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Deconstructing World Culture: The rise of legal restrictions on foreign funding to NGOs, 1994-2015


There is a growing backlash against the liberal and neoliberal economic, political and social ideologies that have dominated the globe since the 1980s. On economic fronts, critiques of free-market, privatization, and deregulation policies are on the rise, especially since the financial crisis of 2008. Even mainstream economists at the International Monetary Fund now report that the benefits of neoliberalism have been “oversold” and may contribute to increasing inequality. On political fronts, we see a decline in liberal democracy; for instance, Freedom House reports that more countries have experienced losses than gains in freedoms since 2005. We argue that just as there is a groundswell of opposition against dominant global economic and political ideologies, there is rising resistance to the social dimensions of a world culture rooted in Western liberalism. To illustrate our argument, we examine the rise of legal restrictions on foreign funding to non-governmental organizations in more than 50 countries over the period 1994-2015.

Speaker Bio:

Patricia Bromley is an Assistant Professor of Education and (by courtesy) Sociology at Stanford University. Her work has focused on the rise and globalization of a culture emphasizing rational, scientific thinking and expansive forms of rights. It spans a range of fields including comparative education, organization theory, the sociology of education, and public administration and policy. A recent book, Hyper-organization: Worldwide organizational expansion, explains the global proliferation of organization, both in numbers and internal complexity (Oxford University Press 2015, with J.W. Meyer). Other recent publications appear in American Sociological Review, Administration & Society, and Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly.