Do international non governmental organizations have a corporate social responsibility?
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AbstractMaster's thesis in Risk Management and Societal Safety
The assumption that International Non Governmental Organizations (INGOs) are actors without social, economic, or political impact is becoming increasingly untenable. With an average of 270 million people affected by natural disasters every year and millions affected by war- or conflict, and with INGOs fulfilling the rights of citizens in the absence of a functioning state, the INGOs activities are affecting millions of people every year. In this thesis I explore the role and responsibility of INGOs by using existing concepts of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and applying them to a new context; the context of INGOs operating in humanitarian crises’. In doing this, I hope to contribute to a rethinking of the INGOs role and responsibility and inspire to further research. By using the concept of Corporate Citizenship in regards to INGOs, I have found that INGOs are administrating citizenship in crises-situations. They are providing for social rights, enabling for civil rights and being a channel for political rights and they are, in certain aspects, becoming an alternative to a non-functioning state. I also explore the social responsibility of INGOs by looking at four different perspectives of CSR. I argue that even though INGOs do not have a classic- or stakeholder responsibility, they do in fact have a responsibility in the social demandingness and social activist perspective. I conclude that the concept of CSR is in fact a fruitful concept to view the role and responsibility of INGOs in a new way.