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Civil society, NGOs and social movements

Civil society, transnational advocacy networks, non-governmental organisations and social movements are key actors in social change. These organisations provide challenges to the status quo, but can also frequently be co-opted by states, international organisations and other political actors. By critically examining how these non-state actors can influence the political landscapes of poverty and inequality within and across the nation state, we can better understand how social change occurs. These changes may occur through the development of multi-actor networks, through advocacy, through political communication via different media, or through different types of partnerships. Researching these non-state actors allows us to better analyse how change happens and offers us potential avenues into how social justice may be achieved in both the global north and the global south. 

Qualifications available:

PhD or MPhil


For detailed information on current fees visit Fees and funding.

Entry requirements:

Minimum 2:1 (or equivalent)

Potential research projects

  • Digital activism
  • Transnational advocacy networks
  • Social movements
  • International NGOs and social change
  • Social media and development
  • Solidarity-based action

Current/recent research projects

  • Transnational civil society organisations and created territorialized constituencies
  • Public-Private Partnerships in the development of HIV/AIDS communication in South Africa
  • Evaluating Transnational Advocacy Networks (TANs): The Case of the Jubilee 2000 Campaign (J2K)
  • Understanding Poverty and Inequality through Different Forms of Exchange
  • Design and democracy: transformative agency within indigenous structures
  • Rebuilding society after civil war: The effect of popular participation in social transformation
  • Development Intervention through INGO Volunteerism
  • Designing Technology to Provide Education to Traumatised Syrian Children in Conflict Areas and Refugee Camps
  • Bolivian Children's Voices in the Child Labour Debate

Further information

If you have an enquiry specific to this research area please contact:

Dr Ben Lampert
+44 (0)1908 655434

For general enquiries please contact the Research Degrees Team via the link under 'Your Questions' on the right of the page.