Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have long been important in shaping U.S. policy. They have become increasingly important around the world as well, joining business organizations as shapers of policy, especially but not only in democratic societies. This excellent contribution to contemporary political history skillfully documents the role of NGOs in pressing governments to pay more attention to the ecological and environmental consequences of their policies and to push for sustainable development. Such efforts have not been universally successful, as demonstrated by worsening air and water pollution in China and India and by continuing deforestation in South America. But NGOs have made major strides in influencing how aid agencies, international financial institutions, and the governments of some developing countries think about development and in holding them more accountable for the environmental effects of their actions.
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