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The Increase in Non-Governmental Organizations 


         Throughout the world, ordinary people are making a difference.  Slide number four shows two Orange County residents who proudly display the logos of the organizations they support—Greenpeace, Oxfam, Amnesty International, and the World Wildlife Federation.  Worldwide, membership in these organizations is growing, and individuals are increasingly looking to NGOs (non-governmental organizations) to solve world crises that national governments have been either unable or unwilling to tackle.  By providing financial support and by increasing awareness of issues, people geographically far removed from an area of crisis are still able to make their voice heard.  

        NGOs have grown to play a vital role in international politics in the 1990s.  These groups have proven capable of “crossing the borders” of individual nations and have created a vast international society outside the direct control of the states in which they operate.  This “globalization from below” is aimed at uniting peoples in different countries on a local level to create change on a global scale.  While these organizations have diverse agendas, such as exposing human rights violations, alleviating poverty, and mitigating environmental degradation, together they represent a new trend of working to solve world crises on an international level rather than as individual nations. While organizations such as these do not mark the eclipse of the state, they do provide another means by which people in different countries can join together to make a difference.