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Welcome to the 2019 New Zealand Political Studies Association Annual Conference

"Security, Community, Humanity"

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Thursday, November 28 • 11:00am - 12:30pm
Challenges for Democratic Politics

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Chang Bum Ju
Nonprofit Advocacy, Government Funding, and Network Ties

This study combines insights from institutional theory and network analysis and examines how lateral conferral of legitimacy among peer organizations may affect a nonprofit’s political advocacy. Based on a survey of environmental NGOs in South Korea, the study shows that political advocacy is not significantly related to the organization’s dependence on government funding, but it is significantly related to the organization’s network centrality. The results support a network perspective, according to which inter-organizational ties provide a social context facilitating nonprofit political advocacy in criticizing and challenging government. The findings also suggest that variations in network connectedness breed variations in organizational legitimacy, leading to heterogeneity in organizational responses to institutional pressures. Network connections have become increasingly crucial for nonprofits in the midst of many emerging challenges. Among the many challenges is the shrinking of government funding, especially since the beginning of the global economic downtown in 2007 (Salamon, Geller, and Spence 2009). Social and environmental problems have become national and even global in scope. Government organizations and big businesses have continued to overshadow nonprofits in terms of power and technical efficacy. Yet donors and stakeholders of nonprofits have been calling for greater efficacy and mission attainment. As it is increasingly difficult for nonprofits to cope with these challenges individually, many have found it necessary to capitalize on the benefits of collaborating with their peers. Collaboration among nonprofits has become a norm in many service sectors (Herlin 2015; Provan, Isett, and Milward 2004) In this paper, we develop a theoretical framework that relates network ties to nonprofit political advocacy and organizational legitimacy. We then test our hypotheses using survey data we collected from environmental NGOs (ENGOs) in South Korea. The empirical analysis shows that the more central is an ENGO in a network of collaboration, the more active is it in political advocacy. In the rest of the paper, we first introduce the theoretical framework linking network ties to nonprofit political advocacy. This is followed by a discussion on data collection, measurement methods, results, and conclusions.

Shaun Goldfinch
Performative democracy, good governance, coups, and military government in Fiji

The claimed role for military intervention in government to facilitate stability, good governance, ‘modernization’ and development, legal/rationality and secularity - and even democratization - meets with considerable scepticism. But claims along these lines have made by the leader of the 2006 Fiji coup, Frank Bainimarama, now a prime minister after winning two elections deemed free and fair by overseas observers. With over a decade since the first coup, this paper evaluates whether the Fijian case suggests military intervention in developing states can lead to the implementation of progressive agendas. It finds that Fiji has implemented many of the forms and rituals of a good governance state, but this is a partial simulacrum of a Parliamentary democracy. Democratic forms are tightly constrained along paths that maintain regime dominance.

Lindsey Te Ata o Tu MacDonald & Alex Tan
The stories of democracy in NZ: a Q method study

Literature on democracy abounds, and political scientists in New Zealand have and are doing exceptional work on our democracy. Yet, the wider comparative literatures on democracy use surveys that draw upon phenomenological ideas created in Western Academies, based on classical and modern literatures of Europe. As Achen and Bartels (2016) have argued, most of these ideas are flawed. While we ought not to deny the influence of history of political ideas about democracy, we wanted to know what real people, doing real politics, actually think they are doing, and how do they think about that. That is, we wanted to understand the subjective experience of participatory politics for people. In the research presented here, we focus on New Zealanders. Since we were attempting to understand subjectivity, we chose Q method, a combination of a structured interview and analytical method that was invented exactly to understand the subjective stories that people use to understand their environment. Our research presents the stories (or factors) used by New Zealand born participants, and recent immigrants from South East Asia, to explain New Zealand democracy.


Sanjal Shastri

Sanjal Shastri


Chang Bum Ju

Dongguk University-Seoul

Shaun Goldfinch

ANZSOG and WA Government Chair in Public Administration and Policy, Curtin University, WA, Australia

Alex Tan

University of Canterbury
avatar for Lindsey Te Ata o Tu Macdonald

Lindsey Te Ata o Tu Macdonald

University of Canterbury

Thursday November 28, 2019 11:00am - 12:30pm NZDT
E7 Engineering Core