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Title: Democratisation in context : a phenomenological inquiry into the role of internationally funded Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in Pakistan
Author: Kazmi, Arjumand Bano
ISNI:       0000 0004 7961 125X
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2017
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By applying a lens of hermeneutic phenomenology, in this study I explore how democratisation is experienced by the internationally funded non-governmental organisations (NGOs). The argument is based on the hermeneutic analysis of 27 interviews with NGOs' personnel including the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs), directors and programme staff of the internationally funded democracy promotion programmes. Another 13 interviews were conducted with senior parliamentarians, politicians, journalists, academics and the advisors of bilateral and multilateral British and US development organisations. The argument presented in this thesis, is therefore an attempt to articulate the lived-experiences of the research participants. Adopting a contextual approach, I contend that the liberal conceptions of NGOs as well as their critiques in the Marxist and Gramscian traditions, give scant attention to what NGOs do in democratisation in their socio-political context. Existing conceptions and their critiques debate about what NGOs ought to do in democratisation and what they fail to do. Thus, they are limited to normative conceptualisation and are evaluative in nature. This thesis challenges this normative lens by advancing an alternative perspective. I suggest that contrary to the dominant academic standpoint on democratisation that sees NGOs as building democratic culture and institutions at grass-root level, the internationally funded NGOs in Pakistan operate as an elitist group. For my argument, I call them NGelites (elite NGOs). By examining the socio-political context of democratic deficit and the roles of NGelites in Pakistan, I argue that democratisation now does not involve grass-root mobilisation, volunteerism, and ideological persuasion. It is 'projectised': Led by highly paid professionals, it is a depoliticised, bureaucratically managed and skilled activity. The projectised democratisation is a 'balancing act' by which NGelites navigate the space in Pakistan's elitist political edifice. I conclude that NGOs in democratisation are neither good nor bad. They are not only constituted by the socio-political culture in which they operate, they also constitute it.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: University of Warwick
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: DS Asia