Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

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Unit Overview


NGOs (non-governmental organisations) have become increasingly important actors at the subnational, national and international levels, carrying out a range of complex governing tasks, such as setting standards for businesses, serving as 'watchdogs', providing assistance after natural disasters, mediating conflicts, and delivering development assistance. Their rise has gone hand-in-hand with the shift from government to governance, a trend that is evident in the growing prevalence of new modes of governance such as public–private partnerships. This unit considers the political impacts of NGOs' activities in governance and development. The unit conceptualises NGOs and their relationship to states, markets and institutions, and explores the variety of actors that are categorised as part of the non-governmental or 'third' sector, with their differing capacities and degrees of power. It examines the multilevel character of NGOs' activities across advocacy, service provision and regulation, and considers the political impacts of their activities through a range of case studies from across the globe.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Non-standard teaching periodUWA (Perth)Face to face

Students are able to (1) understand differing theoretical approaches to examining NGOs and their relationship with states, markets and institutions; (2) describe the characteristics of NGOs and their activities; (3) critically evaluate debates in the media as they relate to NGOs; and (4) research, develop and deliver critical analyses of the role of NGOs in governance and development.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) reading responses; (2) research essay; and (3) policy brief. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Ky Gentry
Unit rules
Advisable prior study
Bachelor of Arts (BP001) (major in Political Science and International Relations)
Contact hours
seminars: 18 hours
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.