The Legitimation Strategies of NGOs
: A critical study of the EU Conflict Minerals Regulation in the eastern DRC and beyond

Student thesis: Doc typesDocteur en Sciences politiques et sociales


The European Union (EU) exercises its governance based on a "multi-level" system where different interdependent, public and private, national and international actors contribute to the decision-making process. Among them, several Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) work in advocacy and lobbying activities. Some NGOs have fuelled the debate on natural resources and armed conflict, thanks to a search for information and the publication of many reports. This path has prompted several NGOs to seek to influence the EU Conflict Minerals Regulation approval process.

Analysing the work of these NGOs, this thesis aims to understand the legitimation strategies behind their actions and attempts to explicate the extent to which they contribute to the acceptance of new norms and values. In particular, we try to understand the legal ways that allow them to act and the strategies through which NGOs mobilise the public opinion. Thus, the thesis traces the political, social and economic events that have characterised the East of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since the 1990s as directly connected to the conflict minerals issue.

The empirical research highlights the relationships between different NGOs; between NGO and legislator; between NGOs and other actors. The interviews carried out in the East of the DRC and in Brussels allow us to trace some of the legitimation strategies of NGOs. The thesis explains how information is processed, discussed and produces a discourse deemed "legitimate", thanks to collaborative work between NGOs from different countries.
la date de réponse23 févr. 2021
langue originaleAnglais
L'institution diplômante
  • Universite de Namur
SuperviseurThierry Braspenning-Balzacq (Promoteur), Amine AÏT CHAALAL (Copromoteur), Johan Yans (Jury), Nathalie BURNAY (Jury), Koen Vlassenroot (Jury) & Stéphane Baele (Jury)

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