Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Pramod Kantha (Committee Member), Laura Luehrmann (Committee Chair), Vaughn Shannon (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Based on previous academic literature, relationships between non-governmental organizations and governments are categorized as being either generally cooperative or generally conflictual, and vary state to state. Considering an assumption that more freedom afforded to a state provides space in society for a more vibrant third sector, it seems intuitive that states with more freedom will experience more cooperative relationships with the NGO sector than states with less. However, six case studies illustrate that this may not always be a correct assumption. To test this hypothesis, Freedom House statuses between 1991 and 2011 are averaged to provide an overall status of Free (Bolivia and India), Partly Free (Ethiopia and Sierra Leone), or Not Free (Azerbaijan and Vietnam) for these cases studies. Rather than relying on a state's Freedom House status to forecast this relationship, this study finds that leadership policies and international influence also may impact the legal environment for NGOs.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Political Science

Year Degree Awarded