Knots That Strain and Threads That Bind: NGO-Grassroots Dynamics in the Movement Web Challenging Canadian Resource Extractivism

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Chewinski, Maximilian




The predominant NGOization thesis typically describes NGO grassroots relationships as disconnected, with the former engaging in hegemonic social formations, the apolitical delivery of services, and shifting accountability structures that alter agendas for social change. By utilizing a hermeneutic phenomenological approach, and in conducting nine in depth interviews with two NGOs and two grassroots groups working within this field, the objective of this thesis is to complicate theories of NGOization by magnifying the threads and knots that comprise the social movement web challenging Canadian resource extractivism. In light of five knots that create tensions and feelings of ambivalence between NGOs and grassroots groups, my findings suggest that they are bound together in this web through five main threads. This thesis asserts that studies on NGOization would benefit from the relational understanding of collective action provided by social movement studies, including the conceptual tools offered through resource mobilization and framing theories.


Political Science
Canadian Studies




Carleton University

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Theses and Dissertations

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