PUBLISHED:February 23, 2009

Monitoring the Monitors: Evaluating Performance of NGOs' Measurement of Ethical Standards, Transnational and Domestic

Wednesday, February 25, 2009
12:00 - 1:15 pm | Room 4055
Duke Law School



NGOs seeking to do good need at times to prove their virtue: their good intentions may not suffice to assure donors or buyers. Until recently NGOs got something of a "free pass," but increasingly they are expected to show the transparency and accountability they demand of others. How, when, and why are NGO claims to virtuous behavior credible to the public, and to which public? How can we sort out an NGO which is "greenwashing" from one which monitors accurately and effectively? What is the "cost" to an NGO for being wrong? We can improve our answers to these difficult questions by comparing NGOs in the "virtue" field of human rights and the environment, with efforts to monitor marketplace activities such as bond rating, accounting, the professions, or arms control.

Professor Gourevitch, one of the leading scholars of comparative corporate governance, is the founding dean of the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies at University of California at San Diego, where he continues to serve on the faculty. He is a political scientist who specializes in international relations and comparative politics. His focus is on political economy with an emphasis on international trade and economic globalization, trade disputes, regulatory systems, and corporate governance. His most recent book examines corporate governance systems in a globalizing world economy, comparing differences in the way countries structure companies and their relationship to shareholders. He is currently directing a project on NGOs as monitors of standards, developing case studies useful for teaching and research on this topic. They are available on his website.

He received his B.A. from Oberlin College (high honors in government) in 1963, and Ph.D. in political science from Harvard University in 1969. Professor Gourevitch is the recipient of many prestigious awards and appointments. In 2008 he was a Rockefeller Bellagio Residential Fellow, in 2005/2006 both a Visiting Scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation in New York and a Guggenheim Fellow. He was elected in 1996 to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He co-edited International Organization with David Lake from 1996 to 2001. He taught at Harvard 1969-74, at McGill 1974-79, and joined UC San Diego's political science department in 1979. He has been a member of the Council on Foreign Relations since 1991 and a member of its Selection Committee since 1995.


Lunch provided. RSVP Neylân Gürel