Projects, Donors, and Discourses: A Critical Look at Experiences and Representations in a Chinese Environmental NGO
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Why are there so many assumptions about NGOs and so few attempts to describe the projects and procedures of specific NGOs? My thesis looks at the experiences of the leaders and workers of a NGO in Yunnan, China, and seeks to describe the personal stories of some of the workers in the organisation, as well as their relation to government officials, international donors and national policies in a way that might cast more light on the study of NGOs more generally. While keeping a focus on local practices and events, I analyse some of the possible effects of national and international policies and projects, and look at how the workers and leaders at the NGO relate to these policies by claiming to represent them, or even seeking to change them. Different from much of the literature on NGOs and social movements, I do not assume that NGOs are assisting in the construction of a new global civil society', but rather that possible changes made by NGOs can be just as much the result of unintended consequences and engagement in multiple collaborations with diverging interests and interpretations.