Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Pamela Gann

Rights Information

2018 Ashley Macarchuk


This thesis attempts to understand the impact of international human rights and environmental NGOs on affecting domestic policy and law. In particular, it looks at how State-NGO relations, civil society, and accountability affect the success of international NGOs in enacting change in domestic policy. The focus is on four countries with some of the largest human rights and environmental abuses: Argentina, China, India, and Russia. Through these countries, this thesis shows that NGOs have the most influence when State-NGO relations are strong, civil society is active, and NGOs are accountable to both the State and citizens. A key component to the success of international NGOs is the State’s willingness to change. When a NGOs interests align with the State, NGOs are able to push for and achieve the largest results. The contrast between the success of human rights and environmental NGOs highlights this as many times States will not recognize their human rights abuses, but are willing to improve their environmental degradation. As a result, NGOs have been met with more success in advocating for change in environmental policy than human rights.