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Rethinking nongovernmental organizations: Neoliberalism, “nonstate” actors, and the politics of recognition in the United States
Law & Policy  (IF1.432),  Pub Date : 2020-10-12, DOI: 10.1111/lapo.12157
Jara M. Carrington

This article builds on and contributes to the scholarship on social movements and the law by revealing the critical function of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in law and policy in neoliberal times. Building on frame theories in social movement literature, this essay uses the lens of NGO‐produced advocacy for binational same‐sex couples to consider more broadly the relationship between individual experience, subjectivity, and the discourses and practices employed by NGO actors. It offers an analysis of both how NGOs developed and utilized particular messaging strategies and rhetorical frames to discursively produce a normative image of their constituency, and how constituents navigated and made use of the framing strategies developed by NGOs in their own claims to state rights and recognition. This discussion thus highlights the potentials and the problematics of the NGO model in social movements' efforts toward legal and political change.