Accounts and Accountability: Global Norms and Codes of Conduct in Namibian Advocacy NGOs

Sabine Hoehn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Global norms like accountability, transparency and good governance have long shaped political practice in postcolonial states. Especially non-governmental organisations have used discourses of accountability to demand a say in public debates in the name of the people. This article analyses how discourses about accountability have shaped shared beliefs within and between NGOs in Namibia where the state has traditionally made strong claims to be the sole representative of national unity. Using different concepts of accountability NGO activists try to advance their position vis-à-vis colleagues, other organisations and the government. In these ongoing contestations agents use accountability sometimes in the sense of accounting and sometimes as moral answerability for one’s actions. The article shows that global concepts provide agents with room for manoeuvre to advance their own position in a strong state and in internal fights for turf.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367-389
JournalCommonwealth and Comparative Politics
Volume50
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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