Wednesday, February 27, 2013

New Actors

Due to the failure of state system in recent decade new actors needed to be emerged. The state system was European invention; the history of the state system was about history of extremely uneven winners and losers. In the Middle Ages, the power was shared in two levels. For all European; the Catholic Church and their Popes were powerful persons and at local level the feudalism reigned in the form of fiefdoms, baronies and principalities, all run by minor royalty who were largely independent within their own limited spheres (Strada,2003:362). These papal centrals authority and the power of loyalty were following the theory of realism but in time people needed something different. After the Peace of Westphalia established the legitimacy of secular political have raised and ended the Catholic Church’s political domination of Europe (Strada, 2003:362). Again to establish peace in the world and end the Cold War, states had signed some important treaties. For example, in the 1990s affected countries had signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NNPT), which required non-nuclear powers to pledge not to seek these weapons (Strada, 2003:362). Then lots of combined works of national leaders made important decisions that weapons are not to be used in any country. After that the world has moved towards a democratic way. The theory of democratic peace strongly supports two arguments 1) the historical record shows that democracies do not fight one another and 2) a wave of democratization has swept the globe in recent decades. And finally the new actors emerged in the state. 


The new actors are a parallel set of actors who challenge states leading role of the world stage, concerning ecological problems, environment, population, food and energy, and the protection of human rights and personal security. There are four types of New Actors; 1) Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs), 2) Intergovernmental Organizations (IGOs), 3) Multinational Corporations (MNCs), and 4) International Financial Institutions (IFIs) (Strada, 2003). Among the new actors NGOs are playing a vital role to challenge the state. I have attempted to discuss more about it in the following paragraph.
NGOs are the key actors; due to failure of state NGOs emerged to solve the complex issues of the society. They are transnational entities which work across cross national boundaries and are involved with individual participants. NGOs started since 19th century, 795 NGOs were in 1945, but in 1995 there were 5,000 NGOs existed in the world (Strada, 2003), but NGOs has expanded in recent decades due to global communication in the world.  And have played an increasingly prominent role in the development sector (Banks and Humle, 2012). In 1980s gradually democratization process started in the developing countries. With the renovation of democratization process, people became more aware of their freedom of organization and speech. So the people started to organize civil societies with different purposes (Anonyms, 2000). Nowadays plenty of NGOs are established and have started to meet human needs in ways that states do not. NGOs came with an ideal theory; have had little participations of poverty, social and political exclusion by treating it as a technical problem that can be solved. Their objectives are to provide individual right, to increased individual empowerment on the global scene, and to make enable to heard in policy matters. Likewise, NGOs started to existing state institution to excluded group and provide a good service which they needed. So Strictly speaking, their activities are not too general but focused on private and individual. Therefore, NGOs come to root of society and follow the participatory way with experimental way to empowerment of citizens’ life which was lack behind by the state.
Global ecological issues do not respect national boundaries, it affect everyone not merely some nations so some of the NGOs work on global issues. States have lost prestige through inertia concerning a variety of global issues; specially an environment, population, food energy, human rights and the nuclear dilemma (Strada,2009:387) but the same time NGOs grabbed the opportunity to emphasizing co-operative ventures with those agendas in society. Environment, population, human securities concerns are increasingly becoming a priority across the world. And NGOs started to work those vital issues globally and showed a role as key Actor in society. 
Most NGOs work grass-roots level and to individual empowerment on the global scene. Their main objective is to develop the society in different prospects by working individually. NGOs always give priority to individual empowerment. For example, in 1986s Some commercial fishing ships use narrow-gauge purse seine nets in an effort to catch the lucrative tuna fish but unfortunately 1,30,000 dolphins died by catching process of tuna. So animal rights activists and environmentalist NGOs against the tuna processing companies to end purse seine.  They protests, demonstrations, adverse publicity, and economic boycotts were used to put pressure on the corporation. Even they made a logo “dolphin-safe” signifying that their supplier no longer uses narrow–gauge netting. Both animal right activist and environmentalist NGOs gave pressure to state and finally in1992, congress made the “dolphin-safe” logo a condition for sale in the United States. By 15 year annual dolphin deaths had reduced to 3,200 (Strada, 2009:378). NGOs itself says it is a not governmental things; it is a private who works in micro-level of society. In that way promote the people from grass root level and win the hearts and minds of humanity. Working with transnational participation, all enable private individuals and groups of people to be heard in policy matters. They often use publicity to expose illegal or unethical behavior to influencing government.
All those above features are importance of NGOs. There are four importance of NGOs 1) the failures of states, 2) growing citizen concerns over human rights and ecological issues, 3) the end of cold war as the chief organizer of world affairs , and 4) the fact that while the demands on international organizations like the united nations have grown, their funding has not(Strada, 2003). Due to the advocacy and awareness program of NGOs all people come to know about basic needs of human being and started to be aware. Citizens started to be concerned over human right and ecological issues. That is why NGOs started to win the heart and mind of humanity and its’ became important to them. New actors which stand to make a positive contribution to improving their condition for people around the world, states are often the most able and the most appropriate. Yet in many countries and in many contexts, states are unable to address these types of issues or are themselves the root cause of these problems. In these situations, NGOs can be of crucial relevance, supplementing or replacing the efforts of government bodies.
Thousands of NGOs are working on different sectors in Nepal. Due to weakness of state policy plenty of NGOs have emerged and started working in rural area. NGOs are especially promoting human rights, social justice and pro-poor development. Most of them are working grass-roots level of Nepalese society and trying to develop citizens’ livelihood and sustainability specially; for socially and economically excluded group of community. For example Child Workers in Nepal (CWIN) is working in Nepal since 1987 ( It raised the issue of child labour in Nepal first time, and made it a national concern. It is primarily an advocacy organization with focus on child labour, street children, child abuse, trafficking in children and other related issues but parallel to its advocacy work. NGOs are gradually growing in Nepal due to failures of state system; even with enough qualification/experience the state has not been able to provide sufficient jobs for Nepalese citizens’. Now there over 5,370 NGOs registered under its umbrella organization NGO Federation of Nepal (NFN) and working across the country ( State system has generalized the issues but NGOs keep on trying to reach and work at micro-level; that is why people started to believe them rather than state.
Nearly one-thirds of Nepalese people have involved in NGOs. NGOs have been trying to recognize the situation and apply their strategy especially in targeted group[1]. For example, Human Right, Social Awareness and Development Center (HUSADEC) Nepal has been working in the eastern parts of Nepal for 18 years. It has provided the education about human right and social awareness specially marginalized community[2] to sustain their livelihood. They are providing lessons; what are basic human rights? How to be informed about the governance policy matters? How to write legal documents[3] if they need? And how to enhance the peoples’ quality of life? NGOs concern is to establish peace in Nepal as well. Creative International Forum (CIF) is working in Nepal as a partnership with local NGOs in rural Nepal. CIF is working on human rights and promoting peace and social justice in Nepal. It does so by empowering the people with knowledge, skills and resources as well as by its direct involvement ( So NGOs are working on different sector to solve the complex issues of Nepalese society which are left behind by the state.
To sum up, NGOs are working for society and humanity so it has been an actor; NGOs are providing basic needs of society which state left behind. The concepts of state system came from European countries. In the Middle Ages, power was shared in two levels in Europe; the Catholic Church and minor royalty who were largely independent within their own limited spheres. After the Peace of Westphalia establish the legitimacy of secular political have raised and ended the monopoly of Pope’s. Again, national leaders made important decisions that weapons are not to be used in any country and the world has moved towards a democratic way. After that the new actors emerged in the state to solve the complex issues. Among them NGOs became the vital one. NGOs started work for the people, to the people and with the people across cross national boundaries and are involved with individual participants. It came to fill the gaps left by the failure of states and also meet the needs of their poorest citizens from the society. Working with transnational participation, NGOs make all people enable to be heard in policy matters. Due to the states weak policy, growing citizen concerns over human rights and ecological issues took importance to grow NGOs. Thousands of NGOs are working on different sector in Nepal. Most of them are working on grass-roots level of Nepalese society and develop citizens’ livelihood and sustainability, especially; for socially and economically excluded group of community. And they have been evolved as a leading civil society organization which is needed.  Personally, without NGOs we cannot develop the Nepal and Nepalese society in this transitional period.

[1] Socially and Economically excluded; Dalit, Janajati, Madhesi and third gender
[2] Dalits, Aathpahariya Rais, Majhi and women
[3] Tamasuk and all

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