Religiously affiliated NGOs

Authored by: Karsten Lehmann

Routledge Handbook of NGOs and International Relations

Print publication date:  April  2019
Online publication date:  April  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138285507
eBook ISBN: 9781315268927
Adobe ISBN:


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Throughout the last two decades, international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have developed into an object of vibrant debate. Among those NGOs, organizations that are described as ‘religious’, ‘faith-based’ or ‘spiritual’ – either by the protagonists inside the organizations and/or by others from outside the organizations – are subject to particular discussions. The majority of these organizations (for a start simply labelled as ‘religious international NGOs’ (RINGOs)) present themselves as a distinct group that provides an emphasis on ethics or values as well as a particular access to the grassroot level (Bent 1986; Mshana 2004). 1 But there are also critics highlighting that the mere presence of RINGOs in international relations questions the ‘wall of separation’ between religion and politics and that they jeopardize some of the most important accomplishments in international politics (Favret-Saada 2010).

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