs. NGOs: Not a Black-and-White Contrast

I was intrigued by the tables Lance Bennett uses in Social Movements Beyond Borders. What stood out to me in his table about NGO’s versus direct activism was how much more removed NGOs were (or had to be) then what direct activism allows; for example, in a case of goals, organizational identity is important to NGOs, because they need to remain appealing for funding and formal interest in their platform.

Direct activism, on the other hand, has no such constraint, and its goals include hyper-orgs to empower individuals. From an outsider perspective, it seems NGOs have many more constraints, and could be considered less effective on a relative scale; this is not to say that NGOs are totally ineffective in activism, and I was interested to learn more about this in this piece on activism and the role of NGOs



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