Academy Workshop – March 2024

Why Legal Form and Funding Models matter in Advocacy”
with Nina Hall, Assistant Professor of International Relations, SAIS Bologna

A large, rich scholarship in international relations (IR) has sought to explain advocacy organizations’ behavior, and their impact on international affairs. Scholars have investigated differences: in the norms organizations champion, as well as their tactics (radical/moderate), strategies (insider/outsider), and decision-making processes (decentralized vs centralized). However, IR scholars have not examined variation in their: 1) legal status and 2) funding models. Advocacy organizations can register as charities or political entities; and can be funded by philanthropic grants or member-donations. I draw on existing research on NGOs, not-for-profits, and political communications to illustrate why legal form and funding models help explain the behavior of advocacy organizations, their accountability structures, and vulnerability to government restrictions. IR scholarship should not only examine global trends in the repression of NGOs, but also how advocacy organizations can respond to this shrinking civic space by changing their funding models and/or legal status.

Join us in the SNF Agora Institute conference room (N325F) in the Wyman Park Building on the JHU Homewood Campus or via Zoom at

This event is limited to JHU faculty, fellows, students, and staff.