City: Indianapolis, Indiana
Country: United States
Catherine E. Herrold, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUPUI. Dr. Herrold’s research explores the role of civil society in mobilizing citizens for democratic political reform. With a particular focus on the Middle East, Herrold’s most recent work studies local foundations, NGOs, and grassroots organizations in Egypt and Palestine. Her work has appeared in Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Social Problems and Nonprofit Policy Forum, and she is currently writing a book manuscript entitled, The Next Arab Spring.
Middle East & North African Politics
Catherine E. Herrold, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUPUI. Dr. Herrold’s research explores the role of civil society in mobilizing citizens for democratic political reform. With a particular focus on the Middle East, Herrold’s most recent work studies local foundations, NGOs, and grassroots organizations in Egypt and Palestine. Her work has appeared in Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Social Problems, Nonprofit Policy Forum, and VOLUNTAS, and she is currently writing a book manuscript entitled, Delta Democracy: Pathways to Incremental Civic Revolution in Egypt and Beyond.
This article examines foreign aid and government funding to NGOs as forms of patronage and explores the impact of such funding on the nature and role of civil society. Using qualitative research from Palestine and Morocco, we argue that patronage transforms NGOs into apparatuses of governing. NGOs become key sites for the exercise of productive power through the technologies of professionalization, bureaucratization, and upward accountability. The article explores how this transformation of NGOs depoliticizes their work while undermining their role as change agents within civil society. The findings have implications for understanding the transformation of NGOs, the relationship between patrons and their grantees, and, finally, for exploring the limitations of NGOs as vehicles for social change in sensitive political environments.
While social movement scholarship has emphasized the role of activists in socially constructing grievances, we contend that material adversity is a reoccurring precondition of anti-state mobilization. We test the effect of economic decline on the count of large-scale, anti-government demonstrations and riots. Using multiple sources of newspaper reports of contentious events across 145 countries during the period 1960-2006, we find a statistically significant negative relationship between economic growth and the number of contentious events, controlling for a variety of state-governance, demographic, and media characteristics. We find that the effect is strongest under conditions of extreme economic decline and in non-democracies. These findings highlight the need for social movement scholars to take seriously the role of economic performance as an important factor that enables mobilization.
In the wake of the January 25, 2011 Egyptian uprisings, local private and community foundations responded divergently to civil society’s calls for political change. Egypt’s community foundations quickly positioned themselves as leaders of democratic political reforms, while private foundations remained focused on their pre-2011 activities in the economic development realm. To explain the foundations’ different responses to the uprisings, the article draws upon extant literature to develop a conceptual model of foundations’ capacity to lead change. It then applies the model to the Egyptian case, arguing that community foundations’ high levels of political independence and low levels of financial and civic independence facilitated their leadership efforts, while private foundations’ low levels of political and financial independence and high levels of civic independence hampered their ability to lead reform initiatives. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.
This article examines the Egyptian government’s evolving policy toward Egypt’s NGO sector and its effects on organizations’ efforts to support democratic political reform. The January 25, 2011 uprisings that overthrew President Hosni Mubarak seemed to present an opportunity for Egypt’s NGO sector to break free from decades of government co-optation and repression and lead Egyptian civil society’s political reform efforts. NGOs did initiate democracy promotion projects immediately following the uprisings, and for a few months it seemed that NGOs would be torchbearers of political reform. By the summer of 2014, however, NGO employees were predicting the looming “death of civil society” in Egypt. Drawing upon data from over 90 interviews, this article analyzes the ways in which authoritarian adaptation, through both discourse and policy toward the NGO sector, constrained NGOs’ capacities to advance political reform efforts.
This article examines how the Egyptian government produced a legal, regulatory, and operational environment designed to “divide and throttle” the country’s NGO sector. We identify a two-pronged government strategy toward the NGO sector – namely, flooding the field and bureaucratic overload – the effect of which was to fragment and weaken the sector and prevent it from forming an effective oppositional bloc. We furthermore argue that this government strategy promoted competition rather than cooperation among NGOs. Organizations espoused competing strategic visions for the sector that divided organizations into camps of “charity,” “development,” and “advocacy.” The ultimate consequence of this competition was a sector of NGOs that, instead of valuing pluralism and building upon diverse comparative advantages to create sector-wide strength, belittled each other and failed to coalesce. Egypt’s NGO sector became a tool of the state rather than a force for collective empowerment or a voice for societal change.