NGOs under Pressure in Partial Democracies

Carolijn Terwindt, Chris van der Borgh

This book deals with political pressures on non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in four young and partial democracies in two continents: Guatemala and Honduras in Central America, and Indonesia and the Philippines in Southeast Asia. Over the past decades, these countries have each made a transition toward democracy, and in general the space of civil society in each of these countries has increased. However, particular branches of civil society are confronted with pressures of the state as well as other actors (e.g. corporations) that restrict their space. This occurs through a process that has variously been called criminalization, backlash on civil society and shrinking political space. This study provides for a detailed account of the pressures on NGOs — a specific branch of civil society — and the kinds of NGOs that are most affected. It also discusses the individual and collective response strategies of NGOs that experience restrictions.