The International NGO Triangle in the MENA Region

Publication date:
Máté Szalai, Coordinator of the Middle East research programme at the Institute for Foreign Affairs and Trade (IFAT)

MENARA Working paper nº 19

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is increasingly embebbed into the global order in the transnational field, namely through the intra- and interregional interactions of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) with state actors. The phenomenon is investigated in the framework of the “international NGO triangle”, namely the system of relations between the nongovernmental organization, the host state and the external partner. Case studies include the activities of the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect in Iraq, regional NGOs cooperating with the ECOSOC, and the Qatari “multiple track approach” after the Gulf rift of 2017. However, the extent to which NGOs operating in the region have actual agency (and, in parallel, the extent of their dependency on state actors) can be debated. Consequently, the strengthening of the transnational sector does not necessarily limit the leverage of states as previously predicted.

Keywords: Global order, NGOs, MENA region, NGOs triangle