The Pressure of Politics: Walking the Corridors of Power

Matthew Hilton, James Mckay, Nicholas Crowson and Jean‐François Mouhot

in The Politics of Expertise

Published in print April 2013 | ISBN: 9780199691876
Published online May 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745126 | DOI:
The Pressure of Politics: Walking the Corridors of Power

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This chapter considers the relationship between NGOs and the formal political world of Westminster and Whitehall. Although NGOs like to—and need to—claim frequent legislative triumphs in order to justify ongoing public support, history suggests that the reality of their lobbying has been far more prosaic. It shows how even ‘non-political’ groups have found themselves compelled to engage with the political process, either individually or, increasingly, in coalition, and how this process has developed rapidly since the 1970s. In the process, radical demands for dramatic social change have been transformed into a focus on small-scale, ameliorative measures, as political moderation has been seen as the route to influence. Although such influence does certainly exist for NGOs in the formal political sphere, it has come on terms set by the politicians and the bureaucrats, and not by the NGOs themselves.

Keywords: non-governmental organizations; ngos; westminster; whitehall; politics; lobbying; influence; campaigning

Chapter.  18431 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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