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Is the world witnessing a global associational revolution spearheaded by development non-governmental organizations (NGOs)? Is the relationship between states and societies being more fundamentally redefined, even in remote, rural corners of the world? What role does the mushrooming of development NGOs play in this political-ideological process? What about NGO staff? Are they angels of mercy, government-paid development diplomats, propagandists for a triumphant West, or instruments in a coming clash between civilizations?
Presented here are cases from Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, Bangladesh and Nicaragua that shed light on these complex questions. The text puts forward a critique of central theories and concepts which have dominated research and discourse on development NGOs.
Selected Reviews of Angels of Mercy or Development Diplomats. NGOs & Foreign Aid:
Tvedt’s book Angles of Mercy is a solid contribution (to my knowledge the most comprehensive on the subject to date).
Jan Nederveen Pieterse, Development and Change
Occasionally one comes across a book that not only shatters conventional assumptions about a particular subject, but also opens up new paths in the creation of knowledge in a particular area. Terje Tvedt’s Angels of Mercy or Development Diplomats is an example of one such work in the field of NGO and Development Research. (…) For those serious about understanding the non-profit sector, for the scholars and critical activists committed to building a new democratic and development order, this is a book that must be read.
Adam Habib, Voluntas
Une critique severe et très documentèe permettant de porter un regard plus acèré sur un phénomène en expansion.
Bérangére Cagnat, Le Monde Diplomatique
In this book Terje Tvedt aims to liberate the foreign aid scene from the normative jargon of the NGO community and instead to describe it in the normal language of social sciences. He succeeds.(…) He goes further in constructing a wider sociological analysis of the whole NGO phenomenon (…) Perhaps the most thought-provoking element in Tvedt’s analysis concerns concepts of partnership.
Alex de Waal, Development Policy Review
Available online at BORA, University of Bergen: https://bora.uib.no/handle/1956/3139