Networking Cultures of Expertise: Idealistic Nongovernmental Organizations (INGOs) and their knowledge circulation through informal and formal communication in Europe and beyond, 1800-2000
Little is known about the long-term history of civil society organizations and their networks of knowledge and expertise in the international arena shared with governments, intergovernmental bodies and multinational companies.
In my research I focus on the internationalization of idealistic nongovernmental organizations, —involved in prison care (and after-care), welfare, anti-slavery and peace(negotiation)— to gain comparative insight into the divergent ways in which these INGOs have evolved from loosely organized, local, regional or national entities into international, European or global bodies of knowledge, power, influence and expertise vis á vis governments, intergovernmental bodies and/or multinational companies.
My main purpose is to research the ways in which through informal and formal exchange, and through local and international exchange, a body of expert knowledge on these subjects has come about and how this circulation or transfer of knowledge may have influenced local practices.
I intend to focus on specific, time-related, exemplifying case studies:
a) Individual philantropic tourism (1800-1850);
b) The rise of idealistic civil society congresses (1850-1900);
c) The organizational unification of international nongovernmental associations (1900-1950) and
d) Global conferences of international nongovernmental organizations (1950-2000).
From a long term historical perspective this study may contribute to present-day discussions on the punishment vs. education nexus in criminological circles, to expert discussions on the sustainability of social security systems, and to the recent fenomena of global civil society movements regarding development, poverty, security and governance.