Who Governs Access and Voice of Civil Society in Global Governance? Practice Theory, Reflexivity and Power in the Study of International Organisations’ “Opening Up”

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review



In this concluding reflection, we value the special issue’s focus on how power asymmetries among civil society organisations (CSOs) affect their relations with international organisations (IOs) and micro-level dynamics of in–and exclusion. Yet we propose to pay further attention to the crisis of liberal institutions and the shrinking spaces provided to some CSOs. We also encourage revisiting the liberal assumption that CSOs seek to democratise IOs and the proposition that the majority of CSOs are keen to cooperate with IOs. The pressing question for us is not how CSOs push in- or exclusion in IOs but how dynamics of in- and exclusion are generated in the web of practices performed by diverse actors. In our perspective, the question is best addressed in reflexive research that is aware of power relations, the methodological difficulties of researching CSOs and often inaccessible IOs, and the dangers of silencing non-academic voices.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)412-420
Number of pages9
Journal Global society : journal of interdisciplinary international relations
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2024

External IDs

Scopus 85189089936
Mendeley 21a820db-19c6-364d-b21a-f473a5bf42de



  • Practice theory, civil society, international organisations, power, reflexivity