While the cat’s away, will the mice play? Government-NGO relations and the politics of aid in Hungary

Krisztina Szabo, Balázs Szent-Iványi, Andras Tetenyi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This chapter examines the nature of the relationship between governments and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in the field of international development policy, and how this relationship impacts the influence that NGOs have on policy-making. It selects an emerging donor of foreign aid, Hungary, as a case study, and it argues that government-NGO relations have gone through many changes between 2003 and 2018. The government has clearly favoured certain development NGOs, while has it co-opted or confronted with others. The advocacy activities of NGOs have proved stronger when the government has had fewer resources for co-opting them. However, due to the low political salience of international development, NGOs have not been able to put significant reform pressure on the government, which was thus been able to ignore their demands. Significant reform only happened after 2014, when the government took stronger political ownership of the policy area with a view of using foreign aid to support Hungarian business interests.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAid Power and Politics
EditorsIliana Olivié, Aitor Pérez
Place of PublicationUK
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jul 2019

Bibliographical note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge/CRC Press in Aid Power and Politics on 19/8/2019, available online: http://www.routledge.com/9781138341272


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