Link, Search, Interact: The Co-Evolution of NGOs and Interactive Technology

Bach, Jonathan; Stark, David C.

Interactive technology is a key factor used to explain the recent growth and prominence of NGOs, who today are engaged in the transformation of national, international and transnational political space. Yet technology cannot explain NGOs' rise, for technology is but a context which afford opportunities. We ask what it is that allows NGOs to take advantage of new circumstances, and focus our discussion on the co-evolution of NGOs with interactive technology. Our approach is part of a growing body of social science research that seeks to overcome the artificial divide between "society" and "technology" by viewing the social as consisting of humans and non-humans (objects, things, artifacts). Viewing technology not as a tool but as part of a co-evolutionary process that shapes organizational forms and practices will help us understand why NGOs have, given the opportunities provided by the retrenchment of the welfare state and the end of the cold war, been able to assume a more powerful and controversial role as co-constituents of global transformation.


More About This Work

Academic Units
Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy
Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy, Columbia University
ISERP Working Papers, 02-03
Published Here
August 23, 2010


April 2002.