European NGOs still dance to the tune of their interlocutors – but this might be changing

 By Valentina Brogna.


When we think of the European Union (EU), we tend to see a unified body that speaks with one voice. While this perception also holds true for European NGOs, a recent study has shown that in the last decade, a multitude of different, mostly reformist theoretical framings have been informing how these NGOs view and talk about development. This article explores what this reformism means for such NGOs, showing that a more radical development agenda that moves away from an economic growth model and Europe’s colonial legacy might be emerging, even if discussions are still mostly taking place internally.

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Valentina Brogna

Valentina Brogna is a PhD researcher at the Research Centre in Political Science (CReSPo), Université Saint-Louis – Bruxelles (Belgium), funded through a FRESH Grant (F.R.S. – FNRS). Her research compares development narratives by International Development NGOs and Pan-African Diaspora Organisations in Europe, mostly advocating at EU level. Such narratives refer to different development theories, in a spectrum from Sustainable Development to African Renaissance.

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